• Nathaniel Byrne

Newsletter February 28th 2020

The Turing Presents: AI UK

The Alan Turing Institute is hosting a dynamic, two-day event at The Brewery, London. The Turing presents: AI UK, will feature exciting demonstrations, lively panel discussions and emerging thinking from key players in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The event, 24-25 March 2020, will convene leading thinkers, policy makers, innovative businesses, tech specialists and third-sector bodies, to:

  • Showcase the UK’s state-of-the-art AI and ML

  • Connect UK academics with research users from across industry, commerce and government

  • Facilitate new AI collaborations

  • Lead the public conversation about AI and its role in tackling some of the biggest challenges in science, society and the economy

The full programme is live on the website and tickets are on sale now. Turing Fellows are eligible for a discount, please contact Nathaniel Byrne, for details. The Turing are offering all visitors to the Institute a 25% discount. Email the team for further details

Calls & Opportunities

Call for applications—Turing Data Study Group

Applications to take part in The Alan Turing Institute’s next Data Study Group event are now open.

Data Study Groups are intensive five-day collaborative hackathons in which researchers work on real-world challenges and data from industry, government and the third sector. The events offer a fantastic opportunity for early career researchers, PhDs and postdocs to rapidly develop their data science skills using real-world data. The event also offers participants the chance to forge new networks for future research projects and build Turing and industry links. The challenges for this event have been put forward by CRUK Cambridge Institute, Greenvest Solutions, Shield Digital and UCL.

Deadline for applications: 2 March 2020. Find out more and apply

CogX 2020: Call for talk proposals

The Turing once again partners with CogX to curate and host the research stage at the international festival of AI. This year the research stage will be hosted at the British Library Knowledge Centre from 8-10 June. The global AI community are invited to share their cutting-edge ideas coming from research and development in AI. The stage will feature a series of talks and panel discussions and we invite proposals for all types of talks, from TED-style through to technical. Find out more.

Submission deadline: 3 April 2020

12th International ACM Web Science Conference, University of Southampton

The ​12t​h International ACM Conference on Web Science in 2020 (WebSci’20) is a unique interdisciplinary conference facilitating creative and critical dialogue with the aim of understanding the Web and its impacts and reflecting on the most pressing questions facing the Web. This year the organiser particularly encourage contributions on the interrelationships between the Web, AI and other new digital technologies, exploring current theoretical, methodological, and epistemological challenges as well as the practices of individuals, collectives, institutions, and platforms.

Please see the website for more information.

The conference will be held at the University of Southampton and run between Tuesday 7 July 2020 - Friday 10 July 2020

Intercontinental Academy 4 (ICA 4)

The Intercontinental Academia (ICA) is looking for nominations for fellows to participate in the fourth ICA. The theme for the upcoming ICA 4 is ‘Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence’ and especially how neuroscience and artificial intelligence interact. This is a rich interdisciplinary landscape; there is lot of interesting humanistic, artistic and social scientific work that is beginning to employ AI, and there are fundamental ethical and philosophical issues.

The IGI-IAS would be happy to support one fellow to attend the ICA workshops and will cover the cost of travel for the fellows to Marseille and Belo Horizonte – accommodation and subsistence will be covered by the host Institutes of Advanced Study.

The deadline for applications to the IGI-IAS is 20th April 2020, after which we will make a nomination to the Directors of ICA4 by the deadline of 15 May with confirmation of financial support. Candidates are asked to provide:

  • a summary of their interest in the topic, their expectations and a project presentation outlining how they will contribute to the Intercontinental Academia (max. 2 pages)

  • a current CV

  • a supporting email from Head of School

This is a unique opportunity for early/mid-career researchers, normally within 15 years of achieving their PHD and who have an academic post equivalent to lecturer or above.

Please send the applications to Sue Gilligan on ( Sue would also be happy to answer questions from potential fellows and can also put colleagues in touch with our fellows from ICA 3 to find out more.

Link to full details of the project.

BBC Expert Network seeking Turing written contributions

The BBC is actively looking for written contributions from the Turing for their Expert Network.

Articles need to be related to a Turing project/piece of research and can be linked to the news agenda and/or have a human angle. Article pieces need to be between 600-800 words (you can browse website for examples) and need to be accessible to members of the public.

View a piece they commissioned by Turing Fellow Brad Love: Do supermarkets know more about us than we do? And another from ESRC Turing Fellow Ganna Pogrebna: The emotions that make a film a hit…or a miss

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Beth Wood, Turing’s Press and Communications Manager at

Events & Conferences


Thursday 5 March 2020

European AI Policy Conference

Bringing together some of the leading voices in AI from across the continent to discuss why European success in AI is important, how the EU compares to other world leaders today, and what steps European policymakers should take to be more competitive in AI.

Sunday 7 June 2020 - Wednesday 10 June 2020

PSI Conference: Speaker required

The PSI ( are looking to run a session around the topic of ethics and are looking for a third speaker from The Alan Turing Institute who would be interested in presenting at their upcoming conference in Barcelona. One idea is to have a presentation on ethics with respect to automated decision making in healthcare, but a different topic around ethics and data science/AI in the area of healthcare would be of interest.

New: Health Programme Seminar Series

You can now register for the upcoming Turing Health Programme Seminars taking place on Wednesday 18 March 2020: AI for diagnosis Register now

The presentations for the Health programme seminar will run from 12:45 to 13:45. Delegates can bring their own lunch and join from 12:30 onwards for ‘meet and eat introductions’ with other programme members.

The February and March 2020 seminars will take place at The Alan Turing Institute and participants can join either in person or remotely (via Zoom). We will ask partner universities to host future seminars to ensure they are accessible for Health programme members around the country.

If you would like to host a future Health programme seminar at your university or have suggestions for topics for future sessions, please complete this online form.

Upcoming Events at the Alan Turing Institute

Monday 02 Mar 2020

The Behavioural Insights Team talk

The presentation from the Behavioural Insights Team will set out some of the background to BIT, areas of research and applications to policy that it's currently working on, and will provide an overview of the real-world challenges BIT is focusing on in the short- and medium-term. The purpose is to open up discussion about the interest areas of those at Turing and to discuss areas/problems where Turing and BIT might fruitfully collaborate.

Registration required.

Tuesday 03 Mar 2020

Causal machine learning masterclass

This masterclass will introduce machine learning-based methods for the evaluation of (causal) treatment effects, highlighting that bias can be introduced if using standard machine learning methods that are tuned for prediction performance, as opposed to estimation of treatment effects. We will then introduce the framework of “Targeted Learning” and other causal machine learning approaches, as a principled solution with optimal statistical properties for the estimation of causal treatment effects. This is an invitation to apply to attend the workshop, please see the web page for details

Wednesday 04 March 2020,

Targeted learning

Part of the Turing AI for Science and Government initiative, this talk exposes the current practice of learning from data by applying traditional statistical methods that are too simplistic, arbitrarily chosen, and subject to manipulation, and presents a solution — a principled and reproducible approach, termed targeted learning, for generating actionable and truthful information from complex, real-world data. This approach unifies causal inference, machine learning and deep statistical theory to answer causal questions with statistical confidence.

Wednesday 11 Mar 2020

Machine learning interpretability, explainability and trustability

In this seminar, we will outline the challenges in achieving machine learning model interpretability, explainability and trustability. We will then present research progress in turning “black-box” models into “white-box” models. We also introduce key ideas on how to develop more interpretable algorithms for risk prediction, time-series prediction and treatment effects as well as how to test and communicate the goal of interpretability, explainability and trustability is achieved. We will conclude by defining the research agenda that lies ahead.

Monday 16 Mar 2020

Data science for development

A one day workshop at The Alan Turing Institute on 16 March 2020 designed to bring together data scientists and development experts from both the academic and public/NGO sector to explore how advanced quantitative techniques might be deployed to tackle urgent development challenges. We are welcoming submissions (short talks and posters) showcasing applications of data science for development or highlighting development challenges where data science might be deployed.

Tuesday 17 Mar 2020

Edge computing for earth observation

This one-day interactive workshop will look at the advances and challenges in on-board processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence for Earth observation. It aims to bring together a group of Earth scientists with interesting problem sets, data scientists with knowledge of machine learning algorithms and experts in computer architectures for power and bandwidth constrained environments.

Wednesday 18 Mar 2020

Data-Driven History

Text Mining the History of Property Law in the Debates of Britain's Parliament, 1806-1911

This talk by Jo Guldi will offer a case-study of a multi-level, AI-driven research on a major problem in history: the story of property law in the modern world.

Registration required.

Wednesday 18 Mar 2020 - Thursday 19 Mar 2020

UK-Italy robotics and AI research collaboration workshop

The workshop will be held on 18-19 March 2020, at Villa Wolkonsky, the residence of the British Ambassador in Rome. It will bring together leading researchers in AI and robotics from Italy and the UK. This first workshop will help identify collaboration topics and is a very important first step in helping the AI programme establish a firm basis for future joint activities.

Tuesday 24 Mar 2020

Turing Lecture: Provably beneficial AI with Professor Stuart Russell

Professor Russell will show that it is useful to imbue systems with explicit uncertainty concerning the true objectives of the humans they are designed to help. This uncertainty causes machine and human behaviour to be inextricably (and game-theoretically) linked, while opening up many new avenues for research.

This special lecture will close the first day of The Alan Turing Institute's first major showcase, AI:UK. To purchase tickets for the showcase, please visit the event website.

Future Events

Monday 20 Apr 2020 - Friday 24 Apr 2020

Data Study Group - April 2020

Wednesday 22 Apr 2020

Turing Lecture: Earth Day with Emily Shuckburgh

Many events are recorded, find the archive on YouTube.

Turing Save Haven Secure Compute Environment

Turing’s Safe Haven secure compute environment is currently available through the Alan Turing Institute. Check out the background information here  and a more in depth paper can be found via this arxiv link:

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