Live from TED2014

A TED Talk from artificial intelligence? There’s an XPRIZE for that

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May
(L-R) Peter Diamandis and Chris Anderson. Photo: Ryan Lash

(L-R) Peter Diamandis and Chris Anderson. Photo: Ryan Lash

TED invites thinkers from every walk of life to share a compelling idea onstage. And this now includes AIs.

During Session 9: Signals, Chris Anderson took the stage along with Peter Diamandis, the founder of the XPRIZE. “We’re here today to join forces and announce the creation of a new XPRIZE,” says Anderson. “Here’s the concept—it will be presented to the first artificial intelligence to come to this stage and give a TED Talk compelling enough to win a standing ovation from the audience.” Call it the A.I. XPRIZE presented by TED.

It could be 20 years before this prize is won, says Anderson, but every year, TED will host two entrants to compete for the prize. “If we’re successful, it’s a way to track the growth of artificial intelligence, to discover what it can do and maybe some things it can’t,” says Anderson. “And to generally contribute to the powerful dissemination of great ideas.”

(L-R) Peter Diamandis and Chris Anderson. Photo: Ryan Lash

(L-R) Peter Diamandis and Chris Anderson. Photo: Ryan Lash

What are the rules? Diamandis throws the question back: What should they be? Both XPRIZE and TED want input on how the competition should work. For example, how long a talk should the AI give? How will the topic be selected? And how long will it have to prepare? How could you game this competition?

“As with any XPRIZE, the rules are the DNA of the competition,” says Diamandis. “What the rules are determine whether we get the results we want.”

Thoughts? Visit xprize.org/ted and submit your ideas!