John Fox | Professor
Oxford University

John Fox, Professor, Oxford University

John Fox is an interdisciplinary scientist with interests ranging from computer science and AI to cognitive systems and medical informatics. He originally trained in psychology at Durham and Cambridge Universities, followed by postdoctoral fellowships with AI founders Allen Newell and Herb Simon at Carnegie-Mellon University, and cognitive psychology pioneer Ulric Neisser at Cornell University. He returned to the UK to take up an MRC research fellowship in medical decision making and later joined the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) where he established the Advanced Computation Lab at CRUK’s labs in London. The ACL made theoretical contributions in decision science, cognitive science and AI and developed a wide range of applications in biomedicine. He has published widely (see and was founding editor of The Knowledge Engineering Review (Cambridge University Press). From 2007 to 2015 he was Professor of Engineering Science at Oxford University where he taught medical informatics and cognitive systems engineering to final year engineers. A key outcome of his research is the PROforma specification language for developing cognitive systems, which among many uses can support decision-making and process management at the point of care. The work was awarded the 20th anniversary gold medal of the European Federation of Medical Informatics and has since been published as an open standard (Sutton and Fox, J Am Med Informatics, 2003). PROforma has proved to be a highly versatile and sound foundation for several innovative technologies and many clinical applications. During his career he has led the foundation of several specialist companies, including InferMed Ltd (a CRUK start-up acquired by Elsevier in 2015), and most recently Deontics Ltd. a spinout from Oxford University, UCL and the Royal Free Hospital. His current passion is, a platform for creating and maintaining an open access, open source knowledge base for healthcare. The mission of OpenClinical is to share knowledge in a machine executable form which can be exploited by AI systems to deliver point of care services that improve quality and safety with reduced costs.


AI in Healthcare 2018 Day One @ 17:00

Artificial Intelligence at the point of care

  • GOFAI: Good Old Fashioned AI has had many successes but has struggled to get professional adoption in healthcare
  • NEWFAI: New Fangled AI (or machine intelligence) promises a revolution but will face its own challenges
  • Human centred cognitive systems combine the strengths of both – time to invest?

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