Event Details

December 12


05:30 pm - 08:30 pm

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Data Education in Schools

Organiser Website

The Nucleus Building, The University of Edinburgh

Thomas Bayes Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3FG

Edinburgh, Edinburgh, GB, EH9 3FG

The University of Edinburgh is one of the livestream venues for this year’s CHRISTMAS LECTURES from the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

Running for almost 200 years, the CHRISTMAS LECTURES were started by Michael Faraday in 1825 to inspire and engage young people with science, and this year Mike Wooldridge, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Oxford, will be exploring the truth behind Artificial Intelligence (AI), the most rapidly evolving field of science.

Not since the World-Wide Web emerged 30 years ago has a new technology promised to change our world so fundamentally and so swiftly as AI does. Today’s AI tools such as ChatGPT and AlphaGo are just a hint of what is to come. The future of AI is going to be quite a journey, and the 2023 CHRISTMAS LECTURES to be broadcast on BBC Four and iPlayer in late December, will give us a guided tour.

AI has increasingly grabbed the headlines in recent years – generating excitement and concern in equal measure – but what should we believe? In these lectures Mike will reveal how AI works and how it will affect our lives – and will tackle head-on our hopes and fears for this most fascinating of fields.

Throughout the three Lectures, Mike will explore the big questions facing AI research and unravel the myths about how this ground-breaking technology really works. How can a machine be taught to play a game or translate from one language to another? He will show how computer programmes inspired by the human brain can be taught and even teach themselves. And he will tell the surprising story of how tools like the latest chatbots work and illustrate the mind-boggling scale of modern AI systems – that can be used in everything from gaming to movie-making to designing drugs.

Across the series Michael will be joined by some major figures from the AI world, including scientists from the world’s leading AI companies. He will also introduce a range of robot friends, who will demonstrate what robots today can do – and what they can’t. Perhaps he may even surprise the audience with some Deep Fake guests who are not quite what they seem.

Event information

The filming of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES is spread over three evenings: 12th, 14th and 16th December. We are inviting you to attend the first livestream event on the 12th December.

In this Lecture, Mike will demonstrate the contrast between how a machine learns and how a human learns, and explain how neural networks accelerated the growth of AI. But could machines ever match human intelligence?

Please note that Mike will not be in Edinburgh for this event! The recording of this event will take place in London. We will be broadcasting the filming of the event as it takes place (in London).

There is no charge to attend this event.

  • Timing: The event will start at 17:30 and the finish by 20:30 (or earlier depending on how long any breaks in filming will be).
  • Location: University of Edinburgh, Nucleus Building.

The event is suitable for young people aged 11–17. All young people need to be accompanied by an adult.

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