• Nathaniel Byrne

Newsletter October 24th 2019

Calls & Opportunities

Turing Artificial Intelligence Acceleration Fellowships

The Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships has a budget of £18 million to fund 10-15 mid-career researchers with the potential to become world-leaders within the 5 years of the award. This call has a strong emphases on creativity of ideas, thought, and approach, and on enabling new models of collaboration between academia and other sectors.

The deadline for outline proposals is 18th February, 2020.

University of Birmingham is allowed to support up to four proposals.

The process for the University of Birmingham will be organised in 2 stages:

(1) All interested candidates would need to apply through their College, which will shortlist several candidates

(2) Shortlisted candidates’ materials will be reviewed by the central University Committee after which point 4 candidates from across the University will be selected and invited to submit applications by the UKRI deadline.

Internal deadlines and details of the selection procedure will be announced very soon. Meanwhile, please read the call and notify your College Research Support Officer if you are planning to apply.

Pre-call announcement: Turing Artificial Intelligence World-Leading Researcher Fellowships

In addition to the Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships, outline proposals will soon be invited for Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships. This £18 million programme will invest in the international recruitment and retention of a small number of world-leading AI researchers, with significant packages of support (£3-5 million) to enable the building of new UK capability and capacity in key areas of AI research. It will enable world-leading researchers in AI technologies to move to (or remain in) the UK, thereby building and growing the UK’s international competitiveness and reputation in AI. The full call document will be published on the UKRI website in mid-November.

Data Study Group - December 2019

An intensive five day 'collaborative hackathon' hosted at the Turing, bringing 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, who are challenged to brainstorm and engineer data science solutions, and present their work at the end of the week.

December's challenger are led by:

Dstl - Bright-field image segmentation

The National Archives - Discovering topics and trends in the UK Government Web Archive

Agile Datum - Automating the evaluation of local government planning applications

SenSat - Semantic and Instance Segmentation of 3D Point Clouds

The Alan Turing Institute will cover travel costs in alignment with our expenses policy and provide accommodation for researchers not normally London-based.

Follow this link for more information and details on applying.

3D-Printed Metal Bridge: Call for Research Champion and Ideas for Research Projects

The Turing’s data-centric engineering programme is now seeking out a Research Champion and ideas from researchers for projects to utilise the data that will be collected from the world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge. The smart bridge, a 12 m long metal 3D printed stainless steel bridge, will be installed over a canal in the centre of Amsterdam early 2020. A sensor network has been installed on the bridge to monitor structural behaviour over time. More details about the project can be found here.

If you are interested to get involved, a short description of your research interests related to the dataset, needs to be submitted to the Programme Manager by Thursday 31st October. Please contact Nathaniel Byrne,, for further details and how to apply for this opportunity.

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 SecurityThe 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 Nominations will be accepted until October 29, 2019


Upcoming Events

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.

Monday 11 Nov 2019

Provenance, security & machine learning

This workshop aims to bring together researchers with expertise in security, data management, and machine learning, each of which bear on this challenge. The workshop will also involve participants in the DARPA Transparent Computing programme who can share experience and understanding of the problem and the available datasets. Breakout sessions will be organised to enable participants to contribute to a research vision and agenda for future work in this area, which will form the basis of a workshop report.

Monday 18 Nov 2019

Creativity and design in AI

Machine learning offers a new and universal way of looking at the world, which is radically different than traditional domain-focused and theory-based approaches. However, while new machine learning algorithms such as deep learning have created a wave of applications in computer vision and natural language translation, there are a lot of complex applications which are yet to be investigated.

Thursday 21 Nov 2019 - Friday 22 Nov 2019

1st International conference on decision support and recommender systems

The 1st International ‘Turing’ conference on decision support and recommender systems will bring together junior and experienced researchers, industry professionals and domain experts to discuss latest trends and ongoing challenges in:

  • Human and AI-driven complex decision making, e.g. group and multi-criteria decision-making

  • Recommender systems as tools for personalised decision support

  • Interdisciplinary applications of decision making, decision support and personalisation

  • Role of machine learning and Data-Driven AI techniques in supporting decisions

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

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.

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:

Watch the Video by Our Turing Fellow Aaron Sloman

Our Turing Fellow, Professor Aaron Sloman, recorded a video on Meta-Configured Genome (MCG) project (based on his collaboration with Jackie Chappell at the School of Biosciences). You can watch the video by clicking on this link:

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