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Language of the Future

22 September 202015:00

We'd love to know more about your experience of the event and any feedback you might have to help us plan future events.


Headline Speakers

  • 16:25Closing keynote speaker

    Professor Sir David Omand GCB

    Visiting Professor of War Studies, King’s College London
  • 15:05Opening Keynote Speaker

    Secretary Robert O. Work

    Vice Chair, National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence


22 September 202015:00

14:50 Log-in and countdown

15:00 Welcome: Rob Bassett Cross, CEO of Adarga

15:05 Opening keynote speaker: Robert O. Work, Vice Chair, National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, and former US Deputy Secretary of Defense

15:40 Panel discussion and Q&A:

* Dr Deborah Fish OBE, DSTL

* Dame Wendy Hall, University of Southampton

* Dr Colin Kelly, Adarga

* David Talby, CTO of John Snow Labs

* chaired by Professor John Cunningham, Columbia University

16:25 Closing keynote speaker: Professor Sir David Omand GCB

17:00 Summary and close

(All timings in BST)

Symposium partners

Adarga Symposium 2020 is going virtual

The 2nd Adarga AI Symposium focuses on the future of artificial intelligence and its impact on our prosperity, national resilience and global security, specifically on the importance of language-based technologies - once the exclusive preserve of humans.

All of us have a responsibility to understand the impact and importance of the drivers and themes that are fuelling this rapid pace of change. The algorithms, the code, the data and computing power, the data scientists, the developers, the opportunities, the threats and the imperative: this is the language of our future.

Our Speakers

  • Professor Sir David Omand GCB

    Visiting Professor of War Studies, King’s College London

    Our closing keynote speaker is currently Visiting Professor in War Studies, King’s College London. Previous posts included Security and Intelligence Coordinator in the Cabinet Office, Permanent Secretary of the Home Office, Director GCHQ, and Deputy Under-Secretary of State for Policy in MOD. He served for 7 years on the JIC. He is the Senior Independent Director of Babcock International. He is the author of *Securing the State* (Hurst), *Principled Spying: The Ethics of Secret Intelligence* (OUP) and *How Spies Think: 10 Lessons from Intelligence* (Penguin Viking).

  • Secretary Robert O. Work

    Vice Chair, National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence

    Our opening keynote speaker served as the 32nd United States Deputy Secretary of Defense for both the Obama and Trump administrations, and remains highly engaged in AI policy and defence at the Center for a New American Security, and as the president of TeamWork LLC. Prior to that, he was the United States Under Secretary of the Navy from 2009 to 2013, and served as a colonel in the United States Marine Corps.

  • Dame Wendy Hall

    Regius Professor of Computer Science and Executive Director of the Web Science Institute, University of Southampton

    Dame Wendy Hall, DBE, FRS, FREng is Regius Professor of Computer Science, Associate Vice President (International Engagement) and is an Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton. She became a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2009 UK New Year's Honours list, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering. Dame Wendy was co-Chair of the UK government’s AI Review, which was published in October 2017, and is the first Skills Champion for AI in the UK. In May 2020, she was appointed as Chair of the Ada Lovelace Institute. Dame Wendy joins us as a panel member.

  • Professor John Cunningham

    Professor of AI, Columbia University, and Chair of the Adarga Scientific Advisory Group.

    John's research is on machine learning and its application to science and industry, including in particular using the tools of artificial intelligence to understand biological intelligence and other complex processes. He holds degrees from Dartmouth College (computer science), masters and Ph.D. from Stanford University (electrical engineering), and a fellowship at the University of Cambridge (machine learning). John will be chairing our panel discussion.

  • Sir Chris Harper

    Chair of the Adarga Advisory Group

    From 2013-2016, Sir Chris was Director general of the NATO International Military Staff and prior to that he served as the UK Military Representative to NATO and the European Union, before which he was Deputy Commander, Nato Allied Command Brunssum. He will be hosting a fireside chat with our keynote, Robert O. Work.

  • David Talby

    CTO at John Snow Labs

    David is the creator of Spark NLP - the world's most widely used natural language processing library in the enterprise. He has extensive experience building and running web-scale software platforms and teams – in startups, for Microsoft’s Bing in the US and Europe, and to scale Amazon’s financial systems in Seattle and the UK. David holds a PhD in computer science and master’s degrees in both computer science and business administration. David will be a panellist at our panel discussion.

  • Dr Deborah Fish OBE

    Scientific Advisor

    Dr Deb Fish is a Fellow at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, specialising in innovative modelling and the application of artificial intelligence to help Defence make better evidence-based decisions. Recent projects (many commissioned through industry and academia) include a review of the application of AI to wargames, AI for ship air defence and other aspects of maritime survivability, and AI for anti-access area denial. She believes that AI has significant potential to augment human input to improve tactics, evaluate new concepts and capabilities, and provide an intelligent adversary against which to train or plan operations. We are pleased to welcome Dr Fish as a panellist at our panel discussion.

  • Rob Bassett Cross

    CEO and Founder of Adarga

    Rob is the CEO and Founder of Adarga, and host of our Symposium. He is a decorated former Army officer and widely respected as one of the leading military officers of his generation. Before leaving the military, Rob led future development for a number of ground-breaking defence technology projects. After leaving the Army, Rob worked at J.P. Morgan as an investment banker after which he co-founded Eisvogel Capital and is the founder and non-exec chair of Capstar Group. He is also member of techUK Data Analytics and AI Leadership Committee.

  • Dr Colin Kelly

    NLP Team Lead, Adarga

    Colin is the NLP team lead at Adarga and will be joining the panel discussion. Colin is passionate about using natural language processing and artificial intelligence to enable better decision-making and transform knowledge-based organisations. Prior to joining Adarga, Colin worked as an analytics consultant at IBM and PA Consulting, shaping and deploying analytics solutions for financial services, energy and public sector clients. He studied mathematics and computer science at the University of Oxford and holds a Masters and PhD in natural language processing from the University of Cambridge.


The aim of Adarga symposia is to educate and constructively challenge our audience, to cut through the AI hyperbole, and enable everyone who attends (the technical and the non-technical, alike) in enhancing their practical understanding of this important subject.

Our powerful AI platform uses AI, NLP and machine learning techniques to read, understand and analyse all of your data, giving you the knowledge you need to make crucial decisions.

Adarga's vision is to empower us all to realise the full potential of available knowledge. Our mission is to enhance your ability to use information to make better decisions today.


Do you have questions or comments for Adarga?

Adarga AI Symposium Logo

Adarga AI Symposium

Language of the Future

22 September 202015:00
Online event

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