Martin Ford

Robots have always taken jobs from humans. But this time, it’s different.

Author of New York Times bestseller Rise of the Robots

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Martin Ford | Author of New York Times bestseller Rise of the Robots
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

We’ve known for a long time that robots have replaced a majority of manual labor jobs. But they are now taking over complex jobs we previously thought only humans could do. In Rise of the Robots, Martin Ford looks at how the accelerating pace of new technologies will change, for better and worse, the economy, the job market, the education system, and society at large. 

“No one who cares about the future of human dignity can afford to skip [Rise of the Robots].”

— Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget

In a front page feature in The New York Times Book Review, Barbara Ehrenrich writes that Martin Ford’s Rise of the Robots is “both a humbling book and, in the best sense, a humble one. Ford, a software entrepreneur who both understands the technology and has made a thorough study of its economic consequences, never succumbs to the obvious temptation to overdramatize or exaggerate.” Ford is a researcher whose unique insights into the increased mechanization of work across various fields, and the rise of increasingly capable “information technology,” has shed new light on the nature of work and education and the value of “human” capabilities in the 21st century. He is also the consulting expert for Societe Generale’s new “Rise of the Robots” equity index, which is focused specifically on investing in companies that will be significant participants in the artificial intelligence and robotics revolution.

 

Ford is the founder of a Silicon Valley-based software development firm and the author of two books: New York Times bestselling Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future and The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future. Rise of the Robots received the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award and was named one of Business Insider’s Best Business Books of the Year. He has over 25 years of experience in computer design and software development, and holds a computer engineering degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a graduate business degree from UCLA. He has written for publications including Fortune, ForbesThe Atlantic, The Washington Post, Project SyndicateThe Huffington Post and The Fiscal Times. Ford has also appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including programs on NPR and CNBC, and was a main stage TED2017 speaker.    

Speech Topics

Technology
Disruptive Technology Do Robots Want Your Job?
Martin Ford explores the ways in which AI and automation (aka, “robots”) are outpacing humans in a range of sectors, from education to law, agriculture to healthcare, management and beyond. He offers a realistic view of what the future of work—and your place in it—will look like. Beyond pragmatic concerns, Ford addresses a bigger question: can accelerating technology disrupt our entire economic system to the point where a fundamental restructuring is required? This next industrial revolution, Ford argues, will not be like the last one. In the past, even as jobs were eliminated, jobs were created to replace them. Increasingly, new machines will be able to take care of themselves, making fewer jobs necessary. Will basic, guaranteed income be implemented? How will education reflect our changing society? We are at an inflection point: Do we continue to listen to those who argue that nothing fundamental has changed, and take a bad bet on a miserable future? Or do we begin to discuss what we must do to ensure all of us, and not just the few, benefit from the awesome power of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other breakthroughs? This exciting talk is both an exploration of this new technology and a call to arms to address its implications.  
Technology
Artificial Intelligence The Coming Disruption (What Investors, Managers (and Everyone Else) Needs to Know)
This talk draws on Martin Ford’s unique experience as a futurist and author—as well as his role as the consulting expert for Societe Generale’s new “Rise of the Robots” equity index, which is focused specifically on investing in companies that will be significant participants in the artificial intelligence and robotics revolution.
 
We are on the leading edge of a massive disruption, Ford reminds us, and one brought on by relentless advances in artificial intelligence and robotics. Throughout this keynote, Ford will offer a non-technical audience an overview of some of the key technologies underlying this revolution and what it could mean for the future. He explores the following topics:
 
•  Until now, AI has mostly been science fiction. How did we get to the point where it is finally becoming reality?
•  Why the AI and robotics sector offers an extraordinary opportunity for investors.
•  An overview of the key technologies underlying the revolution and how they may evolve going forward, including:
                o       Deep learning Neural Networks
                o       Robotics
                o       Self-Driving Vehicles
                o       Software automation
•  How will AI and robotics impact the future job market and economy?
•  Should we fear advances in AI? AI comes with a number of risks. These include security threats and the potential impact on privacy, as well as the use of autonomous systems in military and security applications. Prominent individuals like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have expressed concerns about the advent of super-intelligent machines further in the future that might genuinely threaten us. How worried should we be?