Mark Bishop

Position: Director at TCIDA (Tungsten Centre for Intelligent Data Analytics); Professor of Cognitive Computation at Goldsmiths and Vice Chair of the AISB

Links: Website

Expertise Areas: Artificial Intelligence, the Philosophy of AI, Autonomy, Neural Networks, Machine Learning, Big Data and Intelligent Data Analytics



Professor J. Mark Bishop is Director of TCIDA (the Tungsten Centre for Intelligent Data Analytics) and Professor of Cognitive Computing. Under the aegis of Cognitive Computing Mark’s research spans Artificial Intelligence – its theory and applications – and the Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence. Mark has published over 170 articles and two books alongside running research projects with total funding in excess of four million pounds. His most recent joint venture with Tungsten Corporation saw him secure £1.35million of private capital to fund TCIDA.

Mark has significant practical experience in the application of Artificial Intelligence to real-world problems, most notably in the domain of spend-analytics (DTI), where the UK National Audit Office recently deployed software he co-developed to highlight potential savings in NHS annual purchasing of over £500million. In addition Mark has successfully deployed A.I. in areas as diverse as: time-series forecasting (UK National Grid); face recognition (BT); optimisation theory (EPSRC); neural networks (DERA; the Science Museum); interplanetary mission planning (ESA); mobile-robot localisation (EU) and colour-physics (Courtaulds).

In contrast, Mark’s research in the philosophy led to an influential critique of computational approaches to Artificial Intelligence through thorough examination of John Searle’s ‘Chinese Room Argument’ (Preston and Bishop, (2002), “Views into the Chinese Room”, (OUP). Experience from this project persuaded Mark to become one of the early pioneers of the so-called “4Es” – the Embodied, Enactive, Ecological and Embedded framework. Ironically this fundamentally stands in opposition to earlier approaches to the mind informed by the computational metaphor and instead centrally emphasises the role of the body, the environment and culture in cognition. This research has led to several major projects, most notably funded by the EU, NSA and the Templeton Organisation. Most recently, together with Andrew Martin, Mark co-edited a collection of essays on “Contemporary Sensorimotor Theory”, surveying the “sensorimotor-enactive” themes in current cognitive science.

In 2010 Mark was elected to Chair the AISB. The AISB – the UK Society for Artificial Intelligence & the Simulation of Behaviour – is the world’s oldest society for the study of Artificial Intelligence and Mark served a four-year term as Chair. During this period Mark was co-opted onto the Organising Committee of ICRAC (the International Committee for Robot Arms Control). ICRAC is an International NGO campaigning for control of so-called “killer robots” and in this role Mark was invited to Chair a special UNESCO / PUGWASH meeting (2013) on ‘Autonomy and autonomous weapons’ and invited to participate in two UN special sessions on “Lethal Autonomous Weapons” in Geneva (2014 and 2015).

Mark has enjoyed a relatively high media profile; indeed since 2013 his work has featured 39 times in the national and international media, most notably critiquing the doomsday predictions of Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates (concerning the potential threat posed by future A.I.). In this context an invited opinion piece for the New Scientist magazine rapidly became the most downloaded article of the issue; the article went on to be re-tweeted by the Ford Foundation and received special commendation from the Aspen Institute.


Bishop, J.M., and Martin, A., eds. 2013. Contemporary Sensorimotor Theory. Springer (forthcoming 2013).

Preston, J. and Bishop, J.M., eds. 2002. Views Into the Chinese Room. Oxford University Press.

Bishop, J.M. Why we need to stop military killer robots now, New Scientist, May 2013.