Chanuki Illushka Seresinhe

Data Science, AI, Deep Learning, Beautiful environments, URBAN DESIGN, Human wellbeing

Chanuki Illushka Seresinhe


Passionate about finding ways to solve many of the world's most challenging problems using creative thinking combined with cutting edge technologies such as deep learning.



Chanuki Illushka Seresinhe is the Lead Data Scientist at Popsa (using AI to automatically curate photo content ) and a visiting data science researcher at the Alan Turing Institute (the UK national institute for data science and artificial intelligence). Chanuki's research entails using big online datasets and deep learning to understand how the aesthetics of the environment influences human wellbeing. For example, how might we design our future cities to be conducive to our wellbeing?

Her research has been featured in the press worldwide including the Economist, Wired, The Times, BBC, Spiegel Online, Guardian, Telegraph and Scientific American. She received her PhD from the Data Science Lab, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick.

Prior to embarking on her PhD, Chanuki had a successful design career that included running her own digital design consultancy for over eight years in London, advising clients, including the Tate, Design Museum, Dezeen, NESTA and the Gulbenkian Foundation how to present their businesses successfully online. She has also worked as a digital designer in California, New York and Paris.




April 2019 - Present

Using artificial intelligence to automatically curate people’s unorganised photography content into beautifully designed physical products.

Senior Data Scientist at Channel 4

October 2018 - March 2019

Building Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence products to help improve the Channel 4 viewer experience.

AlAn Turing Institute (national institute for data science and artificial intelligence), PHD Enrichment progamme & VISITING researcher

September 2016 - Present

Applying deep learning techniques to images of urban locations in order to explore which visual features of the environment might impact the wellbeing of city residents.

Data Science Lab, Warwick Business School, UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK, Doctoral researcher

September 2014 - June 2018

My PhD involved using big online data sets, from such sources as Flickr and Twitter, and deep learning to understand how the aesthetics of the built and natural environment impacts our wellbeing. Teaching activities include mentoring on the FutureLearn MOOC Big Data: Measuring and Predicting Human Behaviour.


2010 - 2014

Advising clients on the creative and strategic use of digital technologies (while I returned to university to study business economics and behavioural and economic science).

Micha Weidmann Studio / Design Science Office, Director & Co-Founder

2003 - 2009

A digital design consultancy specialising in identities, websites, and online and offline publications for the arts, culture, and design. Clients included the Design Museum, the Royal Academy, Tate, Dezeen, Fornasetti, Modus Publicity and Zaha Hadid Architects. 

I directed the work environment where projects flourished, in turn delivering the end results so valued by our clients. Some of our key achievements included:

  • Following the redesign of Dezeen, visitors to the leading design and architecture online magazine more than doubled, reaching over 650,000 a month. Universally praised by leading figures in the industry, the redesigned Dezeen made Design Week’s Hot 50 and Time magazine’s Design 100 list of the most influential forces in global design.

  • Content strategy and design consultation for the Design Museum Shop resulted in a tenfold increase in monthly revenue within six months. In collaboration with search engine optimisation experts Koded, we helped the Design Museum achieve a top-5 position in Google for the coveted keyword “design”.

recollective, Director & Co-Founder

2001 - 2003

An award-winning online design consultancy with a focus on creating accessible websites backed by high-quality design principles for clients such as NESTA, the Audit Commission and Surrey County Council. My main role included project management and design of digital identities and interactive applications.

Deepend, Designer

2000 - 2001

Design of digital identities and interactive applications on such award winning projects as the Getty Images Bloodbank (featured in the D&AD annual and nominated for a BIMA) and (winner of both a BIMA and a London International Award).

Parsons School of Design, Paris, France, Lecturer

1999 – 2000

Lecturer of web design and development course., Paris, FrancE, Art Director

1999 – 2000

Design direction and online strategy for online fashion magazines, Fashion Net and Lumiere., New York, designer

1998 – 1999

Design of digital identities and interactive applications for clients such as Gucci, Armstrong, and Johnson & Johnson.



A FEW OF MY FAvourite scenic SPOTS Around the world

Big Sur, California
The Broad, Los Angeles, California
Joshua Tree, California
Granary Square, London
The Gray's Inn Gardens, London
Broadway, the Cotswolds, England
Forth Bridge, Scotland
Loch Morlich, Cairngorms, Scotland
Comporta, Portugal
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Iceland
Sydney Opera House, Australia
The City of Merida, Mexico


PUBLICATIONS & Policy Briefs

Using Deep Learning to Quantify the Beauty of Outdoor Places

Seresinhe, C. I., Preis, T., & Moat, H. S. (2017) Royal Society Open Science, 4(7), 170170.

Is Happiness Greater in More Scenic Locations? Large Scale Evidence From Mobile Phone And Online Data. 

Seresinhe, C. I., Preis, T., Mackerron, G. & Moat, H. S. (2019) Scientific Reports, 9, 4498.

Street-Frontage-Net: urban image classification using deep convolutional neural networks

Law, S., Seresinhe, C. I., Shen, Y. & Gutierrez-Roig, M.  (2018). Street-Frontage-Net: urban image classification using deep convolutional neural networks. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 1-27.

Historical Analysis of National Subjective Wellbeing using Millions of Digitized Books

Hills, T., Seresinhe, C. I., Proto, E., Sgroi, D. Under review.

PHD Thesis: From landscapes to cityscapes: Quantifying the connection between scenic beauty and human wellbeing

An application of convolutional neural network in street image classification: the case study of london.

Law, S., Shen, Y. and Seresinhe, C., (2017) In Proc. of the 1st Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning for Geographic Knowledge Discovery, Redondo Beach, CA, 07 – 10 October 2017, 5-9.

Quantifying the Impact of Scenic Environments on Health 

Seresinhe, C. I., Preis, T., & Moat, H. S. (2015) Scientific Reports, 5, 16899.

Quantifying the Link Between Art and Property Prices in Urban Neighbourhoods

Seresinhe, C. I., Moat, H. S., & Preis, T. (2016) Royal Society Open Science, 3(4), 160146.

Quantifying Scenic Areas Using Crowdsourced Data

Seresinhe, C. I., Moat, H. S., & Preis, T. (2017) Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, published ahead of print.

POLICY BRIEF: Using Deep Learning to Quantify the Beauty of Outdoor Places

Chanuki Seresinhe, Suzy Moat and Tobias Preis,
Warwick Business School, University of Warwick



INvited Talks & Presentations




BEYOND CONFERENCE, R&D conference for the creative industries, Edinburgh, 2019

Data for good, Behavioural Exchange, SEPTEMBER 2019



What can machine learning reveal about beautiful places?, LONDON, MAY 2019


DATA MATTERS at Skillsmatter LONDON, March 2019

Ada Lovelace Day Live! (international celebration of the achievements of women in STEM) LONDON, OCTOBER 2018

LSE Centre for Economic Performance Wellbeing Seminar Series, LONDON, OCTOBER 2018


Behavioural Science Summit 2018, University of Warwick, June 2018

COGX18, the Alan Turing Institute research stage, London, JuNE 2018

SoapBox Science (public outreach platform for promoting women scientists) LONDON, MAY 2018

YOW! 2017 Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, November 2017

Open Data Science Conference London, October 2017

Keynote Speaker, InfiniteConf 2017 London, July 2017

COGX17 - AI and Mental HealTh Panel, London, July 2017

OpenTech 2017 London, June 2017

Data Beers London, June 2017

THE ALan Turing Institute Short talk, April 2017

Warwick Medical School University of Warwick, January 2017

Data Beers Warwick University of Warwick, December 2016

Science & Technology Select Committee visit, Alan Turing Institute London, November 2016

Data Science and Government Conference Blavatnik School of Government, University of OxforD, June 2016

Future Cities Forum, RIBA London, June 2016



Data Science Lab
Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
September 2014 - June 2018

University of Warwick
MSc – Distinction
Behavioural and Economic Science (Economics Track)
September 2013 - August 2014

University of Buckingham
BSc (Econ) – First Class Honours
Business Economics
January 2010 - December 2011

University of California, Santa Cruz
Digital Media
1995 - 1999

Teaching & Student

Alan Turing Institute Workshop Deep Learning – working with convolutional neural networks, 2018

Science Lead for Cabinet Office Brief Data Study Group (Industry Collaboration Hackathon) at the AlAN Turing Institut,, 2017

Faciliator for Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Brief Data Study Groups (Industry Collaboration Hackathon) at the AlAN Turing Institute, 2017

Research Co-supervisor of undergraduate student, Data Science Lab, Warwick Business SchoOL, 2017

Mentor for the Future Learn Big Data MOOC, Data Science Lab, Warwick Business School, 2015 - 2017

Lab Assistant for Big Data Analytics, Data Science Lab, Warwick Business SchooL, 2015 - 2016

Workshop “Exploring Google Trends and Twitter Using R”, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, 2016