Future TED Talks Might Be Conducted By Artificial Intelligence
March 21, 2014

Future TED Talks Might Be Conducted By Artificial Intelligence

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

A new competition has been announced aimed at developing artificial intelligence (AI) so advanced it could deliver a TED Talk that receives a standing ovation.

XPRIZE announced at the TED2014 Conference a competition that would invite scientists to create an AI that could deliver a compelling speech at a TED Talk with no human involvement.

“Advances in machine learning and AI have made extraordinary progress over the past decade, but we’ve barely scratched the surface,” Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and CEO of XPRIZE, said in a statement. “This global competition could help spur its development across a myriad of areas – including biological research, exploration, education, healthcare, and fields we have not yet even imagined.”

Although XPRIZE has some preliminary ideas, people who wish to be involved in helping to develop this competition are being asked to submit ideas on what the AI Ted Talk format should look like. Anyone can chime in on questions like “Who should select the AI Ted Talk topic” or “How long should the AI’s TED Talk be?”

The organization already has a vision for how the TED Talk would look, but the public’s opinion could change this outlook. According to XPRIZE, before the conference takes place a group of judges would develop 100 different TED Talk subjects. During the conference, the audience could choose from 100 different TED Talk subjects for the AI to talk about.

Once a topic is chosen the competing AI would have 30 minutes to prepare a three minute TED Talk on stage. The teams will be choosing how their AI would be presented on stage, whether it be via a robot or a disembodied voice. Voting will be done according to applause and whether or not the AI received a standing ovation.

"We're entering a future in which humans and machines must learn new ways to work with each other. My hope is this prize will fuel that process,” Chris Anderson, the curator of TED, said in a statement.

Anderson said that he believes we are just a few years away from seeing what AI technology will be capable of.

“But that we also may learn what they can't do so well,” he added. “We may discover that it's some form of human-machine collaboration that offers the most powerful prospect for creating and communicating ideas that matter. I have no idea how this ends up, but I'm incredibly excited to find out.”