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Digital Connections Festival | Warwick Data

Digital Connections Festival

In collaboration with The Alan Turing Institute

Tuesday 28 March 2023, Faculty of Arts Building, University of Warwick

Join us and a cross-disciplinary community of researchers to explore the current and future applications of interactive experiences using data science, artificial intelligence, and virtually simulated environments. Together we will create a space to explore the essential aspects of how humans engage with automation, robotics, and visualisation to broaden the scope of possibility for virtual clones. 

This festival will unlock the potential of industry and academic collaborations to inspire fresh thinking on the use of Virtual Reality (VR) to solve questions of global sustainability, amplify the human elements of technology, and augment the learning outcomes related to automation and robotics. By using the ‘Cone of Plausibility’ (Taylor, 1990) we will co-create and develop new ways of working that connect concepts, prototype possibilities, and expand ideas into digital space(s). 

We would like to invite Turing Fellows and University Institutes to register to attend or showcase their own work. This festival is open to a national and global audience of researchers across a broad range of disciplines in sciences, technology, arts, medicine, and beyond. 

The Festival be hosted on the University of Warwick Campus in the new Faculty of Arts BuildingLink opens in a new window in collaboration with The Alan Turing InstituteLink opens in a new window & the Digital Arts & Humanities LabLink opens in a new window. 


Please register to join us in sharing your digital experience research as a team here or register to attend the event as an individual.

Event Host - Luke Robert Mason

Luke studies the technological developments that will alter what it means to be human. He is the host of the FUTURES Podcast where he explores the topics of artificial intelligence, human enhancement, space travel and virtual reality. He is currently an ESRC-funded postgraduate student at the University of Warwick where he is studying towards a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on the public perception of robots.

View Luke's Warwick profile

Keynote Speaker - Dr Catherine Allen, CEO and Lead Consultant at Limina Immersive

Catherine Allen photograph

Catherine Allen is a leading expert in immersive technology - expanding the audience and creator base of the medium whilst advising on responsible use of this emerging technology. Her work has played a significant role in informing policy - with a current focus on helping shape VR and AR’s inclusion in the UK’s Online Safety Bill. This work has been recognised through an honorary doctorate from the University of Warwick. After working on the BAFTA-winning iPad app Disney Animated, Catherine led the creation of two of the BBC's first virtual reality experiences in 2015 - 2016. She founded Limina Immersive in late 2016; a VR events and research company dedicated to bringing immersive tech to broader audiences.

Limina Immersive

Keynote Speaker - Professor Giovanni Montana

Professor Giovanni Montana is a data scientist and machine learning researcher. He is currently Professor of Data Science at the University of Warwick where he has a joint appointment with the Department of Statistics and Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG). His research focuses on developing statistical and machine learning methods to leverage real-world, complex data.

View Giovanni's University of Warwick profile

View Giovanni's Turing Institute profile

Keynote Speaker - Dr Robert O'Toole

Dr Robert O'Toole is a National Teaching Fellow and a recipient of the Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence. In April 2021, he became Warwick's first Director of Student Experience (digital). His aims in this position are to work with students and staff to adopt a coherent, sustainable, and innovative approach to teaching with technology, aligned with the values and culture of the Arts Faculty.

View Robert's Warwick profile

Event Details

Date: Tuesday 28 March

Start time: 10:00

Venue: Faculty of Arts Building (FAB)

Further updates and changes to the agenda are coming soon.

Event Schedule


Arrival and welcome housekeeping and information

Refreshments will be available throughout the day

10.15 – 10.45

Opportunities and threats from Virtual Reality

Talk by Catherine Allen, Limina Immersive

10.45 - 11.05

Talk by Giovanni Montana

11.10 - 12.20

Interactive sessions commence, colour coded pass

12.30 - 13.15

Lunch served (continues into the Ideas Depot)

13.20 - 14.00

Ideas Depot - The cone of plausibility (facilitated Q&A)

Ideas & Connections Wall

14.05 - 14.30

Stand-up in the Metaverse: Reflecting on a stand-up character comedy performance at the Unknown Theatre in Horizon Worlds.

Jim Judges is a multi-talented technologist, stand-up comedian, and part-time comedy researcher at the University of Kent. He performs regularly at festivals and stand-up clubs as comedy character, health and safety guru, Ian Crawford. He is also the creator of the fish-tastic comedy, video and music show ‘An A to Z of Fish & Chips.'

14.45 - 15.15

The cone of plausibility and our futurology

Dr Robert O’Toole, University of Warwick

15.20 – 16.00

What else, interactive session and final wall edits

16.05 - 16.30

Closing comments