10 Mind-Blowing TED Talks on Artificial Intelligence Every Data Scientist & Business Leader Must Watch

Pranav Dar 19 Jul, 2020 • 4 min read

TED talks are simply fascinating. They provide tightly knit stories in short doses with mind-blowing information and experiences. It is amazing how much knowledge has been shared in this world using this simple and powerful medium. With Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning getting so much attention in the spheres of research and business, I started looking out for TED talks on Artificial Intelligence in particular.

I was in for such a treat – information treat to be precise. I gained much more from watching these TED talks than I have from following some of the most popular YouTube channels out there. Hence, I thought of sharing this incredible content with our community. To save your time – I have done all the hard work of watching all the talks on this topic till date and I have shortlisted the best ones for you.

Ready for high-quality knowledge enrichment? Dig in!

Note: If you are looking to understand what AI is all about and how it’ll impact your career, there’s no better place than our ‘AI and ML for Business Leaders‘ course! It’s a comprehensive course that gives you the lowdown on what AI and ML are, the common techniques used in the industry, which functions and roles are getting impacted and how, among other things. Check it out today!


The Incredible Inventions of Intuitive AI – Maurice Conti

We all know how creative AI can be, but some of the things Maurice Conti and his team came up with are mindblowing. Using AI for designing new things, like cars, bridges, drones, entire buildings, etc. is no longer limited to the silver screen. This video paints a vivid picture of how AI and humans can (and hopefully will) work together in the future to accomplish tasks neither could perform by themselves.


How Algorithms Shape our World – Kevin Slavin

The digital era we find ourselves in the midst of is run by algorithms. They’re everywhere – from predicting stock prices to recommending the next movie you should watch. And these algorithms are only going to embed themselves even deeper into our lifestream. This is a thoughtfully curated talk by Kevin Slavin looks at how these algos are shaping our world, and asks a very pressing question – at what point do we admit we’ve lost control of them?


What Happens When our Computers Get Smarter than We Are? – Nick Bostrom

Nick Bostrom, author of the popular book ‘Superintelligence’, looks at a future where machines will become smarter than humans. Will machines rule us then? Will humans have any power in that world? These are just some of the questions Nick wants all of us to think about before we heedlessly build AI systems. It’s a deep topic, and quite fitting that it comes from a philosopher.


Can we Build AI without Losing Control Over it? – Sam Harris

Keeping up the trend of superintelligent AI, Sam Harris delivers a riveting presentation on why we should be scared of building smart AI systems. Sam is a neuroscientist and philosopher, and he delves into both these domains to present a concerning perspective on the future. One of my favorite talks in this list.


How a Driverless Car Sees the Road – Chris Urmson

Can you imagine a world where drivers don’t exist? Or at least, they aren’t human? Well, you better buckle up, because that world is transforming into a reality in front of us. Chris Urmson, former head of Google’s driverless car program, gives us the lowdown on how autonomous vehicles take decisions in real-time about what to do next.


How We’re Teaching Computers to Understand Pictures – Fei-Fei Li

Computer vision is the hottest research field in machine learning right now. It has spawned applications like real-time facial recognition and object detection. But how does it work? The wonderful Fei-Fei Li delivers this thrilling talk on how machines are being trained using computer vision techniques. This talk was delivered three years ago, and the state-of-the-art algorithms have since come quite a long way. Shows how quickly AI is advancing!


How Computers Learn to Recognize Objects Instantly – Joseph Redmon

Continuing our theme of computer vision talks, here’s Joseph Redmon demonstrating how object detection works in real-time. I remember watching this a few months back and being left awed by the demo. It still has the same effect! Joseph built his model using the YOLO framework. Pretty cool, right? Driverless cars are the primary beneficiaries of these advances.


The Jobs We’ll Lose to Machines – Anthony Goldbloom

Anthony Goldbloom is the co-founder and CEO of Kaggle and an all-around nice person. He’s as good a person as any to give a perspective on the jobs machines will automate in the future (in fact some of the things he mentioned are already happening as I type this!). The key takeaway from this talk is that we need to upskill ourselves at every opportunity we get, otherwise the risk of being left behind will always hang like a shadow over us.


How AI can Enhance our Memory, Work and Social Lives – Tom Gruber

Tom Gruber is the co-creator of Siri, so he knows what he’s talking about. He takes a more positive view on the advances in AI and how it can help us enhance the way we live our day-to-day lives. He shares his vision for a future where AI helps us achieve superhuman performance in perception, creativity, and cognitive function.


How AI can Compose a Personalized Soundtrack to your Life – Pierre Barreau

Music and AI – a perfect combination. Pierre Barreau demonstrates AIVA, an artificial intelligence system that creates musical scores! The system has been trained on over 30,000 music compositions (including from the likes of Mozart). Pierre shows us a glimpse of how AIVA was designed using deep neural networks, and the visualizations are spectacular.


End Notes

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are plenty more Ted Talks available on both the official platform and YouTube that relate to AI. But the reason I’ve chosen these talks is to give you a sense of what industry leaders and experts think about this topic. They are at the forefront of this domain and control a lot about the way we approach things.

Which talk in this list was your favorite? And which ones outside of these talks would you recommend we listen to? Let us know in the comments section below.

Pranav Dar 19 Jul 2020

Senior Editor at Analytics Vidhya. Data visualization practitioner who loves reading and delving deeper into the data science and machine learning arts. Always looking for new ways to improve processes using ML and AI.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit,

Responses From Readers


Benjamin Akera
Benjamin Akera 11 Oct, 2018

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence through Deep Learning-Yoshua Bengio. (TEDx Montreal 2017)

Traffici5 18 Jan, 2019

As it has the ability to understand, apply knowledge. Also, improve skills that played a significant role in our evolution. We can define AI as the area of computer science.