Ruth Aylett(she/her) is an internationally known researcher in artificial intelligence and robotics, as well as a poet and writer. She was born in London but has kept moving north: from Sheffield, then Manchester, to Edinburgh, where she now shares a tenement flat with two cats and a very large number of books.
Author of two popular science books on Robots, Ruth has occasionally appeared with one at poetry readings and her poems frequently meld science and technology with other themes; a lifelong trade unionist, socialist and feminist, her work also draws on the difference between how things are and how they could be. Ruth’s poem ‘The Vultures of Prometheus’ won the 2017 Poets Meet Politics competition, she was a prizewinner in the 2015 Cheltenham Poetry festival Duo competition, and has been commended or highly commended in a number of other poetry competitions.
Her poetry is widely published in magazines, both print and online, and in anthologies. Ruth has three published pamphlets: Handfast (co-authored with Berth McDonogh, pub Mother’s Milk 2016); Pretty in Pink (4Word) 2021, and Queen of Infinite Space (Maytree 2021).She was commissioned by the STanZA international poetry festival for a piece in 2018 and invited to perform at the Haus für Poesie in Berlin in 2020. More recently Ruth has authored a number of film poems, and these have been shown at the STanZA international festival and published online by Ink, Sweat and Tears.
Ruth has a number of short story publications, including two in New Writing Scotland, and was selected for the 2014 Edinburgh Festival StoryShop series. She is a trustee of Scottish PEN and convenor of their Women Writers’ Committee.
As an academic she has friends and colleagues all over the world, has travelled widely, and longer research visits have included China and the US. Ruth has appeared on the BBC – for example in the 2019 Intelligent Machines week – and in many interviews and podcasts both live and online. She is an occasional Wikipedia editor and writes on Medium.
Ruth plays early recorder music with others, if inexpertly, and is active in a drama group attached to Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre. She has far too much blackcurrant jam and plum chutney from her allotment bushes, and is a diehard fan of Shostakovich and Bruckner.