• Nathaniel Byrne

Newsletter March 28th 2020

Virtual access to the Alan Turing Institute

The Alan Turing Institute's offices in the British Library will remained closed for the foreseeable future. To continue to engage with the Turing over this period, please sign up to the Institute's newsletter if you have not already done so, check the website for updates, and look out for the University of Birmingham's Institute of Interdisciplinary Data Science website, which will be launched in the coming weeks.

The Turing's latest newsletter can be found online. You can also stay connected to the Turing via: Twitter, LinkedIN, Instagram and Facebook

Thanks for your continued support.

Calls & Opportunities

Volunteer as a Data Study Group (DSG) report reviewer

DSG reports are produced by participants and document their work and main findings. Reports are key outcomes of the DSG and provide a tangible output for our organisations and participants, they are published by the Turing and form the basis of any follow up research.

Before reports can be published, they must be reviewed to ensure they meet acceptable standards for scientific quality. Reviewers will be asked to read the reports making minor edits and to leave comments for more serious issues. It is estimated to take between 1 – 2 hours per report.

The following reports are available for review:

  • WWF – ‘Smart monitoring for conservation areas’

  • SenSat - ‘Semantic and Instance Segmentation of 3D Point Clouds’

  • University of Bristol - ‘Applying AI and machine learning to reveal the molecular basis of heart disease’

To indicate your interest please email

CogX 2020: Call for talk proposals

We invite the global AI community to share their cutting-edge ideas coming from research and development in AI.

This years CogX festival theme is ‘getting the next 10 years right’, and we will frame the research stage across themes for economics, engineering, health, the natural world, security and society and culture. The stage will feature a mix of talks and panel discussions. We invite proposals for all types of talks, from TED-style through to technical.

Please apply via the Alan Turing Institute’s Flexigrant system

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.

Call for papers: Data for Policy conference 2020

Data for Policy 2020 conference, taking place in London 15-16 September, will be hosting a special track exploring the latest thinking in research and policy for data trusts. It will bring together researchers and policymakers to debate ‘where next?’ for these ideas. Discussions will map the current state of debate about data trusts and their use, consider their legal and policy foundations, and advance discussions about the technical infrastructure that will underpin their work. If you're interested in submitting a paper or proposing a panel you can find out more here.

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

Turing at Birmingham in the media

Turing Fellow and University of Birmingham Professor in Law and Ethics, Sylvie Delacroix, has authored a letter with Senior Turing AI Fellow and University of Cambridge DeepMind Professor of Machine Learning, Neil Lawrence, on Intelligent sharing of data can save lives available in the Financial Times.


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.

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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