Since its conceptualisation in 1983, TED Talks have been the go-to platform for people from all walks of life to share ideas and thoughts. Over the last three decades, the platform has witnessed some of the finest speakers capture the imagination of their audience with absolute exuberance.
In this article, Analytics India Magazine takes a look at some of the most interesting talks that revolve around emerging tech like artificial intelligence and machine learning.
How do we learn to work with intelligent machines?
Published in November 2018, Matt Beane, assistant professor of Technology Management at the University of California, addresses the most common fear associated with AI — machines taking over human jobs. Beane, however, challenges this notion and says that instead of handling the technology carelessly and letting it be a hindrance for getting newer jobs, the potential of the technology can be used in such a way that machine enhanced mentorship can” take full advantage of AI’s amazing capabilities while enhancing our skills at the same time.”
How AI can save our humanity
One of the world’s noted AI experts, Kai-Fu Lee, is a venture capitalist, technology executive and writer. In this talk, Lee discusses the ethical aspects associated with AI and discusses the AI revolution that is currently unfolding in the US and China. Throughout his speech, Lee highlights the importance of thriving in a world by harnessing compassion and creativity. “AI is serendipity. It is here to liberate us from routine jobs, and it is here to remind us what it is that makes us human,” Lee points out.
How to get empowered, not overpowered, by AI
As a noted physicist and cosmologist, Max Tegmark’s work towards analysing the potential harm of AI and ML has been very popular. As the title of the speech suggests, Tegmark attempts to separate the fact from figures associated with AI myths and fear. Through his speech, Tegmark describes the concrete steps “we should take today to ensure that AI ends up being the best, rather than worst thing to ever happen to humanity.”
What is the meaning of work?
Venture capitalist, Roy Bahat and TV producer and investigative journalist, Bryn Freedman, discuss the much-debated topic of securing jobs in a more AI-relevant future.
“When we spoke to people there were two themes that came out loud and clear and that is, people are less looking for more money or get out of the fear of robots taking their job. Rather they want something that is very stable and predictable. And the second thing that they said was they want was dignity, that concept of self-worth through work emerged again and again in our work,” Bahat points out.
Why fascism is so tempting — and how your data could power it
As countries across the world turn to divisive politics, acclaimed writer Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Harvill Secker, 2014) and Homo Deus (Harper, 2017), manages to capture the attention of his audience with his almost science-fiction-like speech. With fascism challenging governance, the author talks about how the consolidation of data would affect democracy. “The enemies of liberal democracy hack our feelings of fear and hate and vanity, and then use these feelings to polarize and destroy. It is the responsibility of all of us to get to know our weaknesses and make sure they don’t become weapons, ” he says in his speech, while appearing as a live hologram from Tel Aviv.
How to be “Team Human” in the digital future
Douglas Rushkoff, an American media theorist, writer, columnist and lecturer briefs about the potential harms that human can afflict upon themselves as we move towards a world dominated by technology. “Join Team Human. Find others. Together let’s make the future that we always wanted,” he says.
Fake videos of real people — and how to spot them
Misinformation and the propagation of fake news and videos continue to challenge governments across the world. So if a video about Barak Obama and Donald Trump surfaces in the internet saying some of the oddest things, don’t be surprised, because now algorithms can mimic them as well. Computer scientist Supasorn Suwajanakorn, in this speech, demonstrates how he used AI and 3D modelling to create photo realistic fake videos of people synced to audio.
How our brains will keep up with AI
Bruno Michael, a Distinguished Researcher and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, talks about how with physical activities and by positive reinforcement, human beings can stay abreast of an AI system. In his speech, Michael shares an optimistic view and tell his viewers not to be afraid of the potential of emerging technologies.
Can we protect AI from our biases?
One of the biggest challenge ascribed to AI systems is the biase in algorithms which is known to have produced sexist and racist outputs. In her speech, documentary filmmaker, Robin Hauser analysis the potential capabilities of AI systems to produce biased outcomes as human beings themselves are prone to biased assumption consciously or unconsciously.
“We need to figure this out now. Because once skewed data gets into deep learning machines, it’s very difficult to take it out,” Hauser says.
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Akshaya Asokan works as a Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine. She has previously worked with IDG Media and The New Indian Express. When not writing, she can be seen either reading or staring at a flower.