STAI CDT PhD Students Maria Stoica and Gabriel Freedman shine at Imperial College’s record-breaking Lates Event

4th April 2024 | News, Student News

News > STAI CDT PhD Students Maria Stoica and Gabriel Freedman shine at Imperial College’s record-breaking Lates Event

STAI CDT PhD students Maria Stoica and Gabriel Freedman contributed to the successful Imperial Lates event, which was focused on AI innovations and engaging with the broader community beyond academia.

Imperial Lates are fun and social post-work events where visitors can interact with the latest scientific developments at Imperial College London, centred around a new theme for each evening. The recent AI themed event brought record-numbers of visitors to Imperial Lates this season.

Maria is the outreach officer for the Imperial Women and Non-Binary Individuals in Computing (WNBiC), and they ran a face-painting activity inspired by protesters who use face paint as a way to stand against misuse of facial recognition software This unique exhibit combined creativity with technology, educating participants about facial recognition algorithms and ethical considerations. Attendees experimented with various face paint designs to challenge facial recognition setups, sparking discussions on privacy and the ethical use of AI technologies. 

Maria said, “It was a great way to combine AI and art to educate participants about facial recognition algorithms, and it inspired many interesting discussions about the ethical considerations of using such technologies. People got extremely creative with their face-painting designs, and it was fascinating to see which face-painting styles were best at fooling our facial recognition set-up or even their phone’s facial ID features. It was great seeing so many people sporting their designs around the Lates, and we were so happy to have so many people engage with the ethics of AI!”.

Gabriel took part in the demo “Arguing with AI” run by ‘CLArg’ (Computational Logic and Argumentation Group) and hosted an enlightening Q&A session titled ‘Does CHATGPT know what it is talking about?’ on Large Language Models (LLMs), addressing public curiosity about the workings and implications of these advanced AI systems. 

Gabriel really enjoyed the opportunity to hear perspectives from members of the audience and said, “It was really encouraging to see such a wide range of age groups engage with both the activity (Arguing with AI) and the Q and A session. It felt like a lot of people were very excited about how they could incorporate AI into their lives in fun and beneficial ways. I thought that a member of the audience made an excellent suggestion about one way to do this – he said that he’s found it really enjoyable to treat ChatGPT as a friend he can talk to about any topic he finds interesting (and his human friends don’t). This is a great suggestion and has the added bonus that your friends will be relieved that you no longer try to talk to them about dinosaurs.”