UCL Division of Biosciences


CBER External Seminar - Dr Tom Denton, Google DeepMind

07 March 2024, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

Title: 'The Search for Squawk’

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni




Ben Williams


Room 511

This seminar is being hosted by the People and Nature Lab (UCL East)

Abstract: Acoustics offer a unique window into ecosystems: many key indicator species are vocal, and it is easier and cheaper than ever to accumulate thousands of hours of field recordings. Analysis of these recordings has remained a challenge, however. In this talk, we will present work on using bird embeddings to search for and classify novel signals from diverse taxa. We focus on improving workflow efficiency, allowing fast active learning loops which do not depend on machine learning experts. This allows fast development of new classifiers, often in the space of an afternoon, allowing ecologists and conservationists to focus on the actual ecology and conservation questions.

About the Speaker

Dr Tom Denton

at Google DeepMind

Tom obtained a PhD in mathematics at the University of California, Davis in 2011, and joined Google in 2014 to improve educational video distribution in the developing world. Since 2018, Tom has worked on machine learning for bioacoustics at Google, and now leads a research group (Perch) in Google Research/DeepMind dedicated to making bioacoustic analysis both easier and more reliable.

More about Dr Tom Denton