Running for almost 200 years, the CHRISTMAS LECTURES were started by Michael Faraday to inspire and engage young people with science, and this year Professor Mike Wooldridge will be exploring the truth behind Artificial Intelligence (AI), the most rapidly evolving field of science. We recommend this event for young people aged 11 upwards, but people of all ages can come and watch the magic of the Lectures unfold in real time as they’re filmed in front of an audience in the Ri’s Theatre in London. They’ll have the chance to get involved with hands-on activities, and be the first to learn the truth about AI.
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.
Please see links below for each Christmas lecture;
12th December - book now
14th December - book now
16th December - book now
Have a look at Christmas Lectures 2022
Christmas lectures FAQ
What age range are the CHRISTMAS LECTURES suitable for?
The CHRISTMAS LECTURES are aimed at an audience of 11-17 year olds, however they are accessible for people of all ages and all levels of scientific knowledge.
Will Professor Mike Wooldridge be there in person?
Professor Mike Wooldridge will not be in Aberdeen, but you will be able to watch his presentations via the livestream on the big screen.
Will you get to see the behind the scenes of the RI Christmas lectures?
Yes, as a member of the livestream audience you will see the full filming and content of the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures before they are broadcast on the BBC.
We ask all attendees to keep the content off social media, in order to keep the excitement for when they are broadcast on TV.
Do I have to come to all 3 talks?
No, all the talks will be linked however you are welcome to come to as many as you wish. Please note each event requires a separate ticket.
What are the event timings?
Doors will open at 5.15pm where you can have refreshments and find out more about the world of Artificial Intelligence from researchers at the University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian.
We ask the audience to be seated for 6pm at the start of the livestream, and anticipate the stream will finish around 7.30pm.
Will there be a chance to meet any researchers?
Yes we are delighted to be partnering with the University of Aberdeen.
University researchers will showcase their work throughout the evening giving members of the public a chance to interact with their exhibits and ask questions about the use of AI in all our lives.
Where is the event taking place?
The Christmas lectures live-stream will be held at King’s College Conference Centre, University of Aberdeen Campus, Aberdeen AB24 3FX. Click here for travel information.
When will the CHRISTMAS LECTURES be on tv?
The 2023 CHRISTMAS LECTURES to be broadcast on BBC Four and iPlayer in late December.
Exact broadcast details will be confirmed when the BBC announce their Christmas schedules in early December.
How can I watch past CHRISTMAS LECTURES?
You can watch our archive of Christmas lectures here on the RI’s website.