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University of Bath

Artificial intelligence

We research the relationship between natural and artificial intelligence.

Robot with student in the background
As robots and other intelligent systems increase in intelligence and autonomy, fundamental questions are raised, and must be answered.

Our group explores the two-way relationship between natural and artificial intelligence, with an emphasis on modelling, constructing, evaluating and understanding complete systems.

Artificial intelligence has the potential to benefit humanity in many ways and to help people to unprecedented achievements. It also has the potential to be dangerous, biased and ultimately catastrophic to humanity. We therefore have a strong focus on understanding, creating and championing ethical and sustainable innovation in and uses of artificial intelligence.


There are usually opportunities for postgraduate research in our group. If you need funding, the best time to apply is by mid-December of the year before you want to start. Funded studentships normally start in October. However, sometimes funding comes available on short notice.

To apply, first contact members of staff who share your interests, or look at their proposed PhD projects posted on


Current research activities for this group can be placed under four broad headings.

Agency and Societies

  • The Energy Project: sensors to build models of occupant behaviour to improve sustainability
  • Understanding bond formation between members of groups, how an individual's identity and investment can be spread between groups, and how in-group / out-group dynamics affect investment in social goods
  • Culture, communication, gossip & deception
  • Personalities and social roles, and their influence on social cognition and group behaviour
  • The evolution of social structures, and of cognition more generally
  • Political polarisation and the causal explanation of its correlation with income inequality

Autonomous Robots and Game AI

  • Real-time grasping and dexterous manipulation
  • Synthetic emotions, and their impact on Human Robot Interaction
  • Coordination and mapping with AUVs: path planning driven by map and 3D image construction
  • Robot and AI ethics: the ethical design of intelligent systems and their role in society
  • Intelligent and adaptive non-player characters (NPCs) for games
  • Intelligent assistance for level design, and procedural generation of game content more generally

Machine Learning

  • Learning on data manifolds: semi-supervised learning, spectral clustering, non-linear data embedding, link prediction
  • Bayesian inference: Large-scale approximate Bayesian inference, latent variable models
  • Learning for computer graphics: Bayesian inference for shape modelling, tracking, sampling, and transfer, machine learning for computational photography, videography, and 3D data analysis
  • Sparse Bayesian models (the “relevance vector machine”) and related novel learning techniques
  • Probabilistic approaches to tree-based pattern recognition
  • Adaptive analysis of multivariate time series
  • Methods for intelligent statistical automation
  • New perspectives on deep neural networks
  • Model-driven data mapping and visualisation techniques
  • Reinforcement learning

Reasoning and Representing

  • Music composition and performance
  • Legal reasoning
  • Task learning & systems neuroscience
  • Answer Set Programming (ASP)
  • Norms and institutions as mechanisms for analysis and control
  • Sensor networks

Seminar series and mailing lists

We have an active seminar series with local, national and occasionally international speakers. There are also many relevant seminars and collaborations around campus.

To be kept up to date (whether you are from the University of Bath or not), add yourself to any of the following mailing lists on AI, natural intelligence, robots, mathematical biology, networks and collective behaviour, or evolutionary social sciences talks at or around the University of Bath:


Academic staff

Postgraduate students

Former members