We’re at the end of the first quarter of 2023 and apart from the usual ‘wow, where has the time gone?’ it’s also an opportunity to look at how the Centre has changed over the past few months. With current funding from IARPA, Dstl, AHRC, SNF, VW Stiftung, EMIF and H2020, we have been building the team and offering many welcomes in one form or another. Starting in January, Nicole Orr, who has been connected with ARG-tech since even before she started her undergraduate degree, embarked on her PhD with us. Later that month, Cameron Bryce came to us as an intern with a brief on DevOps, joining Zvony Delas and Idris Mahamdi, who between them have inaugurated our new Internship Programme. Less than a week later, Eimear Maguire came from Paris Cité to join us as a postdoc to work on computational pragmatics and models of discourse. The week after that, Godfrey Inyama fresh with his MSc from Heriot Watt, started as a PhD student working in deep learning models of dialogue. At the start of February, Suzanne Duce trekked all the way from the other side of campus to join us in helping to manage the increasing organisational workload across all of the various threads of research. Then technically on the same day, Ramon Ruiz Dolz from UPV in Valencia joined as a postdoc, but practicalities meant that it was not until today that he joins us physically in Dundee.
So it’s been a busy start to the year. But it’s exciting. The buzz in the air in our labs is palpable as work starts on several new initiatives; the vibrancy of the group is addictive. One of the things I love the most is the rapid identification of new and interesting problems and the small teams forming ad hoc to dig into them from the many disciplinary backgrounds represented here.
With this signficant uptick in the size of the team, we’re going to be able to start to tackle more and bigger problems, and to really accelerate on some of the deep challenges in argument technology. The rest of 2023 is going to be an exciting ride!