Professor Andrew Blake was formerly Research Director at The Alan Turing Institute before stepping down from his role in March 2018 to focus on his research interests in the AI community, in particular autonomous vehicles.
Prior to joining the Institute in 2015, Professor Blake held the position of Microsoft Distinguished Scientist and Laboratory Director of Microsoft Research Cambridge, England. He joined Microsoft in 1999 as a Senior Researcher to found the Computer Vision group. In 2008 he became a Deputy Managing Director at the lab, before assuming the directorship in 2010. Before joining Microsoft Andrew trained in mathematics and electrical engineering in Cambridge England, and studied for a doctorate in artificial intelligence in Edinburgh.
He was an academic for 18 years, latterly on the faculty at Oxford University, where he was a pioneer in the development of the theory and algorithms that can make it possible for computers to behave as seeing machines.
Achievements and awards
In 2006 the Royal Academy of Engineering awarded him its Silver Medal and in 2007 the Institution of Engineering and Technology presented him with the Mountbatten Medal (previously awarded to computer pioneers Maurice Wilkes and Tim Berners-Lee, amongst others.) He was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1998, Fellow of the IEEE in 2008, and Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005. In 2010, Andrew was elected to the council of the Royal Society. In 2011, he and colleagues at Microsoft Research received the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award for their machine learning contribution to Microsoft Kinect human motion-capture. In 2012 Andrew was elected to the board of the EPSRC and also received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Edinburgh. In 2013 Andrew was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering from the University of Sheffield. In 2014, Andrew gave the prestigious Gibbs lecture at the Joint Mathematics Meetings (transcript available here).
Professor Andrew Blake has been named as the recipient of the 2016 BCS Lovelace Medal, the top award in computing in the UK, awarded by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. The award is presented annually to individuals who, in the opinion of BCS, have made a significant contribution to the advancement of Information Systems.