Nell Watson

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Eleanor ‘Nell’ Watson is an interdisciplinary researcher in emerging technologies including machine vision and A.I. ethics. Her work primarily focuses on protecting human rights and putting ethics, safety, and the values of the human spirit into technologies such as Artificial Intelligence. Nell serves as Chair & Vice-Chair respectively of the IEEE’s ECPAIS Transparency Experts Focus Group, and P7001 Transparency of Autonomous Systems committee on A.I. Ethics & Safety. She also holds Fellowships with the British Computing Society and Royal Statistical Society, among others, and serves as an Executive Consultant on philosophical matters for Apple, as well as serving as Senior Scientific Advisor to The Future Society, and Senior Fellow to The Atlantic Council, and Board Member of Humanity Plus. 





Machine Intelligence is as big a disruption as electricity was in the 20th century. It can seem confusing and hard to implement. This talk gives an overview of various terms and concepts, a timeline running from the past to the near future, and a crash course on how to practically implement AI within your business to create new opportunities.



How can we use the energy of change to move ahead and make the most of the silver linings in dark societal clouds. Newly decentralized and strengthened societal institutions are arising with great effect on business, travel, environment, work, globalisation and legislation. A peek into the mid-term future which is still full of possibilities powered by essential technologies.



Artificial Intelligence is becoming incredibly sophisticated, able to manipulate people's impressions of events and the news that they hear. Crucially, there is plausible deniability, the suggestions that an algorithm just happened to make a decision of a prediction without human design or intention behind it. This talk explores where technology and society may be heading next, in a scenario where individuals who are targeted for political reasons may find that their perceptions of reality itself are toyed with by the hidden and deniable 'glitches' of machine intelligence – a literal ghost in the machine.



Intelligent machines are beginning to understand the needs, drives, and even values of humanity, with huge opportunities for each of our lives and our global society. These technologies can transform our communities, making our world more safe and secure, and helping us to manage precious resources in new ways. how can we make the most of these capabilities, and ensure that the spirit and wisdom of the human isn’t lost in a sea of cold algorithms? How can we retain our humanity, whilst growing past our greatest weaknesses?



Media synthesis technologies powered by AI are enabling unbridled creativity, as well as new ways to re-render old media content in super high definition. Whatever one can imagine can be breathed into existence. One can enter an original world never seen before, and have original conversations with AI-powered agents about practically any topic, whilst they stay in character. These choose-your-own-adventure mechanics are enabling new forms of therapy, as well as procedural education, taking us beyond base reality to experiences never before possible. But what of the risk of supernormal stimuli? What best practices might make such services more likely to be safe and ethical?



‘Every general is prepared to fight the last war’, as Churchill once remarked. However, the realm of conflict is changing. New methods of hybrid warfare are emerging, which aim to win wars without firing a shot, through indirect forms of action such as demoralization and mass sabotage. How can one recognise threats which appear plausibly deniable as a mere accident, and protect individuals and societies at large from being undermined through insidious means?



Machine Intelligence is greatly expanding our ability to understand the world, including ourselves. A positive feedback loop between human and machine innovation creates something greater than the sum of its parts. AI-designed antibodies, automated mathematical proofs, extremely efficient designs in new wonder materials will reshape our world. AI helps us to make sense of chaos in the uncharted waters of our respective disciplines, by making intricately complex aspects greatly more accessible.

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Rare to hear an AI expert with such profound cultural & social understanding as Nell Watson.


The energy levels at the event were sky-high; fantastic feedback from attendees. It was a genuinely provocative, and brilliantly presented talk – you could hear a pin drop in the room.


Nell Watson blew the whole crowd away with intelligence, humanity, insight, and complex thinking. Just epic. The world needs more Nell.