Register your interest
Sign up to receive news and updates for DataFest events
In 2022 Data Summit was bigger, more inspiring, and more cutting edge than ever before. We welcomed quantum computing professors, nanotechnologists, entrepreneurs, data ethicists, philosophers, musicians and artists, and so many more, to talk on the overarching theme of ‘hope’ – focusing on how data and AI can be used to create a better world and society.
We’ll leave the 2022 agenda below so you can reminisce about the incredible array of speakers we had – or so you can see what you missed out on!
We’ll be announcing details of Data Summit 2023 in the first quarter of the year, so keep an eye on our Twitter feed for all the latest news.
Pick up your lanyard, have a browse of our bookshop and exhibition area, and grab a coffee before we kick off!
The Data Lab CEO Brian Hills will welcome everyone to the conference and introduce our host, Maggie Philbin
Maggie has led projects making anything from land mine detectors to satellite sub-systems that measure variables like wind speed to improve our knowledge of climate change. In presentations the Sky At Night expert talks about exploring space with missions like Rosetta, and how we live in a galaxy with 200 billion stars. Maggie believes that with 100 billion galaxies in the universe, there must be life out there – simply as a matter of probability.
Stephanie Hare is a researcher, broadcaster and author focused on technology, politics and history. Stephanie will be talking about her book - Technology Is Not Neutral, named by the Financial Times as one of the best tech books of 2022 - and discussing the importance of having ethics at the heart of any technological innovation/
Devi Sridhar is a Professor at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and holds a Personal Chair in Global Public Health. Professor Sridhar will talk about the history of international cooperation in health and controlling outbreaks, the emergence and management of the COVID-19 pandemic and what this means in terms of stopping the next pandemic.
Join Professor Devi Sridhar, Paul McGinness (Lenus Health) and Roger Halliday (Research Data Scotland) as they discuss the future of global healthcare - the challenges we face and the opportunities that arise from technological innovation that might make the world a healthier and safer place.
Tamara Lohan is the co-founder of Mr & Mrs Smith. The company was founded by Tamara and her husband James initially as a guide to high-quality short-break hotels and has since grown into a successful online brand and booking site. Tamara will be talking about the importance of remembering the individual when dealing with data -
DataFest's science podcast - The Last Question - asks its guests to speculate wildly about the future in relation to their field of interest. Join Stephanie Hare (technology ethicist), Laura Tripaldi (nanotechnologist), Caitlin McDonald (Creative Informatics), and podcast co-host Lily Higham (BBC World Service) for a speculative discussion about what technologies will most impact people's lives in the short and medium term future.
We have a very special guest joining us at Data Summit, but we can't tell you who they are just yet. Anyone who has been to previous Data Summits can probably hazard an educated guess...
Since 2010 Dr Giardino has been contributing to the development of the James Webb Space Telescope, working in particular on the NIRSpec instrument: the innovative European Spectrograph designed to capture the spectral signature of primordial galaxies and enable detailed studies of the atmosphere of exoplanets. Astronomy is one of the most ancient, data-driven sciences, and advances in the knowledge and understanding of the universe have come from improvements, through the centuries, in instrumentation and the quality of the data collected. At the pinnacle of this progress, at the moment, is the James Webb mission. Launched on Christmas day, last year, the space telescope has already delivered stunning new views of the cosmos. After explaining how the telescope works and why it is so powerful and innovative, we will embark in a brief journey through these new results, from our Solar System to very far galaxies.
Kevin Murphy is the Chief Science Data Officer for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Kevin will be discussing how he works across five divisions to advance the state of the art in cloud computing, machine learning, and other data management and analysis platforms for NASA’s scientific data. He'll also be talking about the programs responsible for the production and distribution of data from NASA’s fleet of over 20 Earth-observing satellites and instruments to users around the world, the purchase and evaluation of commercial data, and advocates for open science for all of NASA.
How will space technologies affect the everyday lives of people on Earth? What kind of innovations can we expect from the cutting edge projects our panellists work on? Giovanna Giardino (ESA), Kevin Murphy (NASA), Hina Khan (Spire), Angela Mathis (Think Tank Maths), and Kristina Tamane (University of Edinburgh/Space Scotland) will be discussing all of this and much more.
Hannah lectures in the mathematics of cities. and is also a science broadcaster, bringing numbers and data to life on TV and radio in programmes. Data has an unearned aura of objectivity. Statistics certainly has the power to illuminate, but when collected without care, it can also exclude and discriminate. Our insatiable appetite to turn the world into something that can be counted can force a gap between what matters and what can be measured. In this talk, with wit and warmth, Hannah will look at some of the ways that bias has become such a profound modern issue, how it can be amplified, the ways in which it causes genuine harm and what we can do about it. She'll look carefully at the issue of fairness – how it can be defined and whether it can be achieved. And she'll build a persuasive picture of why who can and cannot be counted is one of the defining issues of our days.
Coding, data science, AI - will these all become industries devoid of human input? Or will human ingenuity and creativity always be necessary? Join Atoosa Kasirzadeh (Centre for Technomoral Futures) and Professor Sethu Vijayakumar FRSE (Professor of Robotics, University of Edinburgh, and Programme Director at The Alan Turing Institute), alongside The Data Lab's Executive Education Adviser Craig Paterson, as they discuss this fascinating topic.
The world of work is changing at a rate not seen since the industrial revolution. Between automation, AI, societal change, virtual reality, and so much more, where do we stand today? Join Anne Widdop (VR Hive), Karen Gregory (University of Edinburgh) and some special guests to take stock of what the future may hold for the world, and concept, of work.
You have 30 mins, you could grab a coffee, check your mail, fall down a social media wormhole, or… you could get smarter, fancy that? This full-on, face-paced, fun session will give you an overview of our on-line courses but not in a “death by PowerPoint” way, nope, that’s not us. We will run this like we run our courses, personalised, practitioner-led, peer-learning with engaging content. There may be badges…
Tracy Gilmour is the CEO of a mental health charity, social worker, transformational coach and social entrepreneur. Tracy leverages her professional expertise with lived experience to bring a unique perspective to the world of mental health.
Dr Adam Sroka is an experienced data and AI leader helping organisations unlock value from data by delivering enterprise-scale solutions and building high-performing data and analytics teams from the ground up.He'll be sharing his expertise in building effective data teams from the ground up.
Yaitza Luna-Cruz (NASA), Adam Sroka (Hypercube Consulting), Calum Mather (Inov8 Consulting), Daniel Winterstein (Good Loop), and Regina Berengolts (Innovid) will discuss the importance of building strong, effective data teams and offer practical advice and insight into how to do so.
Sadiqah is currently working as a Lead Analyst at Trustpilot and is the founder of Black in Data where she is an advocate for increased representation of ethnic diversity within data. She'll be talking about the importance of diversity, inclusion and equality in the world of data from a human perspective.
Sadiqah Musa (Black in Data), Frida de Sigley (Weights and Biases), and Nuria Fraile (The Data Lab) will discuss the importance of maintaining diversity, inclusion and equality when building your data teams and the enormous benefits doing so can unlock for your organisation.
Lily Higham is a Senior Test Automation Engineer at the BBC World Service and co-hosts the DataFest podcast - The Last Question. She'll be discussing her work on the news website which serves 1.5 billion users annually, with services in 41 languages, ensuring news can reach people in conditions with limited internet connections, older and varied devices, and in countries where governments restrict their citizens’ access to global news.
Laura is a materials scientist and nanotechnologist. Although our material culture has privileged a view of technological objects as inert, rigid, and vertically assembled, our growing understanding of materials and the rapid development of the practices of nanotechnology have unveiled their ability to self-organize in highly complex, sensitive and dynamic structures. From spiderwebs to carbon nanotubes, from viruses to quantum dots, nanomaterials cross the rigid boundary between natural and artificial, challenging established paradigms of technology. This emerging material intelligence forces us to shift our relationship with materials, from passive instruments of human agency to active participants in the construction of our world.
Web3, NFTs, the metaverse - the buzzwords and hype hit fever-pitch in 2021, but has the bubble burst? Does Wev3 face a winter of discontent or is this downturn just a blip before its inevitable rise? Chris Neumann (Panache Ventures) will give an opening talk and then invite Dr Gunel Sarginson (Trigan) to the stage to discuss.
The William Quarriers Epilepsy Centre (WQSEC) is the world leading diagnosis centre. In the first of our tech showcases, John McMaster from Quarriers will discuss the fascinating work they are undertaking, turning innovative thought into practice for the better of a person. They're working to ensure the centre maintains this status for the next ten exciting years.
Elinor is a senior UX designer and founder of BrightAct – a global safety-net to break the cycle of domestic violence in a data-driven way. Elinor will talk about BrightAct's innovative work and how they're harnessing data for good. Sofi was the recipient of the IT-woman of the year award from CGI. With a background from the public sector, as an organizational developer, innovation and digitalization manager with a focus on process development, RPA, AI and system management and procurement. Driven by social innovation and positive impact. For her work with BrightAct she was nominated as ‘Digital leader of the year’ by Nordic Women in Tech Awards, as well as ‘Digital Inspiration’ by IDG and Accenture, ‘Young Idea of the Year’ by Företagarna and ‘Social Innovator’ by Göran Bredinger.
Alex Hutchison (UNICEF Data for Children Collaborative), Alex Fassio (Ministry of Justice), Elinor Samuelsson (BrightAct), and Giselle Cory (DataKind) will discuss the innovative ways their organisations are using data to improve the outcomes for vulnerable people around the world.
Matthew studied Computer Science at Cambridge before joining one of the world’s leading game engine developers, Crytek, in Germany in 2005. He took a leading role in the development of their AI systems until 2010 when he became a game AI consultant, working for a wide variety of international clients. He founded Kythera AI in Edinburgh in 2013, to focus on building the most powerful toolset for AI in games.
Join Matthew Jack (Kythera AI), Ali Shah (Accenture), Xiaoyan Ma (Danu Robotics) and Dawn Hunter (The Data Lab) to discuss the future of practical uses of AI – how it will impact the day-to-day lives of regular people. Our goal across the whole conference is to bridge the gap between the (sometimes) intangible and abstract worlds of data and AI and people’s perception of how they will be affected by them.
Pick up your lanyard, have a browse of our bookshop and exhibition area, and grab a coffee before we kick off!
The Data Lab CEO Brian Hills will welcome everyone back to the conference and introduce our host, Maggie Philbin
Priya Lakhani is a serial entrepreneur who has founded a food business, a social enterprise, and now leads a company developing the latest artificial intelligence and big data technology to understand how the brain learns, for use in the education sector.
This is where we'll showcase a series of companies and their innovative work in the world of data and AI - all in under three minutes each! You'll hear from Space Intelligence, Optiseller, Global Surface Intelligence, Deep Miner, Inov8 Consulting, and Research Data Scotland.
Dr Becky Smethurst is an award-winning astrophysicist and science communicator at the University of Oxford, specialising in how galaxies co-evolve with their supermassive black holes. When we think of black holes, we often think of them as endless hoovers, sucking up anything around them. In reality though, it’s very difficult to grow a black hole; to get matter close enough to that point of no return. Instead, most matter will happily orbit a black hole. Just like the Earth orbits the Sun, the Sun orbits a supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way over 4 million times more massive than the Sun itself. So if it’s difficult to grow a black hole, how in the Universe did supermassive black holes like this get so big?
Ahnjili is a data scientist, Ph.D. candidate, artist, and science communicator. Ahnjili's academic research focuses on developing smartphones- and wearables-based biomarkers that can be used to monitor one’s mental and physical wellbeing for clinical trials. Ahnjili's artistic research and science communication focuses on educating the public about A.I. and algorithmic violence, which refers to the violence that is justified or is created by an automated decision-making system. Ahnjili will be discussing Future Wake (www.futurewake.com/) - a project which depicts a fictionalized future in which predictive policing algorithms are used to predict future police-related fatal encounters. Future Wake uses machine learning and deep fakes to generate living memorials of future victims.
Join Clare Wharmby (ECCI), Robin Sampson (Trade in Space), David Farquhar (Intelligent Growth Solutions), and Tabitha Jayne (Net Zero Nation) to discuss Scotland’s (and the world’s) attempts at reaching net zero and what technological innovations might help us reach this goal.
Jim Al-Khalili is a scientist, author and broadcaster, best known for presenting The Life Scientific on Radio 4 where he talks to scientists about their careers and discoveries. Jim will be talking about his latest book, The Joy of Science. The modern world is complex and unpredictable, and we navigate through it the best we can. Much of the information we are bombarded with can be confusing and designed to appeal to our pre-existing beliefs, values and ideologies, so it is hard to be objective about what to believe and whom to trust. But there are steps that can be taken, which give us some control over the way we deal with the complexity of the world. Jim Al-Khalili borrows from what is best about the scientific method and suggests ways to apply it to our daily lives to help us navigate modern life more confidently.
Susie Dent is a writer, presenter and lexicographer. For three decades she has presided over Countdown’s Dictionary Corner, dispensing her extensive word knowledge and adjudicating on the veracity of contestants’ contributions. She’s also a part of the show’s comedy sister 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. Away from the Countdown studio she hosts the podcast Something Rhymes with Purple alongside Gyles Brandreth, and discusses everything from the evolution of language to culture and communication. Susie will be discussing how data is used to make dictionaries and to analyse language and find stories within it. She'll also talk about jargon within the industry - how it can help and how it can hinder!
Ruth Devlin founded Let’s Talk Menopause to raise awareness and to provide accurate information on the menopause. She is passionate about health and wellbeing, regularly giving talks within all sectors, writes a blog and has written a book 'Men…Let’s Talk Menopause’, realising the need for all genders to understand this topic and for people to be able to provide support for everyone through this transitional period. She takes a holistic approach, regularly contributes on many platforms and is a registered nurse.
Today’s leaders need to know that data represents a key opportunity and understand what it takes to design, resource, and implement a data strategy that will enable and empower organisational change. As The Data Lab prepares to launch its next Data Leaders Programme in 2023, we ask – what does organisational leadership in today’s digital and data–driven world look like? Join Dr Jasmina Lazic (Bigtincan), Rob Mansfield (Infinity Works), Sam Rhynas (Effini), John Brodie (Gigged.ai), and more for this fascinating discussion.
Dr Khan, is an award-winning global leader in insights, data and analytics. She is currently Director General and CEO of ESOMAR, the largest global membership association for the data, research and insight professions. Simon Asplen-Taylor is the founder and CEO of DataTick a leading data and analytics advisory business and author of “Data and Analytics strategy for Business” published June 2022 Parves and Simon will present on the skills needed to create a leading edge data science in-house team for brands
Inclusivity by its very nature needs to include all. From those who educate and govern to those who create and develop, it should be the responsibility of all who work in AI. Join Steph Wright, Head of the Scottish AI Alliance and her amazing panel – Anna Brailsford (Code First Girls), Dr Shirley Cavin (Leidos), Meeri Haataja (Saidot) and Hannah Spiro (Centre for Data Innovation and Ethics) - to discuss inclusion in AI from various perspectives including education, technology, industry, governance and the public.
In the second of our tech showcases, Matt Jolleys - Data Scientist at Hypervine - will talk about the organisation's innovative use of AI and blockchain to digitise the largest industry in the world - construction - on the Earth and off of it.
In our final tech showcase, Steve Saunders, Head of Business Development at IMRANDD - will talk about the organisation's progressive, diverse and agile approach to digital asset management using data intelligence and engineering.
Elham Kashefi is a Professor of Computer Science and Personal Chair in quantum computing at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. Her work has included contributions to quantum cryptography, verification of quantum computing, and cloud quantum computing. Elham will be talking about the implications for cryptography in a quantum world.