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The murmuration conjecture: finding new maths with AI

Artificial intelligence is changing our lives. Many of us use the voice activated features on our phones to recognise, understand and fairly complex speech. Students use ChatGPT to do their homework. And doctors use AI algorithms to help diagnose many diseases from medical data. But how is AI changing the lives of mathematicians?


Another murmuration of starlings. Photo: Walter Baxter, CC BY-SA 2.0.

In this podcast we speak to Yang-Hui He from the London Institute of Mathematical Sciences about his recent work on the evocatively titled murmuration conjecture. This exciting new conjecture came about due to both artificial and human intelligence, and reveals patterns in the prime numbers that look like flocks of birds. (You can also read more in the article that accompanies this podcast.)

We were speaking to Yang as part of our coverage of the research programme, Black holes: bridges between number theory and holographic quantum information, held at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences  in Cambridge.  The programme  brought together a fascinating array of experts in black holes and quantum theory, with mathematicians and computer scientists. You can read more in our coverage of the programme here.

This content was produced as part of our collaboration with the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI) – you can find all the content from our collaboration here. The INI is an international research centre and our neighbour here on the University of Cambridge's maths campus. It attracts leading mathematical scientists from all over the world, and is open to all. Visit to find out more.

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You can listen to the podcast using the player above, and you can listen and subscribe to our podcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify and through most other podcast providers via podbean.

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