The Turing Lectures: How to speak whale

Inside the technology that’s decoding the voices of ocean giants

Learn more Register here Add to Calendar 02/14/2023 02:00 PM 02/14/2023 03:30 PM Europe/London The Turing Lectures: How to speak whale Location of the event
Tuesday 14 Feb 2023
Time: 14:00 - 15:30

Audience type

Ticket prices vary

Event series

The Turing Lectures


In 2015, wildlife filmmaker Tom Mustill was almost crushed by a humpback whale while kayaking in California. Fascinated by these otherworldly creatures, he began to investigate how researchers are using AI, undersea robots, and animal spying devices to do something incredible: decipher whale song.

Tom will break down what it will take to speak to a whale, in a whistlestop tour covering the biology and lives of whales, new discoveries about their communications, what AI is and how it can help, and updates from the latest research expeditions.

The event will feature videos from the backs of whales, recordings from the deep sea, pieces of real whales and dolphins, and the chance to feel the vibrations of the biggest voices on the planet through your entire body.

It’ll be an afternoon whale-spent for the whole family!

This event is organised in collaboration with the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

Photo credit: Tom Mustill


About the event

In our first Turing Lecture for everyone aged 11+, wildlife filmmaker Tom Mustill reveals how a close encounter with a humpback whale inspired him to find out whether we could ever talk to these ocean giants.

We invite you to submerge yourself in Tom’s underwater world, hear about the amazing advances scientists are making in decoding animal communication, and be rumbled by the voices of our deep-sea orca-stra! He'll be joined by Michael Bronstein, DeepMind Professor of AI at the University of Oxford, to explain how the development of new machine learning tools are making waves in the field.

Featuring lively pyrotechnic demonstrations exploring how whale voices travel, an opportunity for audience members to get involved and try to speak like a whale, and awe-inspiring footage from the bodies of whales and dolphins, join us as we take a deep dive into their world under the sea.

This event is organised in collaboration with the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

The Royal Institution

The Royal Institution is an organisation dedicated to scientific education and research. Located in Piccadilly, it was founded in 1799 to "spread knowledge and facilitate general access to mechanical and useful inventions; to teach, through courses composed of philosophical conferences and experiments, the application of science to ordinary life."

Please note that registration for this event is managed by the Royal Institution and tickets to attend this event in-person start from £10. An access fund is available for anyone who would otherwise be unable to attend. Please contact [email protected] to enquire.

You can attend virtually free of charge, please click the 'register now' button to attend.

This series of Turing Lectures is organised in collaboration with The Royal Institution of Great Britain.

The Royal Institution: Science lives here




The Royal Institution of Great Britain
21 Albemarle Street

51.509894326142, -0.14259696006775