Peter J. Bentley


Peter J. Bentley
Born (1972-05-16) 16 May 1972 (age 49)
AwardsEdge of Computation Prize Nominee (2005)
Scientific career
FieldsComputer Science
InstitutionsUniversity College London

Dr Peter John Bentley (born 16 May 1972) is a British author and computer scientist based at University College London.

Peter J. Bentley is an Honorary Professor and Teaching Fellow at UCL, a Visiting Professor at Autodesk and a Collaborating Professor at KAIST. He is also a popular science author and consultant. He was a contributing editor for WIRED UK and was the monthly host of the Royal Institution's café scientifique.

Born in Colchester, England, he achieved a BSc in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Essex (supervised by Edward Tsang) and a PhD in Evolutionary Design (supervised by Jonathan Wakefield) at the age of 24. His doctorate thesis was entitled Generic Evolutionary Design of Solid Objects using a Genetic Algorithm.

Since 1997 he has performed research into evolutionary computation, artificial life, swarm intelligence, artificial immune systems, artificial neural networks and other types of biologically inspired computing, which he terms Digital Biology. He is head of the Digital Biology Interest Group at the Department of Computer Science, University College London. He participates in science festivals and public events, such as the debate on Complexity and Evolution held at the Natural History Museum in July 2007 with Richard Dawkins, Steve Jones, Lewis Wolpert. His research has been described in several articles of New Scientist. His recent research focuses on morphological computation and novel architectures designed for natural computation based on evolution, developmental and self-assembling systems.

He received extensive publicity for his iPhone application iStethoscope, which was developed in collaboration with cardiologists in USA. The app has been used to gather heart sounds from people around the world in a research project to enable computers to diagnose heart disease automatically using machine learning.

He cofounded the online marketplace Kazoova Ltd which specialises in quirky and unusual activities and was Chief Technology Officer of AI company Braintree Ltd from 2016 to 2019.

His notable PhD students include Siavash Haroun Mahdavi, who founded Within Technologies formerly Complex Matters, acquired by Autodesk in 2014.

Popular books

  • 10 Short Lessons in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, ISBN 978-1-78929-216-9
  • Digitized: The science of computers and how it shapes our world, ISBN 978-0-19-969379-5
  • The Undercover Scientist: Investigating the Mishaps of Everyday Life, ISBN 978-1-84794-523-5
  • Why Sh*t Happens: The Science of a Really Bad Day, ISBN 978-1-59486-956-3 (US version of The Undercover Scientist)
  • The Invention of Numbers. From Zeroes to Heroes: The secrets of numbers and how they created our world, ISBN 978-1-84403-911-1 (Revised paperback edition of The Book of Numbers)
  • The Book of Numbers: The Secret of Numbers and How They Changed the World, ISBN 1-55407-361-8
  • Digital Biology. How nature is transforming our technology and our lives, ISBN 0-7432-0447-6

Academic books

  • Evolutionary Design by Computers, ISBN 1-55860-605-X
  • Creative Evolutionary Systems, ISBN 1-55860-673-4
  • On Growth, Form and Computers, ISBN 0-12-428765-4
  • The PhD Application Handbook, ISBN 0-335-21952-7

Academic proceedings

  • Artificial Immune Systems. Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference (ICARIS 2008), ISBN 978-3-540-85071-7
  • Advances in Artificial Life. Proceedings of the Eighth European Conference (ECAL 2005), ISBN 3-540-28848-1
  • Artificial Immune Systems. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference (ICARIS 2005), ISBN 3-540-28175-4
  • Artificial Immune Systems. Proceedings of the Third International Conference (ICARIS 2004), ISBN 3-540-23097-1
  • Evolvability, Genetics & Development in Natural and Constructed Systems: Abstracts of the EPSRC Evolvability Network Symposium, August 2003
  • Artificial Immune Systems. Proceedings of the Second International Conference (ICARIS 2003), ISBN 3-540-40766-9
  • Artificial Immune Systems. Proceedings of the First International Conference (ICARIS), ISBN 1-902671-32-5
  • Proceedings of the AISB99 Symposium on Creative Evolutionary Systems, ISBN 1-902956-03-6
  • AID 1998 1st Workshop Notes on Evolutionary Design, July 1998

See also


  • "lifeboat foundation Advisory Board biography". Retrieved 13 September 2008.
  • Jones, Steve (17 July 2007). "New Theories of Evolution". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  • "Public Debate on Complexity and Evolution". Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  • "Digital Biology Interest Group at UCL". Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  • "Insects make a buzz on the music scene. Article in New Scientist, 6 May 2002". Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  • "Robot spy can survive battlefield damage, Article in New Scientist, 20 August 2003". Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  • "New Scientist Feature Software Seeds, 6 March 2004". Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  • "Fast cars could be tuned by evolution. Article in New Scientist, 17 June 2004, 6 March 2004". Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  • Laurance, Jeremy (14 December 2009). "59p stethoscope on iphone proves a hit. Article in Independent Newspaper, 14 December 2009". The Independent. London. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
  • Dustin Palm; Stan Burns; Trichy Pasupathy; Eric Deip; Brittney Blair; Misty Flynn; Amanda Drewek; Matt Sjostrand; Brian Stephenson; Glenn Nordehn (2010). "Artificial Neural Network Analysis of Heart Sounds Captured From an Acoustic Stethoscope and Emailed Using iStethoscopePro". Journal of Medical Devices. 4 (2): 027531. doi:10.1115/1.3443737.
  • "The Kazoova Team". Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  • "About Peter J Bentley". Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  • "Peter's completed students". Retrieved 13 August 2018.

External links

  • Peter Bentley's home page at UCL
  • Peter Bentley's book page
  • Peter Bentley's book blog
  • iStethoscope Pro webpages
  • BBC Radio 4 documentary Natural Technology broadcast May 2001 featuring Peter Bentley
  • Interview with Peter Bentley
  • Penguin author biography of Peter Bentley