Ann Moffatt

Ann Moffatt found “sums” easy as a child at school in post war London and would have gone to Oxbridge had it not been a time when the boys in the family had first call on education.  Nevertheless, by reading every book she could find, she got a job in IT and went on to defy the male stereotype of the industry: combining a friendly manner with incisive expertise that commanded respect at the highest levels.

Ann was Dame Stephanie Shirley’s first lieutenant at Freelance Programmers before being headhunted to Australia, to sort out a mega-project gone wrong.  She is a Fellow of both the Australian Computer Society and the British Computer Society. In 2002, Ann was inducted into the Australian ICT Hall of Fame and in 2011, into the Pearcey Hall of Fame, for lifetime achievement in the ICT industries. The University of Southern Queensland awarded her an Honorary Doctorate, in May 2006 and Microsoft list her as one of 12 Australian Innovators.

John Higgins CBE

John Higgins CBE is well known as the leader of influential industry trade associations and advisory bodies in the UK and Europe, which give him a unique perspective of IT in the last 45 years. Currently John is President of the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

He first worked on computer applications at London Brick, writing payroll and other applications for a Univac mainframe and progressed to Silicon Valley DotCom CEO in the 90’s, before moving into industry advisory roles. In this interview he shares insights into wide ranging issues, including why Europe struggles to compete with the USA building Tech companies and the challenges of public sector IT projects.

Professor Yorick Wilks

Professor Yorick Wilks is a British computer scientist who has contributed to a wide range of academic fields, including philosophy, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, natural language processing, and machine translation. He is Emeritus Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sheffield, and Visiting Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Gresham College in London, a position created for him. He is a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute, Senior Scientist at the Florida Institute of Human and Machine Cognition, and a member of the Epiphany Philosophers. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, and of the Association for Computing Machinery. He is a Fellow of the European Association for Artificial Intelligence, and of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. In 1997 he led the team that won the Loebner Prize for machine dialogue; in 2008 he got the Zampolli Prize of the European Languages Research Association; and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Association for Computational Linguistics. In 2009 he got the Lovelace Medal of the British Computer Society for contributions to meaning-based understanding of natural language.

David Morriss

David Morriss spent over 31 years in IBM starting at the bottom and becoming a board member of IBM UK. He saw it change from the dominant computer company with a unique culture and set of policies to one focused on IT services. He planned the change to a services company for its European, Middle East and African sector and then executed the plan in the UK. This turned IBM UK round from a loss-making operation to a profit generator. He applied the mantra that computers were there to solve problems in the private and public sectors, not there for the sake of the technology.