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Martin Ford

To adapt to machine learning, we'll need to come up with unprecented solutions.

New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots and Rule of the Robots (Forthcoming)

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Martin Ford | New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots and Rule of the Robots (Forthcoming)
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

How did AI advance from the realm of science fiction to today’s reality? And how should we prepare for its future? MARTIN FORD—a McKinsey award-winning author, software entrepreneur, and TED mainstage speaker—explains why our current plans for the robotics revolution fall short. In his new book Rule of the Robots, a follow-up to his New York Times bestseller Rise of the Robots, Ford shows us how AI, much like electricity before it, will soon become an essential mainstay in our lives—remaking every sphere of human activity in the process. Fastidious and uncannily prescient, Ford orients investors, managers, and everyday peoeple in our shifting technological landscape, helping to both safeguard potential threats, and distinguish the hype from real opportunities.

 

“In his newest book, Architects of Intelligence, Martin Ford provides us with an invaluable opportunity to learn from some of the most prominent thought leaders about the emerging fields of science that are shaping our future.”

— Al Gore, Former VP of the United States and Nobel Prize-winning Environmentalist

Imagine it’s 2030. You call a bank to discuss your loan application, but you don’t get to talk to a person. The bank’s AI has spoken: you are denied. At home, feeling stressed, you take pills both invented and prescribed by AI to keep your blood pressure in check. You stream a video starring “actors” generated by machines. And before you turn in, you wonder if collaboration between Big Tech and China means you should choose a new AI provider for your home. These hypothetical scenes may seem hard to believe, but as Martin Ford describes in his upcoming book Rule of the Robots, they’re entirely possible. Artificial intelligence is poised transform every facet of our lives, forever. In ways we can hardly imagine. To prepare for this future, we’ll need to keep our humanity front and center, says Ford, who advocates for policies that will support our collective well-being as we adjust to these fast-approaching disruptions.

 

Ford’s previous book, Rise of the Robots, was a New York Times Bestseller, a McKinsey Award winner, and a Business Insider ‘Best Business Book of the Year.’ Clearly written, powerfully argued, and massively influential, Rise was reviewed by Barbara Ehrenreich in a cover feature for The New York Times Book Review, where she described it as, “both a humbling book and, in the best sense, a humble one,” and praised Ford for never succumbing “to the obvious temptation to overdramatize or exaggerate.” Lucid and compelling, Ford has established himself as a leading—and trustworthy—voice in the robotics revolution. His most recent book, Architects of Intelligence: The Truth About AI From the People Building It, features interviews with 23 of the world’s foremost AI researchers and machine learning entrepreneurs. Senior leaders at Google, Facebook, McKinsey, Stanford, and MIT join Ford to discuss the evolution of AI—and the major innovations on the horizon. Three of the book’s featured subjects won the Turing Award (considered the Nobel Prize of computing), making Architects one of the most high-profile, in-depth investigations of artificial intelligence to date.

 

Ford is the consulting expert for Societe Generale’s new “Rise of the Robots” equity index, which focuses on tracking 150 global stocks involved in AI and robotics (selected after thorough, data-driven research). Together, they have also developed the Lyxor Robotics and AI UCITS— an ETF that invests in AI and robotics companies based on the benchmark index of Rise of the Robots, and has continuously outperformed the competition since going live.

 

In addition to writing three books, Ford has contributed to notable publications including Fortune, Forbes, The Atlantic, The Washington Post,  and The Fiscal Times, and appeared on  radio and television programs on NPR and CNBC. He has over 25 years of experience in computer design and software development, and holds a computer engineering degree from the University of Michigan, and a graduate business degree from UCLA.

Speech Topics

Artificial Intelligence
Rule of the Robots How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Everything
In his New York Times bestseller Rise of the Robots, Martin Ford presented a thoughtful and deeply researched argument: robots are poised to take over many of the jobs that humans do. Now, six years later, in his follow-up Rule of the Robots, Ford updates his arguments—specifically, on the potential of artificial intelligence to transform the world around us.
 
AI, in Ford’s assessment, is on the cusp of becoming a general-purpose technology. The impact of AI will be as profound as that of electricity before it, fundamentally changing how every other technology is produced and consumed, while also helping us solve some of our most pressing issues, from the climate crisis to the next pandemic. Yet for all its promise, AI still has the potential to cause serious harm. Avoiding the overzealous enthusiasm and proselyting displayed by some tech leaders, Ford instead offers audiences a practical, clear-headed guide into AI as it currently stands, as well as its future evolution(s).
 
This nuanced, balanced talk explores both the harms and benefits of the technology, but ultimately remains optimistic: revealing how we can embrace artificial intelligence in the twenty-first century with caution and pragmatism.
Technology
The Coming Disruption What Investors, Managers, and Everyone Else Need to Know
We are on the leading edge of a massive disruption brought on by the relentless advances in artificial intelligence and robotics, says futurist Martin Ford. In this talk, Ford offers a lucid and compelling overview of the key technologies underlying this revolution, and what it could mean for the future. How did AI advance so quickly, from the realm of science fiction, to today’s reality? What opportunities does this new technology offer investors? How will it impact the job market and economy? And what are the potential security risks? Ford compares the threats and opportunities that super-intelligent machines bring us, and how we can best prepare for them

 

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.