Credit: Paul Wilkinson

Solstice Season: Royal Institution Christmas Lectures Live!

Solstice Season: Royal Institution Christmas Lectures Live!

Included in Late Entry ticket

18:00 – 20:30

Jodrell Bank Centre for Engagement are honoured and very excited to announce that we will be live streaming The Royal Institution CHRISTMAS LECTURES this winter as part of our Solstice at Jodrell Bank season.

In the 2023 CHRISTMAS LECTURES, Mike Wooldridge will tackle the most important and rapidly evolving field of science today – Artificial Intelligence (AI).

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.

Please note, the Royal Institution CHRISTMAS LECTURES recordings will be taking place across three evenings. Jodrell Bank Centre for Engagement will be hosting the third of these live streams. These events are live recordings in readiness for the programmes to aired on BBC FOUR between Christmas and New Year. Please note that there will be breaks in filming during the event. Please note, Professor Mike Wooldridge will not be appearing in person.

Credit: Paul Wilkinson

image Paul Wilkinson

About Professor Mike Wooldridge

Mike Wooldridge is an academic and author specialising in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As an academic, he is a professor of AI at the University of Oxford, where he served as Head of Department of Computer Science from 2014 to 2021; he is also Director for AI at The Alan Turing Institute in London. He has received multiple awards for both research and education, including in 2020, the Lovelace Medal from the British Computer Society – the leading award for a UK computer scientist – and in 2021 the Outstanding Educator Award from the Association for the Advancement of AI (AAAI).

From 2014-16, Mike was President of the European Association for AI, and from 2015-17 he was President of the International Joint Conference on AI (IJCAI). He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Artificial Intelligence, the leading journal for AI, established more than 50 years ago and has been invited to give evidence on matters relating to AI to multiple government committees.

As an author, he has written nine books, which have been translated nine times. His books include two popular science introductions to AI: the Ladybird Expert Guide to AI (Penguin, 2018) in the iconic British book series, and The Road to Conscious Machines (Pelican, 2020).

Mike gives frequent public lectures on AI, including at the Hay Festival and Cheltenham Science Festival and is regularly interviewed by the media.


About the Royal Institution

The Royal Institution’s (Ri) vision is for a world where everyone is inspired to think more deeply about science and its place in our lives. Home to eminent scientists such as Michael Faraday, Humphry Davy, Kathleen Lonsdale and John Tyndall, its discoveries have helped to shape the modern world. Just as importantly these scientists recognised the importance of sharing their work with the wider public.

Today it continues its mission to build on its heritage and create opportunities for everyone to discover, discuss and critically examine science and how it shapes the world around us. An independent registered charity, the Ri provides science education, public engagement, and heritage activities for people of all ages and backgrounds across the UK and around the world. These activities include the world-famous CHRISTMAS LECTURES; public talks from the world’s greatest thinkers in its historic lecture theatre and livestreamed online; a successful YouTube channel with over 1.25 million subscribers, a national programme of Ri Masterclasses for young people in mathematics, engineering and computer science; hands-on science workshops in its L’Oréal Young Scientist Centre; award winning animations and films; and the preservation of its scientific legacy through the Faraday Museum and archival collections.