12 Must Watch TED Talks on AI

For all, you who are technology lovers, AI enthusiasts, and casual consumers with peaked interest, don’t miss your chance to learn about the newest advancements in artificial intelligence and an opportunity to join the discussion on the ethics, logistics, and reality of super-intelligent machines. Explore the possibilities of super-intelligence improving our world and our everyday lives while you dive into this great list of TED Talks on artificial intelligence. We have compiled a list of the best TED Talks on AI, providing you with the information you seek on AI technological developments, innovation, and the future of AI.

Here are the best TED Talks for anyone interested in AI.

We hope you enjoy our list!

1. Three principles for creating safer AI

AI expert Stuart Russell’s goal is to build better AI. He believes only super-intelligent machines that are human-compatible and completely selfless should be developed. Can we build robots that share our values and change the narrative of robots taking us over just by altering their primary objectives? Learn more about the development of human-compatible AI: how we can achieve it, how it will work, and how it will benefit us all.

Watch: 3 principles for creating safer AI

2. How AI can bring on a second Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution changed the face of humanity forever. It made fundamental tasks easier, more efficient, and more productive. Also, the doors of innovation and progress were opened giving us everything we enjoy today. If powering machines muscles gave way to the amount of growth and prosperity we have experienced since the Industrial Revolution, imagine how much more could be in store for humanity when we empower our machines to gain intelligence exponentially more significant than ours.  Kevin Kelly, the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, describes this innovated phenomena as “providing cognition to our machines,” whereas before we gave the power of our machines. Discover the capabilities of humanity with this new brand of AI and how it will reshape our world.

Watch: How AI can bring on a second Industrial Revolution

3. What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?

Oxford professor Nick Bostrom discusses the wonderful complexities and benefits of super-intelligent machines and the possible concerns of creating AI that is smarter than we are. Bostrom explains how the abilities of super-intelligence will far exceed our capabilities as humans. Learn the current abilities of AI and the aspirations of machine learning experts for the future of AI. As Bostrom says, “AI and machine learning is the last invention we will have to make,” and he believes that the production of super-intelligent machines is inevitable.

Watch: What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?

4. Can we build AI without losing control over it?

In his precautionary TED talk, Sam Harris, New York Times bestseller, asks us to seriously think about our future with super-intelligent AI and stop characterizing it as a sci-fi movie where robots take over the world and wipe out the human race in the process. Harris takes a practical approach to understand the problems we will face as the creation of super-intelligence becomes inevitable. According to Harris, it’s just a matter of time before a machine is made that is capable of reaching heights of intelligence unimaginable to human intellect, and he thinks we need to be prepared. We need to determine the correct way to build AI that won’t become dominant and equate humans as obsolete.

Watch: Can we build AI without losing control over it?

5. How AI can enhance our memory, work and social lives

Having trouble remembering what you need at the store? Or the name of your wife’s fifth friend you just met at her company Christmas Party? How about that new song you heard on the radio last week that you loved? Tom Gruber, Apple AI expert and Siri co-founder, introduces us to a world where our machines enhance our intelligence instead of a world where we get left behind by devices during his TED talk, “How AI can enhance our memory, work, and social lives.” In Gruber’s vision, AI will be used to improve our lives with the addition of smart machines to our human abilities. He seeks improvements on a large scale, but also on a smaller scale as he describes memory enhancing AI that gives us the ability to remember to the same degree as a computer remembers. Discover how innovators are working to not only build smarter computers but to build computers that can make us smarter.

Watch: How AI can enhance our memory, work, and social lives

6. The rise of human-computer cooperation

Shyam Sankar, the director of Forward Deployed Engineering at Palantir Technologies, doesn’t believe that AI, with complex algorithms and computation, can solve all of our world’s problems. He believes the best way for us to use AI and machine learning to our advantage is to combine the capabilities of AI with our innate humane abilities. Understand how combining the superhuman abilities of machines with human intuition is the best possible process for solving the problems that currently face humanity and future issues. Explore the possibilities as Sankar walks you through successful human-computer cooperation examples tackling challenges in chess, terrorism, and disease.

Watch: The rise of human-computer cooperation.

7. Don’t fear intelligent machines; work with them

Chess world champion and legend, Garry Kasparov, wants to change the rhetoric from ‘man vs. machine’ to ‘man working with machine.’ Kasparov reminds us that when machines become intelligent and eventually become super-intelligent, this is not a success for the machines, but rather, a success for humans who built the machines. He encourages us not to fear technology and the industries’ rapid advancements, but to embrace the changing world where humans and machines will work together to improve our lives. Once we learn the best process of collaboration with AI, we will move from winning games of chess to solving our world’s biggest problems.

Watch: Don’t fear intelligent machines; work with them

8. Machine intelligence makes human morals more important

As advancements in AI continue to make strides, we rely on machines more and more to complete increasingly difficult tasks. Computers can make decisions for us like who businesses should hire. Should we be careful about what we rely on computers to decide for us? Zeynep Tufekci, an assistant professor at Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society, thinks there is cause for concern, and we should be cautious how much decision-making freedom and responsibility we give to AI. She warns that the perceived objectivity of AI is not what it seems and informs us of the dangers behind using computers to solve subjective problems.

Watch: Machine intelligence makes human morals more important

9. Can a computer write poetry?

Writers use what we perceive to be inherent human feelings, emotions, and passions to underlie the language and imagery of their poems in a way that computers couldn’t possibly express. Or can they?  Writer and poet Oscar Schwartz, using poetry as his framework, takes an existential approach to question human existence with AI as machine learning advancements are made in computers ability to read, write, and learn. Schwartz shows us how complex algorithms have made it possible for computers to write poetry unrecognizable from poetry written by humans. Can computers be creative? Can they express real human emotion? Contemplate these questions and more as you witness the amazing advancements in machine learning with Oscar Schwartz as your guide to answering what it means to be human and if machines can learn to be.

Watch: Can a computer write poetry?

10. Robots with “soul”

Guy Hoffman, an assistant professor and the Mills Family Faculty Fellow in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University, is working on a different type of AI. Hoffman brings his robots to life through their movement, giving them grace and fluidity instead of stiff and precise motion. Discover how robots are becoming more like companions with abilities to read emotions and interact appropriately and less like tools only used to complete tasks. Learn the evolution of emotionally intelligent robots and their impact on AI innovation and development.

Watch: Robots with “soul.”

11. Are Droids Taking Our Jobs?

Andrew McAfee addresses the looming question of doom, “Are robots going to take away our jobs?” Are machines advancing their abilities to the point they can write, translate languages, and drive cars? Yes, but McAfee believes if we focus on that, then we are missing the bigger picture of how this will enhance human existence. Discover the possibilities for innovation and human problem solving when machines complete all of our rudimentary work and drudgery for us; freeing up our time to profoundly spark innovation and redirect human history, just like the Industrial Revolution changed our world forever. Stop focusing on what super-intelligent machines will take away from us and focus on what we will gain from them.

Watch: Are droids taking our jobs?

12. Building “self-aware” robots

Robotics engineer, Hod Lipson, proposes a new idea on how to effectively build the smartest robots. He believes in building “self-aware” robots, intelligent machines that go through their own evolutionary processes to find out for themselves how to best function. Lipson demonstrates to us how robots are capable of learning and evolving autonomously through some of his own designs and projects.

Watch: Building “self-aware” robots.

We hope you enjoyed our list of the best TED Talks on AI. If there are any of your favorite TED Talks that we did not include in our list, please let us know on social media!

Don’t forget to share our list with your friends, colleagues, and on social media!

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Judd Brost

Judd Brost - content marketing intern at QAT Global for Winter 2017-2018. Responsible for developing content for clients on solutions and technology issues, providing sales support, and assisting with the company's overall marketing activities.