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DataFest20 Agenda Unveiled With #BeyondData Theme

Duncan MacRae



More than 80 events are scheduled to take place throughout Scotland in The Data Lab’s two-week festival.

Robotics, machine learning, conversational artificial intelligence (AI), anomaly detection and ethics in data science are set to feature heavily at DataFest20.

More than 80 events are scheduled to take place throughout Scotland in The Data Lab’s two-week festival, with more than 60 industry and academic speakers lined up.

This year’s festival, with a #BeyondData theme, culminates with the two-day Data Summit, taking place at The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh on the 19th and 20th March. Featuring an array of keynotes, panels and pitches, the impressive line-up of speakers includes world-famous British astronaut Tim Peake, author of Invisible Women, Caroline Criado-Perez, Science Broadcaster and Emergency Medicine Doctor, Kevin Fong and Shannon Vallor, Chair in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh Futures Institute.

Meanwhile, emerging technologies and innovations in the data science industry will be placed under the spotlight when a host of high-profile data science leaders, innovators and researchers take to the stage for DataTech20, which takes place at the Technology and Innovation Centre in Glasgow on the 16th of March 2020.

Bringing technical communities together, highlights from the DataTech20 agenda include a session titled ‘MRP for the people: How I use the media’s favourite statistical technique for social good’, which will provide an overview on Multilevel Regression and Poststratification – a statistical method which achieved fame in UK political polling – as well as exploring its powers in analysing everything from citizen science projects to public health.

Other DataTech20 highlights include a series of workshops, exploring the ethical implications raised by cutting-edge research using personal data as well as the challenges and opportunities in translating academic research through AI to healthcare applications.

Gillian Docherty, CEO of The Data Lab, Scotland’s Innovation Centre for data science and AI, said: “This year’s DataFest will be our biggest festival to date, showcasing Scotland’s leading role in the field of data science and artificial intelligence, while offering a packed agenda of innovative conferences and a unprecedented networking platform where attendees can interact with local and international talent, industry, academia and data enthusiasts.

“Since its inception four years ago, DataFest has grown to become the largest data festival in the UK, and recognised for bringing international experts at the forefront of data and AI to Scotland, to share insights and explore future trends and technologies through a diverse range of events, workshops, keynote sessions and panel discussions.”


Adopting #BeyondData as its key theme for 2020, DataFest – which runs from 9th to 20th March 2020 – will focus on the impact data and AI has on the world, while exploring the future potential of the sector to help realise innovation across business and wider society – with a key focus on the challenges and opportunities data and AI presents.

With events scheduled across Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness during the two-week festival, other highlights include Women in Data Science, an inspirational showcase for school children on data careers, Data Talent Scotland, a networking and recruitment event for industry and academia, and a host of fringe activities including STEM-related events.

Jude McCorry, head of business development at The Data Lab, said: “Building on the success of last year, with events taking place all across Scotland, DataFest20 will bring together the data science and artificial intelligence community for two weeks of collaboration – building skills and inspiring future generations, while championing Scotland’s innovative capabilities.”

For more information on DataFest20’s conference agenda, or to secure tickets, visit

Duncan MacRae


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