• Nathaniel Byrne

Newsletter March 12th 2020

The Turing Presents: AI UK

This month, The Alan Turing Institute will host The Turing presents: AI UK, a new two day showcase featuring exciting demos, interactive talks and lively panels on the AI research that is leading the way to the UK’s AI revolution. Sessions on the Innovate stage will host real-time research from across the country such as Turing Fellow and University of Birmingham academic Dr Biao Cai, who will be presenting a talk on how his research on developing and utilising in situ synchrotron is helping to display the beauty of crystals in 4D among other things. Check out their brilliant programme here and join the conversation online #AIUK.

Calls & Opportunities

BHF announce Cardiovascular Catalyst Awards

The BHF have announced an upcoming call for applications to fund research into the use of advanced analytics to improve cardiovascular care delivery and outcomes in the NHS.

This call for research grant applications is in partnership with The Alan Turing Institute and Health Data Research UK and aims to fund research proposals that seek to improve the delivery of care and/or outcomes of patients with heart and circulatory disease through development and application of advanced analytics approaches, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, within the NHS.

A £1 million fund is available, and proposals for research projects lasting up to two years and costing up to £200,000 are invited.

Save the date:There is a potential event on 29 April 2020 to connect data scientists and AI researchers who would wish to collaborate with NHS clinicians and cardiovascular researchers on proposals. Look out for more information in due course.

In2scienceUK call to PhD students and researchers

The University of Birmingham is working with in2scienceUK to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds gain inspiring 1-2-week placements during the summer. The in2scienceUK programme supports Year 12 students to progress to degrees and careers in STEM through work experience, skills and employability workshops.

They are looking for researchers and PhD students to offer 1-2 week summer placements for local students from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds and have received lots of interest in the programme from aspiring mathematicians and physicists. Hosting is easy - in2scienceUK manage the selection and interview process - and can work well as a departmental effort. Involvement in the programme counts as evidence of public engagement in REF and Athena Swan applications. In2scienceUK can also provide endorsement for grant applications.

Sign up here or contact for further information.

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

Fellows to participate in 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

Secondment opportunity at The Alan Turing Institute

The Turing is part of the national Data Skills Taskforce. This is a diverse group of academic, industry, government and third sector representatives that work to understand the data skills gap in the UK and suggest approaches to close that gap.

We are currently looking to recruit a Curriculum Development Lead. This 4 month, part time post will focus on developing a training curriculum for an executive education portal. Suitable candidates would be researchers in data science with an interest in life long learning / executive education who would find this secondment / employment opportunity helpful for career development. The role is hosted by the Turing, though can be carried out remotely to a large extent. Please follow the link for application details.

University of Birmingham Events

Midlands Digital Health Debate

Professor John Terry, Director of the Centre for Systems Modelling & Quantitative Biomedicine, invites you to join us for the Midlands Digital Health Debate, which is taking place on Thursday 2nd April, 1900 – 2130 in The Studio Birmingham, 'Innovate' room, 7 Cannon Street, Birmingham, B2 5EP

The debate will provide an opportunity to discuss questions such as what is meant by digital health and how can health data science benefit the everyday people of our region. The panel includes:

  • Hassan Chaudhury, Digital Health Specialist Healthcare UK, Department for International Trade

  • Helen Stokes Lampard, University of Birmingham, former Chair of the Royal College of GPs

  • Iain Styles, University of Birmingham Turing Institute Lead and Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Sciences

  • Dominic Cushnan, Specialist advisor for AI and digital health for NHSX

  • Elizabeth Sapey, University of Birmingham and PIONEER - The Health Data Research Hub for Acute Care

There will be an opportunity for break-out group discussions where facilitators will help capture the key concerns/aspirations from those present. This feedback will be compiled and shared with attendees after the event, and used to inform future thinking linked to research projects in the field.

This is a FREE public event and open to all. Places for the event are limited, so to avoid disappointment, please register and submit your questions to the panel.

We are grateful to Midlands Innovation Health for their generous sponsorship of this event, facilitated through the Strategic Development Fund supported by the Midlands Engine.

If you have any specific queries or require any further information please email Rebecca Ward

Upcoming Events at the Alan Turing Institute

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 March 2020

Health Programme Seminar Series - AI for Diagnosis

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. Participants can join either in person or remotely (via Zoom). Register now

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.

Wednesday 18 Mar 2020 - Thursday 19 Mar 2020 - POSTPONED

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.

Monday 20 Apr 2020 - Friday 24 Apr 2020

Data Study Group - April 2020

An intensive five day 'collaborative hackathon' hosted at the Turing, bringign together organisations from industry, government, and the third sector, with talented multi-disciplinary researchers from academia. Organisations act as Data Study Group 'Challenge Owners', providing real-world problems and datasets to be tackled by small groups of highly talented, carefully selected researchers. Researchers brainstorm and engineer data science solutions, presenting their work at the end of the week.

Wednesday 22 Apr 2020

Turing Lecture: Plan AI, because there is no planet B (with Emily Shuckburgh)

To mark Earth Day, climate scientist Emily Shuckburgh joins us for a Turing Lecture on sustainability and the climate crisis. The event will be held at The Crystal, Royal Victoria Dock, registration is required.

Future Events

Thursday 30 April 2020

Health programme Seminar Series. Topic tbc

Register now

Wednesday 20 May 2020: Topic tbc

Health programme Seminar Series. Topic tbc

Register now

Many events are recorded, find the archive on YouTube.


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

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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