Posted on April 11, 2018

Peter Cochrane, a British computing expert and thought leader in future technologies, is to deliver a public lecture in Qatar to discuss insights from what he has learned over 45 years of revolution and disruption in computing and communications.

Professor Cochrane is visiting Qatar as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU). He has served on the QCRI committee since 2013. Professor Cochrane’s talk, A Life Engineering, will be held at the HBKU Research Complex at 4:00 pm on Sunday, April 15. He will focus on a variety of subjects including defining and quantifying artificial intelligence, and software speciation by artificial life.

“Quantum computing as a useable reality is still some years away. On the other hand AI is proving so very powerful despite being on just the first rung of a very long ladder,” Professor Cochrane said. He is regarded as a leading global consultant, advising multiple government departments from the UK, US and Singapore; as well as companies including HP, Motorola, 3M, Dupont, Ford, Sun, Apple, Cisco, Rolls Royce, BMW and Facebook.

In 1999 he was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contributions to international communications with BT (formerly British Telecommunications). He had progressed from a linesman to Head of Research and Chief Technical Officer at BT, managing a 1000-strong team engaged in studies spanning optical fiber, fixed and mobile networks, AI, Artificial Life, future products, human behavior and interfaces. After embarking on a consulting career, he also set up multiple startups including eBookers and Shazam Entertainment.

Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid, QCRI’s Executive Director, described Professor Cochrane as “a thought leader of the rarest ability”. “Peter has achieved notoriety as a technical consultant of the highest order. He has helped build some of the most influential companies in technology and consults for some of the world’s most powerful tech companies,” Dr. Elmagarmid said. “QCRI has benefited greatly from his expertise in the drivers of future technologies and he has helped align us to deal with future disruptions.”