• Nathaniel Byrne

Newsletter October 10th 2019

This week in the Turing at Birmingham Newsletter

Turing at Birmingham Day

October 15, 2019

All eyes are on Turing at Birmingham next Tuesday, October 15th as we are hosting the Turing at Birmingham Day at the University of Birmingham. The Alan Turing Institute CEO - Sir Adrian Smith and the Turing team including many programme directors will be visiting the University of Birmingham. Registration for this event in now closed. The event is currently oversubscribed and we have many people on the waiting list. If your plans have changed and you are no longer planning to attend, let us know by Monday, October 14th at 12:00 (noon) by cancelling your ticket through Eventbrite, so that we could open your place to people on the waiting list. It will be a fun day! Join us if you can!

Turing Inclusivity Hub

This week, The Alan Turing Institute launched its new inclusivity Hub. As the national institute for data science and artificial intelligence, The Alan Turing Institute is committed to redressing gender inequality in the fields of data science and machine learning. Digital technologies are changing the way in which we live our lives and it is imperative for women, and other under-represented groups, to be equal partners in developing the algorithms, setting the research agendas, and building the applications underpinned by data science and AI. Increasing women’s participation is the only way to ensure that their perspectives and priorities will inform the insights that this new field will generate, and the uses to which it is put in society.

Check it out by clicking on THIS LINK. Get involved!

Opportunities at the Ada Lovelace Institute

The Ada Lovelace Institute is a new research and deliberative body, funded and incubated by the Nuffield Foundation, with the mission to ensure that data and artificial intelligence work for people and society. With £5 million secured for its first five years, the Institute is already emerging as a leading independent voice on the ethical and societal impacts of data and artificial intelligence (AI) and society, and building relationships in the public, private and civil society sectors in the UK and internationally. The Institute, based in Central London, has been established by the Nuffield Foundation in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute, the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Statistical Society, the Wellcome Trust, Luminate, techUK and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

The Ada Lovelace institute has two open opportunities at the moment:

Head of Research position: find out more HERE The closing date is 8 November 2019.

Board Members: find out more HERE The closing date is 27 October 2019.

The Happiness in Cities Festival

October 22-26, 2019

On October 22-26, 2019 we are hosting the Happiness in Cities Festival at Hornton Grange, Edgbaston Park Hotel! According to the United Nations, 68% of the world population will live in urban areas by 2050. Yet, modern cities still fail to maximize people's potential. Using an example of the city of Birmingham, the Happiness in Cities project aims to understand how different communities across Birmingham contribute to the city's development and how this diversity can help us build happier cities. The Festival will feature many different events: please, register for each event separately (the information on how to sign up is provided below)

Apart from many exciting events, the Festival will feature the Art of Happiness in Cities Exhibition - a custom photo exhibition produced by Alexander Kharlamov using film photography and silver gelatin printing. The exhibition will feature many different communities from all parts of Birmingham to showcase diversity, inclusivity and multi-cultural vibrance of the City of Birmingham.

All events are free but we are collecting donations - 100% of the donations will go to Birmingham PHAB Camps. Birmingham PHAB Camps is a Birmingham-based charity that runs holidays with the special purpose of integrating children of all abilities, backgrounds, faiths and ethnicity from Birmingham. Support the project by visiting the exhibition between October 22nd – 26th 2019 and spreading the word via social media using hashtag #UrbanHappinessBrum19

Make a donation to PHAB via this website.

The Happiness in Cities Festival

DAY 1: The Future of Our City: Where Next for Leadership Inclusivity?

October 22, 2019

Hornton Grange, Edgbaston Park Hotel

The University of Birmingham's WE LEAD in collaboration with local theatre innovators, Stan’s Cafe and author Jon Bloomfield invites you to join us for a unique experience of research through visual and performance arts. This event will create new contexts for collaborations between artists, entrepreneurial leaders, authors and academics by showcasing creative interpretations and interventions relating to research of our City and the role of entrepreneurial leadership and inclusivity in the making of modern Birmingham.

Stan’s Cafe, will perform a short, sketchy drama, written especially for this event which finds three entrepreneurs facing the challenges of running their own very peculiar businesses as they chase their dream. Through   photographic installations we will showcase the unfiltered stories of the contribution of entrepreneurs to our City with Indi Deol, Founder, Desiblitz and Deirdre Figueiredo, Director, Craftspace.Performance and Fire side chat with Bloomfield, Author, ‘Our City: Migrants and the Making of Modern Birmingham.’

We will be joined by cross-sector cast of senior leaders for an interactive discussion with the audience led by Professor Kiran Trehan.

The Cast: Rosie Ginday, Founder, Miss MacaroonMac Alonge, Founder, The Equal GroupAnita Bhalla, Chair, West Midlands Leadership CommissionIan Harris, Founder, ID SecurityWade Lynn, Founder, Cleone FoodsRepresentatives from Birmingham Young Professionals



The Happiness in Cities Festival

DAY 2: Building the Technology Ecosystem to Innovate Financial and Professional Services in the West Midlands

October 23, 2019

Hornton Grange, Edgbaston Park Hotel

There is an opportunity for our region to harness disruptive technologies to ensure we respond to the pace of change, build our global resilience and ensure we are not left behind. To do so we will need to identify how we make our mark in this space. Join our panel discussion that will explore how we adopt new technologies to innovate financial and professional services in the West Midlands by taking an honest look at where our capabilities lie and how we turn these to our advantage.

Panel: Julian Wells, Director Whitecap Consulting and FinTech SpecialistKarolina Kuszowska, Business Development Executive West Midlands Growth CompanySuzi Evans, Director Tax, DeloitteIan Tait, CIO, Delta Financial Systems.

This event is being joint hosted by City REDIBPS and GBSLEP as part of the Birmingham Business School Urban Festival, and will draw upon current research and analysis.



The Happiness in Cities Festival

DAY 3: Urban Analytics Workshop

October 24, 2019

Hornton Grange, Edgbaston Park Hotel


10:00-10:30 TBA

Emmanouil Tranos (University of Bristol )

10:30-11:00 Measuring human behaviour within urban environments using new forms of data

Federico Botta (Warwick Business School )

11:00-11:30 Exploring spacial navigation strategies with social media

Nataliya Tkachenko (University of Warwick )

11:30-12:00 The Life cycle Of Urban Analytics

Eiman Kanjo (Nottingham Trent University )

12:30-13:00 Improving the liveability of cities through urban analytics

Eime Tobari (Aecom )

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-14:30 TBA

Parth Mehta (Siemens )

14:30-15:00 Seasonality in Rental Housing Market and Distance to Universities

Okan Yilmaz (Swansea University )

15:00-15:30 Street-level bureaucracy: best to be grey (or silver) on Friday, in Halifax

Oleksandr Talavera (University of Birmingham )

15:30-16:00 The Dynamics of Online House Prices in the UK

Claudio Piga (Huddersfield University)

16:00-16:30 Time Perceptions and Wellbeing in Urban Contexts

Ganna Pogrebna (University of Birmingham)



The Happiness in Cities Festival

DAY 4: Sustainable Future in the City: Student Competition 2019

October 25, 2019

Hornton Grange, Edgbaston Park Hotel

Students are invited to come up with ideas about how to improve the responsible business eco-efficiency in the city of Birmingham. One of the main current challenges is that local businesses need to create more value with less environmental impact: seizing opportunities to innovate and to enhance competitiveness through better use of physical, human, and financial resources, while meeting growing customer demand for more environmentally and socially acceptable goods and services

Who can apply: any registered student at the University of Birmingham or a group of up to 3 students

What is required: 20 min presentation on October 25th to a selection committee

Entries will be accepted from 10:00 on September 30 to 23:59 on October 18, 2019 via this website.

Shortlisted candidates will be determined by October 19, 2019. All shortlisted candidates will be invited to present their entry in front of the selection committee on October 25, 2019.

Prize: The winner or the winning team will receive a prize of £1,000. Prize will be announced at the end of the event on October 25th, 2019.

If you decide to take part, the following questions should be answered in your presentation:

What is the main problem you are trying to solve?

What is your solution?

What is the underlying business model?

How does your solution incorporate new technology & methods such as data science, AI, analytics?

What is your target audience? How would you convince different diverse groups within Birmingham to adopt your solution?

If you want to submit an entry, follow THIS LINK.

If you want to attend the event on October 25, 2019 as an attendee, register via Eventbrite (see the registration link below). Note that all shortlisted candidates will be registered for this event automatically.



IBM Fellowship Programme

IBM is pleased to announce the 2020 Two-Year Worldwide IBM PhD Fellowship for the academic years of 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Strong collaboration with faculty, students and universities is vital to IBM. The IBM PhD Fellowship Program advances this collaboration by recognizing and supporting exceptional PhD students who want to make their mark in promising and disruptive technologies. Focus areas include the following topics of particular interest:

• AI / Cognitive Computing • Cloud / Open Source • Data Science • Internet of Things • Quantum Computing • Security / Cyber Security

The 2020 IBM PhD Fellowship includes:

In the US, fellowship recipients while in school will receive a stipend for living expenses, travel and to attend conferences ($35,000 for 2020-2021 and $35,000 for 2021-2022). Fellowship recipients will also receive $25,000 toward their education in 2020-2021.Outside the US, fellowship recipients while in school will receive a competitive stipend for living expenses, travel and to attend conferences for the two academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Fellowship stipends vary by country. Students should have three years remaining in their graduate program at the time of nomination. For example, nominees that are enrolled in a four year graduate program should have completed two years of their graduate program as of summer 2020 in order to benefit the most. All IBM PhD Fellowship awardees are matched with an IBM mentor according to their technical interests and are encouraged to participate in an internship at least once while completing their studies. Students receiving a comparable fellowship or internship from another company or institution during the same academic period may not be eligible for an IBM PhD Fellowship. Nominations are accepted until late October.

For more program details and FAQs go to

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:


Upcoming Events

Wednesday 16 Oct 2019 - Friday 18 Oct 2019

Building a future for the urban analytics blueprint

This workshop is a 2+1 day event that brings together experts from a range of backgrounds. The first two days, we will revise and finalise our shared vision for the Urban Analytics Programme. On the third optional day, we invite all attendees to sessions & our public consultation at the Festival of the Future City on Friday, engaging with the broader public.

Monday 21 Oct 2019

Data Debate: Cities – smart or sinister?

AI is increasingly being used to help transform our cities and manage traffic, crime, economic development, sustainability and improve our everyday lives. But at what cost? How much privacy are we surrendering, what are the implications and are they worth it? Our panel of experts will debate all these issues and more.

Monday 28 Oct 2019

Spatial Relationships in Text as Data

This one-day collaborative workshop will centre on interaction between participants from a wide range of disciplines. Participants will already work with spatial data (including texts) of a kind presenting major challenges to common technologies (such as geographical information systems, GIS). Their spatial data will be qualitative, in the sense of Qualitative Spatial Representation (QSR) in AI.

Monday 28 Oct 2019 - Tuesday 29 Oct 2019

Robotics and AI for health and social care

The UK government and parliament have identified the need to support research and innovation in the field of robotics and AI for health and social care. This is in response to the expected growth in needs for the ageing population, and the contribution AI and robotics technologies can offer. Hosted at the Alan Turing building at University of Manchester.

Thursday 31 Oct 2019 - Friday 01 Nov 2019

Introduction to Spark for Data Scientists

Apache Spark is a library for handling and processing large-scale datasets in parallel, making it especially valuable when dealing with “big data”. This workshop will introduce Spark from scratch, so that participants can gain confidence in using Spark before using it in their own projects and research

Thursday 31 Oct 2019

Explainability in finance

Financial Services organisations are interested in adopting Deep Learning / Machine Learning in a variety of domains, but these models are not always easily explainable to regulators and other stakeholders. The more complex, 'black box' models require state-of-the-art tools that would give organisations the confidence and the ability to explain algorithmic decisions and outcomes.

Tuesday 24 Mar 2020 - Wednesday 25 Mar 2020

Turing Presents: AI UK

The Alan Turing Institute continues to pursue its ambitious goals: by advancing world class research in data science and artificial intelligence (AI), training and inspiring the leaders of the future, and shaping the public conversation. For the first time a dynamic, two-day showcase will see the Turing bring together all three of these goals in an unrivalled showcase featuring the very best of UK academic work in AI and machine learning (ML).

Future Events

Monday 11 Nov 2019

Provenance, security & machine learning

Monday 18 Nov 2019

Creativity and design in AI

Thursday 21 Nov 2019 - Friday 22 Nov 2019

1st International conference on decision support and recommender systems

Wednesday 27 Nov 2019

Hate and harassment: can technology solve online abuse?

Wednesday 27 Nov 2019

Turing Bright Club comedy showcase

Friday 29 Nov 2019

Data Debates: AI and fake news

Wednesday 04 Dec 2019

Turing Lecture: Secrets and lies

Monday 09 Dec 2019 - Friday 13 Dec 2019

Data Study Group - December 2019

Monday 20 Jan 2020

Computational archival science (CAS) symposium

Friday 24 Jan 2020

Reliability and reproducibility in computational science

Many events are recorded, find the archive on YouTube.

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