The Story of the COV-19 Tracing App Explained. Is a Blockchain Needed? (30th June 2020)

Online via Zoom.

Dr Maria Vigliotti will discuss how a COV-19 Tracing App would work, including the app developed by the NHS. The latter has not been considered sufficiently secure by the National Cybersecurity Centre, which is one of the reasons why recently the UK Government has changed plans and decided to join forces with major tech companies for a new release of the app.

Could it have been made better by using blockchain to create a more secure and decentralised tracing app? Click HERE to purchase a copy of Maria’s book.

About our speaker

Dr Maria Grazia Vigliotti, Cyber Security & Blockchain Professional, Imperial College London

A lifelong experienced computing professional, who has worked as academic at Imperial College London specialising in writing AI algorithms to aid in cyber security and formal code verification.

Maria has worked in cyber security by convening and leading the development of the cyber security strategy for the entire British railway industry and worked on prevention of cryptographic attacks on the European Railway Traffic Management Systems (ERTMS). Maria has also advised most of the major players in the UK nuclear industry on smart device security.

Currently, Maria Grazia Vigliotti leads Sandblocks Consulting, a boutique consultancy specialising in blockchain technology and cybersecurity.

Maria G. Vigliotti is the co-author of “The Executive Guide to Blockchain”. The book aims to demystify blockchain by offering a jargon-free explanation to various aspects of the technology.


Smoke & Mirrors: How Hype Obscures The Future (14th May 2020)

Online via Zoom

It started with ghosts in the 1700s. ‘Conjured ghosts’ opens Gemma Milne’s book ‘Smoke & Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future and How to See Past It’.

Hype – particularly around science and technology – engulfs our world like never before; we’re at a stage where even if we’re well-informed and technically literate we struggle to wade through the hype and find some truth.

This evening, our guest Gemma Milne will expand upon her new book and discuss examples of hype that will intrigue and inform you, followed by a Q&A where you’ll get the rare opportunity to explore many and varied hype and challenge Gemma to cut through it to the truth. 

Click HERE to get the introduction to Gemma’s book.

About our speaker

Gemma Milne, Technology & Science Writer

Gemma Milne is a Science & Technology Journalist covering all things deep tech, including biotech, advanced computing, space, energy and innovation in academia, for titles such as Forbes, The Times, BBC, and Quartz. She is the author of ‘Smoke & Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future and How to See Past It’, which came out April 2020, published by Little Brown. She is also Co-Host of Science: Disrupt – a podcast interviewing the innovators, iconoclasts & entrepreneurs creating change in science. She is an Expert Advisor for the European Commission and Innovate UK, a Scout for Backed VC, an Innovation Jury Member for SXSW and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.

Pre-order Gemma’s debut book, SMOKE & MIRRORS

Sign up to Gemma’s newsletter, Brain Reel

Twitter: @gemmamilne | Instagram: @gemmamilnewriter


Auditing Time, Place and Identity in Our Digital World (10th March 2020)

The virtual world runs our lives, unaudited, ‘marking its own homework’.
Earlier today, you probably clicked on “I agree” without any idea what you were agreeing to.  We’ve been complacent, ignoring the elephant in our data, and we only have ourselves to blame.

We must inject physical reality into all computing fabric to audit virtual processes. Electrons have consequences; they must be held to account in time, place and identity.  We need a new Digital Metrology – one where we understand the measurement science underpinning the digital world we live and work in and how this can – and must – be applied.

Join us to hear from Dr Richard Hoptroff, inventor, investor, entrepreneur, to hear the future before it’s happened and to ask very difficult questions about time, our digital world and what we need to do to ensure our futures are marked in audited time, place, and identity!

About our speaker

Dr Richard Hoptroff, Hoptroff Ltd

Richard’s last school report read:  He is basically lazy – he wants computers to solve his problems for him.

35 years on, he took this tack as a physicist specializing in real-time AI:  He has erred into economic forecasting, nonlinear control, price optimization, archaeological dating, high-accuracy luxury timepieces, and financial timestamping.  A consistent theme throughout has been data quality: Intellect is easy – good data is hard to find.

Dr. Richard Hoptroff is a long-term technology inventor, investor and entrepreneur. Awarded a PhD in Physics by King’s College London for his work in optical computing and artificial intelligence, in 1992, together with Ravensbeck, he founded Right Information Systems, a neural network forecasting software company which was in 1997 sold to Cognos Inc (part of IBM).

He created Flexipanel Ltd in 2001, a company supplying Bluetooth modules to the electronics industry.

In 2010, he founded Hoptroff London, with the aim to develop smart, hyper-accurate watch movements and create a new watch brand, establishing a new commercial category when he brought to market the first commercial atomic timepiece and atomic wristwatch.

Hoptroff has now leveraged his expertise in timing technology and software to develop a hyper- accurate synchronised timestamping solution for the financial services sector, based on a unique combination of grandmaster atomic clock engineering and proprietary software: Hoptroff London Ltd – Traceable Time as a Service (TTaaS®).


Quantum Technologies & Our Qubit Future (18th February 2020)

The UK has always been a world leader in ideas, invention, and innovation.  Now that technology is developing faster than ever, we must stay at the forefront of science and technological creativity, exploring and exploiting new technology areas. 

Recent emerging disruptive technologies have now emerged into ever-growing new industries, such as Quantum Technologies and Engineering Biology that will change our futures. 

And were now on the crest of the digital wave, as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning begin to use recent advances to not only revolutionise our industrial base but also our society. Quantum Computing – once a sci-fi dream – is now becoming a reality, with basic Quantum Supremacy recently demonstrated for the first time. 

The UK can stay at the forefront of the digital era through developing and exploiting these technologies – particularly Quantum Technologies and the materials development that underpins them, where we have world-leading R&D with considerable government investment combined with industry of nearly £1bn to date!

Join us to hear from Prof Neil Stansfield, a polymath with remarkable and extensive experience who leads UK strategy on development of Digital and Data Science, Future Communications and Quantum Technologies at National Physical Laboratory (NPL), to hear the future before it’s happened and to ask very difficult questions!

NPL is the national Laboratory for the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy with the mission to underpin the economic and societal wellbeing of the UK. One area of sharp focus is Quantum Technologies development, from materials to computing, to gravity wave detectors and communications.

About our Speaker

Professor Neil Stansfield, Head of Strategy and Head of Digital Sector, National Physical Laboratory

Neil Stansfield is Director of Strategy at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the national lab for the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. Neil also leads on the digital strategy for NPL, including Data Science, Future Communications, and Quantum Technologies.  

Neil has spent twenty-five years in a range of senior defence and security policy, strategy, and science and technology roles, working across Government and the private sector, nationally and internationally. Areas of responsibility have included: chemical and biological defence; arms control; ballistic missile defence; MoD’s maritime S&T programme; and as Deputy Director in the Office of Security and Counterterrorism. Most recently Neil led the Ministry of Defence strategy and programme for identifying and harnessing emerging and disruptive technologies. 

In 2007 Neil had the privilege of spending a year at the Royal College of Defence Studies, MoD’s most senior leadership development programme.  Neil holds a few visiting and honorary professorships, including “data science for national security” and an honour for “inspiring young people into science”.


Enhancing Human Creativity Using Artificial Intelligence (19th November 2019)

We speak a good deal on AI and creativity, most frequently around AI being creative; what about enhancing human creativity using AI?  Our speaker – Dr Shama Rahman – will give us insight into the neuroscience of creativity and demonstrate how AI can be used as a tool to spark human creativity.

She will explore the potential of the complementary symbiosis of neuroscientific-knowledge and AI-capabilities to result in neuro-enhancement and ‘augmented creative intelligence’; we can all benefit from this approach.

Expounding on the stages within an innovation framework, different types of creativity, and the underlying neuroscience of the creative process, Shama will explore the capacity of AI as a symbiotic tool to augment the human creative process. The particpants in this event can expect to embark on an AI-assisted creative session themselves using the ‘FlowCreate™ Innovator’ which enhances creative processes combining AI, neuroscience, and digitised design-thinking tools and innovation frameworks: everyone attending will get a link to a trial version of the FlowCreate™ Innovator platform

About our Speaker

Dr Shama Rahman – Neuroscientist, Artist, Futurist and Founder-CEO of NeuroCreate

Dr Shama Rahman is a scientist, artist, creative technologist and futurist. She holds an inter-disciplinary PhD in the Neuroscience and Complex Systems of Creative Cognition and Innovation. She is the co-author of a book chapter in ‘Creativity in the Twenty First Century: Multidisciplinary Contributions to the Science of Creative Thinking‘ by Springer.

As an artist, she is a musician and actor, and her work has encompassed the use of wearable technology to enhance storytelling. She is proud of being the first Sitarist Explorer to perform in Antarctica on the first ever Antarctic Biennale.

Shama is the Artistic Director of the Art/Science creative production agency Jugular Productionsand has given a Tedx talk on ‘Multidisciplinary Creativity‘.

Shama has founded NeuroCreate: a start-up using AI and Neuroscience in a symbiotic digital design to enhance human creativity, performance and wellbeing. NeuroCreate has been shortlisted for the RSA Future of Work ‘Tech for Good’ Awards, NeuroCreate’s innovative approach has been noted by Forbes and Dr Rahman is an ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ finalist in the Olympic Legacy.


The Artist in the Machine: The World of AI-Powered Creativity (15th October 2019)

Today’s machines have already shown glimpses of creativity in art, literature and music.

As AI develops, completely new forms of the arts – currently unimaginable – are bound to emerge; in our season of exploring AI and its uses, creativity and ethics our speaker – Prof Arthur I Miller – will explore this brave new world, probing questions such as: ‘Can and will computers be creators like us and even go beyond us? Will we have to rethink concepts like ‘art’ and ‘creativity’ and, if so, how?’ Prof Miller will discuss and debate all this and much, much more!

The narrative of The Artist in the Machine: The World of AI-Powered Creativity spins off the hundred-odd interviews which Prof Miller carried-out with scientists on the cutting-edge of AI-created art, literature and music.

This book brings together and extends his work of over three decades on creativity in humans and creativity in machines; it is a tour of creativity in the age of machines.

Everyone attending this event will receive a signed first edition of Arthur’s The Artist in the Machine: The World of AI-Powered Creativity courtesy of the real Time Club.

Moreover, it is not a dystopian account – rather it celebrates the creative possibilities of AI in the arts.

About our Speaker

Professor Arthur I Miller – Professor Emeritus of history and philosophy of science at University College London

Arthur I. Miller is fascinated by the nature of creative thinking. He has published many critically acclaimed books, including Insights of Genius; Einstein, Picasso (shortlisted for a Pulitzer); Empire of the Stars (shortlisted for the Aventis Prize); and 137, and writes for the Guardian, The New York Times and Wired.

He is professor emeritus of history and philosophy of science at University College London.

An experienced broadcaster and lecturer, he has curated exhibitions on art/science and writes engagingly about complex social and intellectual dramas, weaving the personal with the scientific to produce thoroughly researched works that read like novels.

His previous book, Colliding Worlds: How Cutting-Edge Science is Redefining Contemporary Art (W.W. Norton), tells the story of how art, science and technology are fusing in the twenty-first century.


Can AI Help Stop Bee Extinction to Save the Planet and Humanity? (17th September 2019)

Most people know that bees pollinate a significant amount of the crops which provide the food that we eat and that there is a growing danger to the bees.

In fact, since the 1990s there’s been a dramatic increase in the observations of domestic beekeepers and apiarists at honey farms from around the world of sudden and mysterious disappearance of bees with a considerable decline in honeybee colonies; this is from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) – the sudden and unexcited loss of bees.

From 2006 apiarists have identified that CCD strikes when seemingly thriving bee colonies with plenty of food stores and artificial hive frames on farms with eggs, larvae, and pupae empty themselves of adult bees with a matter of days, leaving behind—at best—a queen and a handful of bees in the hive, with no evidence of dead and dying bees on the bottom boards or in front of the hives.

There are many theories around what is causing this, though they are mainly theoretical at this point.  The huge loss of biodiversity to monocultures must not be overlooked:

  • 40% Loss of commercial honeybee in the US Since 2006
  • 25% Loss of commercial honeybees in Europe Since 1985
  • 45% Loss of commercial honeybees in the UK since 2010

By creating a global network of data about bees, the World Bee Project is identifying trends and analysing vast arrays of data – such as acoustics – using AI, searching for a cause to this global effect.

An example of using hive monitoring technology to one aspect of the problem – from Arnia remote hive monitoring – and understanding the vast and intricate acoustic data collected from around numerous beehives, the main predator of bees – the Asian Hornet – can now be identified on approach to the hives, the beekeepers can be alerted, and the threat managed.  But this is just one answer, and not a global one at that.

This is a widespread, intricate and complex problem. And this is just the beginning of the application of AI with other technology to solve this worldwide issue.

About our Speaker

Caroline Denoon-Slater, Autonomous Account Director at Oracle

Caroline has 24 years’ experience working across consulting, pre-sales and sales of Applications and Technology, but has always been happiest when applying the technology to a cause.

She established and chaired the Corporate Social Responsibility Board for Oracle UK 2006-2010 managing the teams focused on education, sustainability, and charities such as the Princes Trust, British Heart Foundation, Comic Relief and Cancer Research.

In 2016 she launched the Innovation Showcase at Oracle UK headquarters in Reading as a place to demonstrate the capabilities of emerging technologies.

In 2018 Caroline joined the team working with the World Bee Project applying technology to the plight of the bees.


The Death of the Gods (21st June 2019)

Location: Peers’ Dining Room, House of Lords

‘The Death of the Gods: The New Global Power Grab’ won the 2019 Transmission Prize. It describes Carl’s ground-breaking journey to track down and expose one of the most important things that shapes, guides and limits each of our lives: power.

The journey brought him face-to-face with face with a fake news merchant in Kosovo, cyber-pranksters in Berlin, hikikormori – ‘the departed’ – in South Korea, who only live online.

Amongst the rolling hills of Berkshire, he met British Army information warriors and in Las Vegas the largest gathering of hackers in the world.

He has gone on a cyber-crime raid with the police, peered into the mechanics of secret algorithms, built a bot to keep the peace on Twitter, lived in a political-technology commune (twice) and bcome involved in a struggle for control of an online assassination market.

He traces how a new, digital form of power has chipped away at the old, familiar places where power used to sit; scaring CEOs, forcing politicians to resign, swallowing up newspapers, eclipsing experts, and pulling down companies.

For centuries, writers and thinkers have used power as a prism through which to view and understand the world at moments of seismic change.

As power escapes from its old bonds, he shows us where it has gone, the shape it now takes and how it touches each of our lives.

…and the rise of power in the digital age.

About our speaker:

Carl Miller – Research Director, CASM at Demos

Carl is the Research Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media (CASM) at Demos.

Carl Miller is an award-winning author and researcher who has thrown himself into some of the most scary, hidden, weird and important parts of the digital age to understand how all of our lives are changing. His work combines data and analysis with immersive, first-hand reporting.

He is particularly interested in how social media is changing society, and how researching it can inform important decisions. This includes:

  • Digital politics and digital democracy
  • Cybercrime, and the hacking community
  • Cyber-bullying, hate crime, misogyny and abuse online
  • Information warfare and online disinformation
  • ‘Fake news’, digital and citizen journalism
  • Automated decision-making, Internet governance and digital addiction
  • Building new methods and technology to study social media data

He is the co-founder and Research Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos the first UK think tank institute dedicated to studying the digital world and is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London.

His debut book, ‘The Death of the Gods: The New Global Power Grab’, an examination of the new centres of power and control in the twenty-first century was published in 2018 by Penguin RandomHouse, and won the 2019 Transmission Prize.

He has written for Wired, New Scientist, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph and the Guardian, appears frequently in the press, and speaks about his work around the world. He researches and writes widely on these issues, including for Wired, New Scientist, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph and the Guardian. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London.

Carl’s website is www.carlmiller.co and he Tweets at @carljackmiller.


Today’s event is kindly hosted by The Lord Lucas. It is a very special event since we will be raising a glass and celebrating the life of Charles T Ross (RIP 3rd November 2018) before we hear from our speaker.


Neurodiversity at Work (17th June 2019)

Location: Bush House East Wing, King’s College London, 44-46 Aldwych, WC2B 4LL, London

Neurodiversity At Work aims to bring together business and neurodiverse talent from every walk of life to create better businesses that employ, engage and support their neurodiverse staff, creating better led, more productive and happier workplaces for all.

Join us at this symposium to explore and promote how we are collaborating with industry, academia and the many groups and organisations working in this area to ensure that neurodiverse-talented people are actively and better engaged in business and society.

We aim to have every staff handbook to include a section on Neurodiversity such that everybody in every organisation can be better engaged with their neurodiverse colleagues, more neurodiverse people can be employed in fruitful, rewarding and well-suited roles for the neurodiverse talents held, such that companies can be better led with a fully-engaged and diverse workforce.

We are operating this on a sponsored, not-for-profit basis but we have to cover costs; there are tickets for all. Neurodiverse and unwaged – attend the symposium for free!
We have an extensive programme presented by business leaders, leading academics, and neurodiverse-talented people from business, the arts and media worlds.

For further information contact: hester.velthuis@kcl.ac.uk.

And… we’re looking for sponsors who want to be part of the-next-big-thing and do good!

Heartificial Empathy: The Secret Ingredient to Digital Transformation (28th May 2019)

*** Due to circumstances beyond our control the date for this event has changed to Tuesday, 28th May 2019 ***

Is adding ’empathy’ into Artificial Intelligence the secret ingredient to digital transformation, customer centricity, digital ethics and diversity?

In this talk, Minter Dial will recount how a bot got in the way of a romantic evening with his wife, what it means to be empathic as leaders, and why cognitive empathy can solve so many issues in business and start-ups, including how to unleash AI and AGI, giving heartificial empathy to heartificial intelligence.

The leading author in this field, Minter Dial, will speak on the future of empathy in AI and AGI, to hear of a better future through better AI, to be inspired, informed and involved.

Everyone who participates in this dinner will receive a gift from your Chair – a signed copy of Minter’s new book ‘Heartificial Empathy: Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence’

About our speaker: Minter Dial

Minter Dial is a storyteller, filmmaker, two-time author and an international professional speaker. In particular, Minter is author and producer of the award-winning WWII documentary film and book, The Last Ring Home (2016). The book won the Book Excellence Award 2018 in the category of Biography.

His second book, ‘Futureproof, how to get your business ready for the next’, co-authored with Caleb Storkey, wowed readers in 2017 and won the Business Book Award 2018 in the category of Embracing Change.

His latest book, ‘Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence’ came out in November 2018.

Founder of The Myndset Co. and then of the DigitalProof Consultancy, Minter speaks and consults on Branding, New Tech and Digital Transformation, working with major global brands, such as Samsung, Remy Cointreau, Kering and Tencent.

Prior to setting up his own ventures, Minter led a 16-year international career with the L’Oréal Group – including 9 different assignments in France, England, USA and Canada. Among these, Minter was MD Worldwide of REDKEN, then of the Professional Division for the Canadian subsidiary. In his final position at L’Oreal, he was a member of the Executive Committee worldwide, in charge of eBusiness, Business Development and Education.