Best TED Talks on artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a highly discussed topic that raises debate over ethics, emotional intelligence and human-computer cooperation.

We discuss AI a lot on Techworld, highlighting how businesses are using it, its growing potential, not to mention those that have warned us against improper use of the technology.

TED Talks offers a variety of interesting and engaging lectures on a wide range of topics from cyber security to business development. And AI is no different.

We've compiled a list of the best TED Talks on artificial intelligence. This list will continue to be updated so if we've missed your favourite TED Talk, let us know.

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

Read next: Seven must-watch TED Talks on cyber security

How AI can save humanity

How AI can save humanity

In this bite-size 15 minute Ted Talk, computer scientist and technology investor Kai-Fu discusses how humans - with our natural empathy - can prosper alongside artificial intelligent devices.

Kai-Fu details the great leap in AI investment and development in the US and China, noting how the two are paving the way for AI technology.

"So with the US leading the era of discovery, and China leading the era of implementation, we are now in an amazing age where the dual engine of the two superpowers are working together to drive the fastest revolution in technology," he said.

"[AI] is here to liberate us from routine jobs, and it is here to remind us what it is that makes us human."

Watch: How AI can save humanity.

Can we build AI without losing control over it?

Can we build AI without losing control over it?

Sam Harris, a five-time New York Times bestselling author, writes about a variety of interesting topics from neuroscience and morality to human rationality and the ways we must change as the world changes around us.

In this talk, Harris addresses the fear associated with superintelligent machines and why this fear is justified. According to Harris, the problems that come with artificial intelligence need to be tackled before we create high-level AI to avoid 'horror' scenarios in which uncontrolled AI reaps devasting consequences.

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

How AI is making it easier to diagnose disease

How AI is making it easier to diagnose disease

While this talk is only five minutes long, Dr Pratik Shah - Principal Investigator at MIT Media Lab - effectively covers AI's potential in diagnostics, and how the process of training AI algorithms for spotting disease could be significantly decreased.

The process of training an algorithm is timely and resource heavy, however, Shah proposes a new way of doing things.

He puts forward his own method for training AI algorithms which takes only 50 images to develop a working algorithm, an almost unbelievablly low number given the hundreds of thousands that are normally required.

Watch: How AI is making it easier to diagnose disease.

My seven species of robot -- and how we created them

My seven species of robot -- and how we created them

In this short (16 min) talk Dennis Hong - professor at University of California and founder of robotics lab RoMeLa - runs through seven robots, offering insight into each and their specific design.

Showcasing robots inspired by nature, by the wheel and one able to play football, Hong is able to highlight robots that can be built to tackle any terrain and intelligently change their methods depending on the environment they're in.

The talk concludes with Hong offering insight into RoMeLa, how the lab works and how his team work to get something up and running, from an idea into production.

Watch: My seven species of robot - and how we created them.

Could a robot pass a university entrance exam?

Could a robot pass a university entrance exam?

Japanese mathematician and AI expert Noriko Arai oversaw the Todai Robot Project, which aimed to find out whether a computer could get into the University of Tokyo.

The project saw its AI system pass over 70 percent of the university entrance exams in Japan.

In 'Could a robot pass a university entrance exam?' Arai ponders whether we've underestimated the number of jobs where AI systems could replace humans. Looking past menial jobs, towards jobs that require a university degree.

However, Arai also points out its flaws, the most obvious being its lack of understanding. It doesn't know the meaning of the answers it chooses.

Watch Could a robot pass a university entrance exam?

Machine intelligence makes human morals more important

Machine intelligence makes human morals more important

Zeynep Tufekci is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina and specialises in the impact of big data and algorithms and how technology influences societal movements.

In this talk, Tufekci explores the pitfalls of artificial intelligence and the potential future failures of a society that is not adequately prepared. Tufekci believes human morals will become significantly important in the age of artificial intelligence and emotionally intelligent machines.

Watch: Machine intelligence makes human morals more important

The era of blind faith in big data must end

The era of blind faith in big data must end

American mathematician and author of numerous data science books Cathy O'Neil - including 'Weapons of Math Destruction' - offers a fresh insight into the way we discuss and value big data.

In 'The era of blind faith in big data must end', O'Neil discusses the nature of algorithms, opposing the common belief that they are entirely mathematical.

The thinking behind this is simple, the scientists who build these algorithms set the parameters for big data. They choose what behaviours should be replicated and what should be discarded.

What AI algorithms really do is repeat past human behaviour, rarely breaking from the norm. This causes prejudices within them and makes them ineffective in certain industries such as the legal system and the police.

Watch: The era of blind faith in big data must end.

How AI can bring on a second Industrial Revolution

How AI can bring on a second Industrial Revolution

Kevin Kelly is probably best known for being the founding executive editor of Wired magazine and former editor and publisher of the Whole Earth Review. Kelly has written extensively about science, philosophy, intelligent machines and the human brain.

In this TED talk, Kelly addresses the three AI trends that need to be understood to formulate the foundation of its development. Kelly highlights that our desire to produce smart products will impact most if not all aspect of our lives.

Watch: How AI can bring on a second Industrial Revolution

What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?

What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?

Nick Bostrom is a professor at the University of Oxford, and founder of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology. Bostrom specialises in the ethics surrounding AI, the future of humanity and the potential risks and the philosophy of the mind (to name a few).

This talk explores the well-debated question 'what happens when computers get smarter than we are'. There are potential end scenarios, from intelligent machines preserving humanity to ending humanity or creating a new set of values for life with thinking machines.

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

This app knows how you feel — from the look on your face

This app knows how you feel — from the look on your face

Rana el Kaliouby is chief science officer and co-founder of Affectiva, an emotion measurement technology that enables computers to recognise human emotions based on facial expressions.

In this popular talk, Kaliouby provides a demonstration of this facial recognition technology. Kaliouby explains how this 'emotion engine' can change how humans and machines interact and how machines could match the emotional response similar to that of humans.

Watch: This app knows how you feel — from the look on your face

Building "self-aware" robots

Building "self-aware" robots

Robotics engineer Hod Lipson is director of Columbia University's Creative Machines Lab. One of Lipson's focuses is evolutionary robotics, which is the research within the fields of artificial life and fully-autonomous robots.

In this short and relatively old (2007) TED Talk, Lipson demonstrates some of his robots that he has programmed them to learn, understand themselves and understand their own limitations.

Watch: Building "self-aware" robots.

The rise of human-computer cooperation

The rise of human-computer cooperation

Shyam Sankar is director of Forward Deployed Engineering at Palantir Technologies, specialising in big data analysis. Sankar focuses on human-computer symbiosis and explains why we should rely on intelligence augmentation (IA) to tackle our hardest problems rather than artificial intelligence.

In this talk, Sankar explains why solving world problems such as terrorism is not about understanding the right algorithm, but instead should centre on the connection between computing and human individuality.

Watch: The rise of human-computer cooperation.

The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn

The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn

Jeremy Howard is a deep learning researcher at Fast.ai and was previously the CEO of Enlitic, an advanced machine learning organisation specialising in optimal treatment decision based on patient data.

In this talk, Howard explores the implications of deep learning and all that encompasses machine learning. Going back to the first self-learning computer, Howard explains how Google, IBM, Baidu and other tech giants have built foundations in machine learning, from Watson winning Jeopardy! and Google's search engine. Howard also explains his company's deep learning process, aimed at the medical industry.

Watch: The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn.

Can a computer write poetry?

Can a computer write poetry?

Oscar Schwartz is a writer and poet specialising in the impact that digital technology has on culture and human interaction. Schwartz created a website Bot or not providing a Turing test asking users to decide whether a computer or human has written a piece of poetry.

This talk offers examples of poetry written by both computers and humans, encouraging viewers to guess which one was written by a computer, and the results will probably surprise you. Schwartz questions the human response to this, is it still poetry if it is written by a computer? Has the computer truly expressed itself? And what does it mean to be human or a computer?

Watch: Can a computer write poetry?

Robots with "soul"

Robots with "soul"

Guy Hoffman is an assistant professor at the Mills Family Faculty Fellow in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. Hoffman focuses on the interactions of robots and asks whether they can mirror the communication we see between two or more humans.

In this popular talk, Hoffman explores the 'humanisation' of robots in films and looks at how this can be done. Hoffman looks at robots that break the typical 'observe and respond' relationship they have with humans, for example in human vs robot chess games.

Watch: Robots with "soul".

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