THE New World of Artificial Intelligence – Neural Networks, Video Games and Beyond‘ was the title of this year’s Osmond Lecture, which was held virtually before the end of term.

The Osmond Lecture is an annual event established and endowed by the Old Eleans’ Club to commemorate the career of Leonard Osmond, who was a Science Teacher at King’s Ely from 1930 to 1972.

This year’s lecture was delivered by Professor Dr Thore Graepel, who is Research Lead at Google DeepMind and Professor of Computer Science at University College London (UCL) – and a King’s Ely parent!

Ned Kittoe, Head of Science at King’s Ely Senior, said: “We were all wowed by Professor Graepel’s lecture.

“Fittingly appearing on our screens in a giant socially distanced Microsoft Teams meeting, Professor Graepel explained to us about the principles behind Artificial Intelligence and how we go about teaching computers to think.

“Professor Graepel talked through the history of the idea and then illustrated the lecture with many examples and demonstrations, including some of his own work in teaching a computer to beat the then world champion at the immensely complex and strategic board game of ‘Go’.

“Some of the more senior members of the audience warmed to demonstrations of computers learning to beat other computers in our old favourite arcade games of the past, such as ‘Pong’ and ‘Breakout’.

“Professor Graepel’s enthusiasm led us to think about the ethics and consequences of Artificial Intelligence as well; we all began to think about what it was for us to learn, and what it means to be alive.

“Since the lecture, Professor Graepel has been in touch to pass on some of the links and websites he used. We are all very grateful for his time.”

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