World’s leading thinkers gather for momentous workshop

Published:04 September 2019

Some of the world's leading thinkers gathered in Townsville for the momentous workshop.

A small but influential group including some of the world’s leading thinkers in artificial intelligence and machine learning converged at CQUniversity Townsville campus this week to participate in a workshop about emergent coding.

Professor Tommi Mikkonen and Associate Professor Ihantola from the University of Helsinki met for a second time with Code Valley Corp, developers of the new Emergent Coding paradigm.

The Finnish researchers were joined by Associate Professor Nick Falkner of University of Adelaide, and CQUniversity's Associate Professor Dennis Jarvis, Dr Yufeng Lin and Dr Farzad Sanati, with a view to building collaboration in global research and commercialisation.

The momentous meeting addressed what could be one of the biggest advances in software engineering in recent decades.

Some 50 years ago in 1968, software pioneer and developer of UNIX Douglas Mcillroy said that software development must become automated and industrialised to achieve the step change needed to meet future computer generations; he pinned a star on the wall. The similarly pioneering work for industrialised software development now being done by the Code Valley team under Noel Lovisa looks poised to finally reach that star.

Professor Mikkonen said he had been impressed by Emergent Coding as it is refreshingly different from those software development approaches that have become mainstream and he has been watching the development with great interest, including a previous visit to Townsville to see proof of concept and participate in early tutorials on the process.

“The theme behind this gathering was to establish research collaboration across the globe to progress Emergent Coding as well as seeking more business-related cooperation with major companies and Code Valley Corp.”

The group also reviewed and critiqued work towards a “minimum viable product” which is a significant step towards commercialisation.

The University of Helsinki has been actively involved in supporting Code Valley’s work since the concept was first globally showcased in a keynote presentation at the 2018 International Conference on Software Engineering by Code Valley founder Noel Lovisa.  

Professor Mikkonen said, “The progress Noel and his team have made is impressive; with proof of concept running, individual viable applications built using the process, a suite of agents collaborating online, and other groups including the Australian universities of Central Queensland and Adelaide along with our faculty in Helsinki looking to apply emergent coding to robotics, artificial intelligence and many other applications.”

CQUniversity’s Dr Lin is an expert in analysis and synthesis of networked systems in computer science and said he was thrilled to work with the high-calibre participants at the momentous workshop. 

“A discussion around Course work for Emergent Coding Technology (ECT) was high on the agenda where we discussed a development plan to build a teaching platform in this space,” Dr Lin said. 

“We also discussed research project opportunities and what academic collaborations can be achieved for this novel technology.”