Yesterday was the great day. Eleven hours of TED, full of talks of around 8 minutes each: what a challenge for the speakers, and for the audience! It was tiring, but worth it. What did I like the most? By far and on a different register than the other speakers, Paddy Ashdown: what a clear picture of globalisation, the playing forces and the need for governance. So good I’m happy we will have it on video to hear it again, and pass it on to my friends.
Now I hope you will excuse me if my AI background makes me mention more in detail the talks about Robotics 🙂 I was impressed by the Geminoid. They had some little problems for the demo, but the ressemblance and his facial expressions seemed very real. How human must the gemanoid look that on my sentence I said ‘his face’ and not ‘its face’ 🙂 I thought about it, but it didn’t feel wrong. On the same category, Luc Steels presented an altogether different aspect of the robots: not in the human look-like, but on the learning behaviour: they initialise a ‘mental state’ for robots that can be downloaded on a Sony robotic harwdare. Each mental state evolves through the interaction with another robot, trying to communicate, creating and learning words that represent the objects of their world. I see the robots going through our evolutionary steps, at a drastically different pace than us. It is not ‘if’ anymore but ‘when’ : When will be the moment we will consider them sentient? How society will react to that?
I don’t want to end without mentioning it. We even had a ballet of electrons on scene. Grandiose! Physics explained through danse. Matter, laser movements, quantum mechanics, the flow… I really encourage all science teachers to use this video in their class, to explain those concepts to the kids. So easy to understand, so visual!
For the other talks, very interesting too, you will have to come back, that’s all for this post.