Co-founder & Head of AiLab: Dr. John Flackett


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Dr. John Flackett's passion and has been an integral part of his career via teaching, research, business and education. A leader in his field, John has 25 years' experience in AI and achieved his PhD in Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP)) in 2005.

John is interested in numerous aspects of AI and cognitive science, in particular, representational adequacies, Natural Language Processing, feature extraction, signal fusion & hybrid systems for applied AI. A noted international Artificial Intelligence speaker, John runs workshops and speaks at events around the world presenting key insights on AI and emerging technology’s future impact on society and the workforce. As an AI advisor with contributions in government, education, industry and community, John is regularly called upon to share his perspectives and frequently contributes to media interviews, radio discussions and roundtables.

John's worked in a wide range of industries and sectors developing commercial grade software for use in major corporations around the world (including solutions used in retail, oil and gas, education and IT) and was previously a Senior Academic (for 10 years), teaching masters and undergraduate Artificial Intelligence and undergraduate Computer Studies and Software Engineering at a UK University. John's received various awards, including from the British Computer Society (BCS). His academic and business career was featured in the UK's Million Plus 'Think Modern' campaign that launched at the Palace of Westminster in 2019.

Since migrating from the UK to Australia in 2006, John has co-founded two businesses; the smart web specialist company koolth that empowers businesses with next generation online tools and delivers cutting-edge technology solutions and consultancy to a host of industries across the globe and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AiLab) – John’s second business venture with co-founder Emma Berry.

In 2020, AiLab expanded into New Zealand with launch of a second AiLab in partnership with Auckland University of Technology (AUT); John is currently the AI Specialist in Residence and AI Ambassador for AUT as part of this exciting new partnership, whilst setting up and launching the new AiLab (due to COVID-19 restrictions this is commencing virtually until December 2020 and physically in residence within the new AUT AiLab commencing January 2021).

John is also the co-founder and organiser of the popular Adelaide Artificial Intelligence Meetup event series, which is the largest AI networking community in South Australia. In his spare time, John enjoys assisting with technology/hackathon events and social good initiatives, as well mentoring individuals and businesses in the tech community. Passionate about his craft, John is dedicated to collaborating, educating and building AI awareness across the globe.

Education & Academia

John has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP)), a PgC in Research and BSc. (Hons) Computer Studies (1st class). John’s research concentrated on connectionist systems that could encode and represent symbolic structures in distributed, compositional representations. His PhD produced a hybrid symbolic/connectionist natural language parsing system that showed it was possible to start scaling such systems.

As well as his role as a senior academic teaching masters and undergraduate Artificial Intelligence and undergraduate Computer Studies and Software Engineering at the University, John was a Cisco Java Instructor. He also supervised and coordinated the final year undergraduate and postgraduate student projects and the annual end-of-year Technology Degree Show.

Dr. John Flackett: Artificial Intelligence Speaker

Please see the scrolling list below for a summary of some of John's keynotes, lectures and talks around the world.

Dr. John Flackett: Media Interviews

Please see John’s interviews page.

Dr. John Flackett: Publications/Contributions

Please see John’s publications page.

If you would like to interview John for your publication or would like John to facilitate a workshop or speak at your next event, convention or conference, please drop us a line.