The future of high-tech Artificial Intelligence and Hollywood meet in Western Sydney

Pictured L-R: Associate Professor Mark Sagar, CEO, Soul Machines; Dr Anton Bogdanovych, Director of Academic Program & STEM Entrepreneurship from the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics at Western Sydney University; Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, Director, Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University.

The MARCS Institute and Western Sydney University co-hosted the 18th annual international forum of high tech researchers last week at its Parramatta City campus, focusing on the latest research and industry developments in Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence.

Co-hosted with Macquarie University, the International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA) 2018 (opens in a new window) connected world renowned researchers in this quickly developing and exciting industry.

Academics and industry professionals alike were inspired by the incredible international forum of industry experts, all focused on the latest research and development of artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, gaming, behaviour and interaction, and sensing/perceiving technologies.

Associate Professor Mark Sagar, CEO of Soul Machines, and a double Oscar winner at The Academy Awards who worked on characters in Hollywood blockbuster films including Avatar, King Kong and Spider-Man 2 was one of the high calibre keynote presenters of the IVA conference this year.

Now working on a fully automated AI child called ‘Baby X’, Professor Sagar offered a wealth of ground breaking knowledge and experience inspiring the next generations of researchers and development in the way we connect with machines, and how to better humanise artificial intelligence.

Conference attendees experienced a never before seen live demo of ‘Baby X’ (opens in a new window) ,the future of Artificial Intelligence.

As one of the most recognisable faces in robotics, Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, Director of Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University, has created an android copy of himself, called the ‘Geminoid’ (opens in a new window), as a platform for research toward better understanding humans and interactive behaviour.

Professor Ishiguro’s IVA 2018 keynote presentation on humanoid and android robotics gave insight into his current project work using methods from engineering, cognitive science, and neuroscience to investigate his various current robotics research topics.

The MARCS Institute’s very own Dr Anton Bogdanovych, Director of Academic Program - STEM Entrepreneurship from the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics at Western Sydney University says the calibre of international researchers taking part in this international forum is inspiring for future generations.

“We were very inspired by the research and projects on display at IVA 2018, the possibilities in this field are endless. Academics and industry professionals have come together from all around the world to connect and share ideas – it is an exciting time for the development of AI, robotics, and virtual technologies”, said Dr Bogdanovych.

The next International Conference for Intelligent Virtual Agents in 2019 will be held in Paris, France.

12 November 2018

Danielle Aiken, Research Media & Communications Officer