Dr Kate Devlin

Staff details

PositionSenior Lecturer
Department Computing
Email k.devlin (
Phone+44 (0)20 7919 7256
Dr Kate Devlin

Kate Devlin is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Coming from an Arts and Humanities background (as an archaeologist) and now working in STEM, Kate has a demonstrable track record of combining diverse fields and methods of research under the umbrella of Cognition, Computation and Culture. She works in the fields of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), investigating how people interact with and react to technology, to understand how emerging and future technologies will affect us and the society in which we live. She is currently focusing on cognition, sex, gender and sexuality and how these might be incorporated into cognitive systems such as sexual companion robots.

Kate is a campaigner for gender equality and is involved in national initiatives to improve opportunities for women in tech. She is also a mental health campaigner and fundraiser. 

Academic qualifications

  • 2004, PhD Computer Science, University of Bristol
  • 1999, MSc Computer Science, Queen's University Belfast
  • 1997, BA(Hons) Archaeology, Queen's University Belfast


Kate is Senior Tutor in the Department of Computing. She has taught a wide variety of topics in both archaeology and computer science. She is currently teaching:


Kate's teaching fellowships include:

  • 2014-15, TaLIC Goldsmiths Teaching and Learning Fellowship. Developing good practice to support students with chronic mental health conditions
  • 2007-8, CELT Fellowship, Goldsmiths. Teaching Web 2.0 by doing Web 2.0

Area of supervision

Kate is interested in supervising research projects on computer graphics and archaeology, feminism and technology, and the social implications of HCI.

Professional projects

Artificial Sexuality: Sexual activity is central to our very existence; it shapes how we think, how we act and how we live. With advances in technology come machines that may one day think independently. What will happen to us when we form close relationships with these intelligent systems? Robotic intimacy is becoming part of our social fabric and we need to investigate these new opportunities and examine the long-term implications of sharing the world with non-human beings. This is a multi-disciplinary project involving philosophers, lawyers, bioethicists and cognitive scientists from a number of UK institutions. 

Archaeology and Perception: The use of 3D computer graphics to represent archaeological sites is limited because their level of realism cannot be guaranteed. Light can’t be captured in the archaeological record and consequently its importance is rarely considered in interpretations of past environments. The ways in which we view, perceive and understand objects is governed by our current lighting methods of steady, bright electric light or large windows, but in order to understand how an environment and its contents were viewed in the past we must consider how they were illuminated. 

Experimental archaeology and realistic lighting simulation allow us to recreate the original lighting of an archaeological site and show it how it might have looked to those who built and used it. Predictive lighting also opens up new avenues of exploring how past environments may have been perceived, allowing us to investigate on a computer new hypotheses about architecture, art, and artefacts in a safe, non-invasive manner.

Recent work

  • Kate Devlin (forthcoming, 2016). The Brightness of Things: An Adventure in Light and Time. Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd.
  • Kate Devlin (2015) “In defence of sex machines: why trying to ban sex robots is wrong”. In The Conversation (UK), September 17, 2015. 
  • Kate Devlin (2015). Panellist, Virtual Futures Salon on F**king Machines, Soho, 3rd Nov 2015. See the full event here.
  • Karsten Seipp and Kate Devlin (2015). “One-Touch Pose Detection on Touchscreen Smartphones”.  Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Interactive Tabletops & Surfaces, pp. 51-54. ACM.
  • Karsten Seipp and Kate Devlin (2015). “A Client-side Approach to Improving One-handed Web Surfing on a Smartphone.” Web Information Systems and Technologies. Volume 226 of the series Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, pp.163-178

Other interests

Research Interests


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