The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn | Jeremy Howard | TEDxBrussels

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This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. The extraordinary, wonderful, and terrifying implications of computers that can learn

Jeremy is the CEO of Enlitic, which uses recent advances in machine learning to make medical diagnostics faster, more accurate, and more accessible. The company’s mission is to provide the tools that allow physicians to fully utilize the vast stores of medical data collected today, regardless of what form they are in – such as medical images, doctors’ notes, and structured lab tests.

He is a serial entrepreneur, business strategist, developer, and educator. He is also the youngest faculty member at Singularity University, where he teaches data science, and is a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum. He advised Khosla Ventures as their Data Strategist, identifying the biggest opportunities for investing in data driven startups, and helping their portfolio companies build data driven businesses. Previously he was the President and Chief Scientist of Kaggle, a community and competition platform for over 150,000 data scientists. Before working at Kaggle, he was the top ranked participant in data science competitions globally, in 2010 and 2011. He founded two successful Australian startups (the email provider FastMail, and the insurance pricing algorithm company Optimal Decisions Group), both of which grew internationally and were sold to large international companies. He started his career in management consulting, working at the world’s most exclusive firms, including McKinsey & Co, and AT Kearney (becoming the youngest engagement manager world-wide, and building a new global practice in what is now called “Big Data”). He is also a keen student, for example developing a new system for learning Chinese, which he used to develop usable Chinese language skills in just one year. Jeremy has mentored and advised many startups, and is also an angel investor. He has contributed to a range of open source projects as a developer, and was a regular expert guest on Australia’s most popular TV morning news program “Sunrise”.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


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42 Comments
  1. Vladimir Tsvetkov says

    6 years later… 2020… what have changed since the talk?

  2. Storm Rider says

    The movie Colossus: The Forbin Project" give us a scary scenario.

  3. Peter Petrov says

    Perhaps AI will be "democratized" and easily available to anyone. So if my self-driving taxi or a robot works all by itself 24/7, and it pays off the loan for the initial cost in 6 months, then what's the problem? We can all use some free time. Singularitynet.io–the creators of the robot Sophia–are trying to make this work. BTW the entire concept of employer, employee, and working for a wage is coming to an end, and that's a great thing! The concept of money and governance are also changing thanks to Bitcoin and Ethereum. Maybe investing a small amount in those exponentially growing crypto currencies will be our new "job!" IMO The big tech companies and governments will be disrupted by the brutal efficiency of Bitcoin and Ethereum for the same reason Airbnb became richer than 100 year old hotel chains.

  4. W Serba says

    Are the conclusions in the last slide the advice from AI? You better hope your AI is a feduciary.

  5. Fenderslasher says

    our current state of capitalism and politics has me convinced that the 1% will manage to see all these gains while the poor will be relegated to death and poverty. At least here in the states, people are convinced that your lack of employment means you inherently lacking of worth are not fit to live. Bold statement but that is how the politics plays out. The very same people who would benefit the most from universal income would vote against themselves due to propaganda and media influence. I would love to be proved wrong but our politics has me very cynical about our ability to evolve with this oncoming age.

  6. farceadentus says

    Universal basic income is the solution to job losses

  7. Red Ghost says

    Soon the machine will attempt to find it's self. That might be a day to be scared.

  8. DyzioTheDreamer says

    Most of our fears regarding the development of AI revolve around the issue of employment. For anyone to join this conversation it is paramount to understand /define what employment/work actually is because in majority of cases the standard definition of work being the exectution of some tasks that directly contribute to the survival of people fails to describe what "work' is today. The modern definition of work is: ' doing something reluctantly for a given number of hours every day, without seeing the point of it other than getting paid at the end of the month'. Work in this sense is completely secure, no matter how advanced the AI gets. As long as there are people, there will be jobs. Jobs will only disappear, when people disappear

  9. MrCher2 says

    Household income is still increasing. (You can check an updated mean household income evolution data at FRED website for example). Even if the mean household income was flat, it would imply an increase in productivity becouse the mediam hosehold size is smaller nowadays.Perks are also something not included in that household income data, and they are something that has increased during last years, specially for lower income workers.Income data does not account for a great amount of contributions made by technology. For example, nowadays everyone in a developed country has access to small cheap computers connected to internet, with access to huge libraries full of knowledge, to mobile phones, and to good quality big screens. Those are some things that would have been considered luxury products, and would have been valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars only some decades ago. We also have better healthcare treatments today.If IA created much better and much cheaper products substituting those we have today, that would be good for me, even if I had to work for a lesser amount of money, as a leisure staff member for example.

  10. kald0rei says

    Butlerian Jihad is the way to go

  11. PixelPhobiac says

    Basic income

  12. Brushwerks says

    Eric Andres Dad?

  13. briank05 says

    wow art garfunkel looks well!

  14. nighter273 says

    why cant he put the last question to be answered by machine learning loool

  15. Florian Jug says

    partly interesting talk… but he seriously overestimates DL's capabilities…

  16. Bruno N. says

    What if I want to be a slave keeping my job in bad condictions?

  17. matthew 2 says

    omg, they could put this into a robot… and then they could make ai robots O.O

  18. alindastar says

    The conundrum comes when the computers or A. I. reach sentient status.God creates man; Man creates god.God casts man from the garden; sentient god banishes man from the Earth.Man is exterminated computer inherits the Earth totally self-sufficient forever.

  19. MrPapillon a says

    One idea that was only surfaced in this speech (for good because it was targeting realistic and close-future expectations):We used to tell algorithms what to find. Now machines start to find by themselves what is up to be noticed (Google's cat search). But I may try to extrapolate from this.Currently:Big companies have massive data concerning a big chunk of mankind. One man can try to search for specific statistics and tell the machine what the goal is. Then he collects results and try to make something out of it. Some unexpected info can emerge from it, but all is mostly constrained by the man's imagination and initial expectations. Future:I expect machines to surf the big data and to seek by themselves what interesting things they can find. The cat search of Google is very basic, but with some more robust AI, it can try to find interesting patterns and emerging ideas that we wouldn't have thought at first. I think humans have always tried to use some kind of map reduce algorithm, but with specific map and reduce algorithms/filters that we are already used to.The idea is to analyse mankind from a different point of view.

  20. Wheelman Josh says

    We need to worry about changing our behavior in regards to how we are destroying the environment first, or that is going to be our extinction, not intelligent machines.

  21. Raymond K Petry says

    Have they tried 'deep-learning' on poetry, specifically, something we played-with back in the early-'70's: it'd be interesting-for-a-moment to listen to the progress made in this effort to get computers to write poetry, comparing for cadence, trope, genre, style…plagiarism efficiency.

  22. Sarys says

    very odd that at 13:25 he loses his accent then picks it up again.

  23. Centro Medico Uma says

    A little scary??:-)

  24. Michel Stronguin says

    We may have to put a serious tax on the companies generating all that automation and giving a guaranteed minimum income to all citizens. This will only be possible once all low skilled jobs are replaced by robotics.Otherwise, who would want to be a genitor, a house maid or a bus driver if they are all getting a minimum income? But once robots are doing it all, then it's ok.A minimum income to all makes it possible for the unemployed to look for other ways of making money, because their brains are now free to be innovative instead of fearing the loss of benefits once they start making money from their innovative ideas.It is key not to give a minimum income only to the unemployed, because then we reward their inactivity, while giving the employed a reason to stop working.I am aware that a minimum income for all means that the billionaires also get that minimum income, but I think we can all live with that.All this would also mean that corporate tax evasion would be a top priority crime – much more so then nowadays.Automation is coming faster then ever before, so we need to make laws faster then ever before to be ready for the effects of an automated economy on our society.

  25. Mckenna Cisler says

    I think that we can't let computers replace us. We have to grow with them, not by expanding our intelligence to match them, but by using them as tools to accomplish tasks which used to slow down humans. Then, with computers taking care of these tasks, we will be able to focus on the qualities which distinguish us from computers, and thus combine their immense power with human skills like creativity and ethics to leverage the advantages of computers towards our own gain, instead of falling behind.

  26. LORDE 2729 says

    skynet 

  27. Luca Rigazio says

    @Jeremy Howard – who made the speech-to-speech system you mentioned in the china conference?

  28. Randall Carmin says

    Considering I just watched Transcendence before watching this video.

  29. Casey says

    sure its intelligent but is it sentient and has emotion?

  30. Just Juju says

    Singularity confirmed

  31. Dizz says

    I feel that virtual secretaries would've made a nice point in this presentation as they are one of the growing fields replacing people while still needing consistent community feedback. It's a great example of how people will still be needed to train the system, if in a less direct manner.

  32. George Baily says

    The faces of the audience are priceless in the "humanity will be obsolete" bit at the end.

  33. thefozzbots says

    17:11 for the terrifying shit.

  34. Russell Copeland says

    I wish they would have called it deep thought instead of deep learning

  35. Jasmin Shah says

    16000 Dimensional space? Oh God! 

  36. Daniël Boomsma says

    Shit … power went down. O no … our clever computer died!

  37. Jeremy Howard says

    I've shared a full list of citations now for the talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/jeremy_howard_the_wonderful_and_terrifying_implications_of_computers_that_can_learn/citations . Many thanks to the folks at TED for hosting this

  38. delatroy says

    I think Jeremy was being painfully generous with the whole man + machine thing. I just didn't think I'd feel this belittled this quickly not by him, but by the unyielding, exponentially ruthless tide that drives the economic value of all but those with stock in the businesses that own the algorithms, centralised capital and physical resources. Conversely, it will mean immense gains in productivity meaning that there won't be the need for us to work as much however I'm unclear on how the day to day of that works. If people have a vastly diminished ability to provide value and earn, then there will be a vastly lower potential for profit on the market as a whole which offsets gains in productivity derived through this freeing up of labour. However consider that no business would ever provide needs let alone desires for free so I don't see a clear way how all this shakes out. It could be that the algorithms get hacked or opensource which then gives productivity to many more but again, producing stuff for free will never occur. It won't be an absolute like this so maybe we'll have to compete in spaces where machines cannot like… pro gaming, sports, drug dealing, prostitution, art (?)… Not traditionally regarded as solid career choices, suitable for the masses or high earners.

  39. rubytski says

    If all can be done by a machine in due time, what are the 7 bilion people of this world gone spend their time on? This scares the living ** out of me.

  40. LELIFER says

    the collapse is coming, humanity will be integrated into the VR cloud and preserved in ever evolving life support containers.

  41. Polycube says

    I for one welcome our computer overlords…. as long as the kind of unemployment it provides is the 'having basic needs met' kind for everyone and they learn empathy.

  42. Frank Flores says

    Please investigate a resource based economy.

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