Professor Mary-Anne Williams FTSE

Director, Disruptive Innovation, University of Technology, Sydney

Professor Mary-Anne Williams is Director of Disruptive Innovation at UTS and listed on the Robohub’s top 25 women in robotics. She has a PhD in Computer Science and a Masters in Law. Mary-Anne is a Fellow at the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and a leading authority on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning with transdisciplinary strengths in AI, Social Robotics, Machine Learning, Robot Ethics, IP Law and Privacy Law.

She is Founder and Director of the Magic Lab at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS); a Fellow in the Stanford University Centre for Legal Informatics; Guest Professor at the University of Science and Technology China. Mary-Anne chaired the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research for Australia Committee that undertook a national evaluation of research in Mathematics, Information and Computing Sciences in 2012.

She is a non-executive director of KR Inc., was Conference Chair of the International Conference on Social Robotics in 2014, and serves on the Editorial Board for AAAI/MIT Press, the Information Systems Journal, Artificial Intelligence Journal, and the ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award Committee for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics.

Mary-Anne has a passion for innovation in science, technology and engineering. She established and continues to lead the UTS Robot Soccer team and the UTS Social Robotics Project that aims to explore how Australia’s only PR2 robot, whose crowdsourced name is Gutsy, can develop social intelligence in its dealings with humans. She works with her research team, which includes Steve Wozniak, Peter Gardenfors and Henri Prade in the Magic Lab to bring science fiction to reality; the research goal is to design autonomous technologies that can learn and adapt as they work with people.

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