BCS Karen Spärck Jones Lecture 2015 by Dr Cordelia Schmid on Automatic understanding of the visual world.

Dr Cordelia Schmid, from INRIA France will present the 5th Karen Spärck Jones lecture, which honours women in computing research. The lecture is hosted by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and sponsored by IBM, This year’s lecture is entitled: Automatic Understanding of the Visual World.


Dr Schmid explains: “Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software. One of the central problems of AI research is machine perception i.e. the ability to understand the visual world based on the input from sensors such as cameras. Computer vision is the area which analyses visual input. A few selected subproblems are facial recognition, object recognition and activity recognition.”

Dr Schmid who is the Research Director and Head of the LEAR (LEArning and Recognition in Vision) Project Team continues: “In this talk, I will present recent progress in visual understanding. It is for the most part due to design of robust visual representations and learned models capturing the variability of the visual world. Progress has resulted in technology for a variety of applications; I will present a few examples. This being said, the gap between human and machine performance is still enormous. I will discuss future research necessary to reduce this gap.”

Paul Martynenko, IBM says: “I’m delighted that, together with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT we’re honouring Karen Spärck Jones in this way. It’s important to showcase what women have achieved in computing if we are to encourage more women into the discipline. Like Karen Spärck Jones before her, Dr Schmid is a pioneer and an inspiration in the IT community and I’m thrilled that she is speaking at this year’s event.”

The Karen Spärck Jones lecture series builds on the activities to celebrate, inform and support women engaged in computing. These include the annual London Hopper, providing networking opportunities for early career researchers, and the Lovelace Colloquium, for women undergraduates in computing and related subjects.