How tech is transforming the world
Nature is offering inspiration for construction projects, and artificial intelligence is driving forward research in the arts, healthcare and space. Professor Adrian Hopgood shares insights from the University of Portsmouth’s Future and Emerging Technologies theme in the latest Life Solved podcast.
Using technology across the disciplines
Professor Hopgood is the theme Director and cares passionately about connecting researchers working in different fields. He says the applications for technology stretch beyond academic boundaries and thinks that by combining these findings, new ground can be broken:
There's a strong emphasis on tackling big societal challenges. And you can only tackle those challenges by working with mixed teams of people bringing different talents and expertise.
And those societal challenges can range from healthcare provision and treatment to economic concerns and earth-monitoring.
One particular cluster within the theme looks at how AI technology and data analysis can be applied for a practical impact. This group includes around 50 academics with different specialisms.
I think the real benefit of having this kind of loose network is that the artificial intelligence is being applied exactly where it's needed as it were.
Using data in healthcare
One student is looking at how triaging can be improved for patients seeking healthcare advice in Bangladesh. And a partnership with the Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust is using data to predict patient outcomes after surgery. Adrian thinks enormous potential lies in our healthcare records, provided their accuracy could be improved. He thinks a robust AI-driven analysis could offer insights into links between diseases, symptoms and treatments.
Adrian says that this kind of research could have benefits to societies across the world.
Tech in the natural world
It’s not just digital tech that’s offering breakthroughs at the University of Portsmouth. Other researchers in the theme have taken inspiration from limpet teeth to develop a hard material for construction. Composites emerging have all sorts of uses, from boat building to prosthetics and spacecraft construction.
AI without limits
In the podcast, Adrian explains how ‘extended reality’ merges virtual reality with augmented reality to help researchers project the outcomes of real-world situations. This includes work on satellites for communication and earth observation. The department is also collaborating with businesses and industries in the local area.
We're working with a small specialist manufacturer who is looking at ways of streamlining their operations so that they can automate some of the planning of these niche components to make it much more efficient.
By harnessing the power of AI technology and data analysis, a cross-disciplinary approach to research could offer the most unique approach to changing lives for the better worldwide.
Often we're developing the underlying technologies, but the applications are so diverse and really make an impact improving people's lives.