Portrait of Dr Giovanni Luca Masala

Dr Giovanni Luca Masala

Senior Lecturer in Computer Science


I have a PhD in Applied Physics (AI in medical applications) in 2006 and a "Laurea" (MSc+BSc degree) in Electronic Engineering (path in AI) in 2002, both at University of Cagliari, Italy. Before joining the University of Kent, I was Senior Lecturer and Leader of the Robotics Lab at Manchester Metropolitan University. In the past I was Lecturer at the University of Plymouth, leading the Big Data group.

I have extensively published my research across ranked journals. In 2019 I obtained a grant funded by EU Project Interreg 2 Seas 2014-2020 “AGE Independently (AGE’IN)“ with the role of PI for University of Plymouth. In 2018 as Academic Lead (PI) I obtained two Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects, funded by Innovate UK) for Machine learning applications. I have also developed project management experience as co-investigator in the 2014-2015 with the project “Cloud computing platform for SMEs”, funded by Sardinia Regional Council, and the 2008-2009 project “Disclosure of information, culture and e-business on Internet: access for persons with disabilities".

Moreover, I am Guest Editor in related topics e. g. in "Frontiers in" series for the special editions Language and Vision in Robotics: Emerging Neural and On-Device Approaches (2020) , “Language Representation and Learning in Cognitive and Artificial Intelligence Systems” (2019) and the special issue “Natural Language Processing: Emerging Neural Approaches and Applications” section “Computing and Artificial Intelligence”: Applied Sciences SI, 2019-2020.

Research interests

In the field of language development, I was part of a small group of international researchers, who developed a very large-scale neural network of cognitive and language processing, called ANNABELL. The publication in PLoS One in 2015 (1) received a high impact both scientifically and in the media, including the UK “The Times”, Daily Mail, Quartz, Wired and other international news websites, popular science and blogs. Altmetrics ranks the attention received by the paper amongst the top 5% of articles of all time.
Currently, I am leading a group of international researchers between the UK and Italy to exploit the architecture on robotics applications (2) and multiple language understanding (3). 

1. Golosio B, Cangelosi A, Gamotina O, MASALA G.L, (2015). A Cognitive Neural Architecture Able to Learn and Communicate through Natural Language. PLoS ONE 10(11): e0140866.
2. Giorgi, I, Cangelosi A., and MASALA G. L (2021) “Learning Actions from Natural Language Instructions using an ON-World Embodied Cognitive Architecture”, in FRONTIERS IN NEUROROBOTICS, doi: 10.3389/fnbot.2021.626380
3. Giorgi, I. Golosio, B., Esposito, M., Cangelosi A. and MASALA G. L.,(2020) "Modelling Multiple Language Learning in a Developmental Cognitive Architecture," in IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COGNITIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL SYSTEMS, doi: 10.1109/TCDS.2020.3033963. 


  • COMP323O Databases and the Web (2021/2022/2023)
  • COMP6560 Computational Intelligence in Business, Economics & Finance (2021/2022/2023)
  • COMP6685 Deep Learning (Convenor 2022/2023) 


I am looking for students interested in cognitive models for natural language. I am interested in applications with robots as well as HRI and cooperative AI/robotics. 


Senior Member IEEE (number 96985445), IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. 

Fellow of The Higher Education Academy UK Recognition reference: PR137587.

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