8 Must Watch TED Talks on AI

Dive into this list of TED talks to answer some of the most pressing questions about AI. What does the future of AI look like? How does AI learn, and what can it be useful for? These questions and more are answered through these TED talks discussing ethics, logistics, and the reality of AI. We have compiled a list of the best TED talks on artificial intelligence to please all AI enthusiasts. We hope you enjoy our list!

The medical potential of AI and metabolites

Leila Pirhaji, a biotech entrepreneur, shares her plan to build an AI-based network focused on understanding disease development and discovering more effective treatments. After leaving medical school to pursue her love of mathematics, she has found a way to study medicine by developing algorithms to analyze biological data. The AI-based network characterizes metabolite data. She and her team have formed a startup company to bring their technology to market. Pirhaji hopes that collecting data about metabolites and analyzing that data will lead to treatments for issues such as fatty liver disease.

Watch: The medical potential of AI and metabolites

How does artificial intelligence learn?

Briana Brownell illustrates how computer scientists who design AI machines don’t know precisely how they operate because AI is often self-taught, working off a simple set of instructions to create rules and strategies. So how does a machine learn? Brownell uncovers how machines investigate, negotiate, and communicate through unsupervised, supervised, and reinforcement learning.

Watch: How does artificial intelligence learn?

Tracking the whole world’s carbon emissions – with satellites and AI

What is causing climate change? Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. The question is which activities are causing it, who is burning the fossil fuels, what are they burning, and where is it being burned. Countries currently self-report their greenhouse gas emission numbers. These numbers are often inaccurate and prone to manipulation. High-tech environmental activist Gavin McCormick discusses the importance of tracking carbon pollution in real-time and identifying the world’s worst culprits through the use of satellites and AI.

Watch: Tracking the whole world’s carbon emissions with satellites and AI
Artificial Intelligence

AI isn’t as smart as you think – but it could be

Jeff Dean, leader of AI and research at Google, discusses how we have seen AI do tremendous things over the last decade, such as understanding language and speech and better predicting and diagnosing disease. Computers have developed the ability to see and do things they were unable to before. Dean explains two components that underlie progress in AI – neural networks and computational power. Dean displays a roadmap for building better, more reliable systems with a deeper understanding of the world.

Watch: AI isn’t as smart as you think – but it could be

How AI can help shatter barriers to equality

Jamila Gordon tells the story of her path from refugee to global tech executive. She wants to utilize AI on a massive scale giving disadvantaged people the opportunity to find work, the skills to be great employees, and the environment to do their jobs safely. Gordon discusses how AI makes things possible for people who otherwise might have been left behind. Breaking down barriers through human connection – and AI – is her ultimate goal.

Watch: How AI can help shatter barriers to equality

How bad data keeps us from good AI

Scientist Mainak Mazumdar discusses how algorithms and artificial intelligence will build the future economy versus people and factories. Mazumdar highlights positive ways AI contributes to today’s society but points out that AI has not lived up to its standard in fair and equitable policymaking. Is AI failing us? Are we designing these algorithms to deliver biased and wrong decisions? As a data scientist, Mazumdar believes it is not the algorithms but the biased data that is responsible for these decisions. He shares three infrastructure resets required to make ethical AI possible.

Watch: How bad data keeps us from good AI

How we’re using AI to discover new antibiotics

Bioengineer Jim Collins and his team combined synthetic biology with the power of AI to combat antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Originally designed to tackle the antibiotic resistance crisis, their work harnesses machine learning to avoid a globally devastating antibiotic era. They shifted their focus to address COVID-19 when the pandemic began. Collins discusses how he and his team plan to discover seven new classes of antibiotics over the next seven years.

Watch: How we’re using AI to discover new antibiotics

How humans and AI can work together to create better businesses

What if companies trying to streamline their businesses using AI to make critical decisions inadvertently make themselves less efficient? Business technologist Sylvain Duranton advocates for a “Human plus AI” approach. He discusses how using AI systems alongside humans versus using AI systems instead of humans has its advantages. Duranton shares the specific formula companies can adopt to employ AI while successfully keeping humans in the loop.

Watch: How humans and AI can work together to create better businesses