WHO IS NELL WATSON?
I appreciate your curiosity. :)
My career in technology and entrepreneurship stems from a great early-age foundation I got from my engineer dad. Although life went somewhat off the rails after his death when I was 11, I got back on track later; by the age of 24, I was already teaching post-grad computer science. Soon afterwards I ventured into entrepreneurship, in various projects and ventures, in pursuit of lasting beneficial impact in the world.
In the process of maturing as an entrepreneur I have drifted into being a sought-after public speaker, facilitating a great many workshops, and delivering digestible yet informative lectures on emerging technologies to diverse audiences internationally.
As a keynote speaker, I have presented for Ericsson, Credit Suisse, MIT and many others. I have taught and presented in India, Morocco, Chile, Brazil, the Nordics, the United Kingdom and across America.
I have built a track record as being insightful, imaginative, and broadly-aware, as well as an effective communicator and mentor, who can make complex subjects able to be understood by all. My work is regularly covered by Wired, BBC, The Guardian, Forbes, Vice, and others.
I have a core belief that technology can (and should) be leveraged to free us from the saddest aspects of the human condition. It is this same wellspring of passion that I seek to ignite within others.
Hopefully some of my writing can help to effect this in you.
WHAT I LOVE TO SHARE
I'm best known for MY TALKS ON:
Making the most of machine intelligence
Machine Intelligence is an incredible new utility that our society can tap into at will, in a revolution that we haven't seen since electrification. Explore how every sector of our economy is being affected by this change, and grasp how big data is driving this process. Understand how you can make the most of these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and how these forces are shaping the future of our humanity.
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. Robotic counsellors offer an opportunity for everyone to gain access to the critical resource that is talking therapies. This is quite an expensive treatment, and isn't covered well by insurance. As we can now democratise access to talking therapies, we might enjoy a much more mentally healthy society as a result. How can we retain our humanity, whilst growing past our greatest weaknesses?
As we delegate more of our commercial decisions to machines, we are creating a new layer of smart economic agents, and a new ‘machine demographic’ to market to. Aristocrats once enjoyed butlers to care for their personal needs without needing to be asked, as well as managers to take care of their estates. Something similar is coming to every one of us, as machines find clever ways to make us happiest and healthiest we can be, given a certain budget. Enabled by blockchain technologies, economic agents will add a third layer to the web. Appealing to machines may soon make more sense from a marketing perspective than appealing to humans.
The emerging field of machine ethics offers a revolution in how ethical analyses and transactions can occur. By making ethical decisions computable, we can give a sense of morality to machine intelligence, such as autonomous vehicles and personal assistants. Learn how we can best program these fuzzy aspects of 'humanity' into machine intelligence, in a way which respects differences of opinion and creeds, and yet provides adequate protection for humans and machines.
Our global society is experiencing an immense shift: Entire industries once considered 'bricks and mortar', such as taxi rides and hotel rooms, are being transformed into digital powerhouses. Physical objects are becoming dematerialised, democratised, and dynamically distributed to all, at ever decreasing costs, and incredible value. Understanding the vast, disruptive power of exponential factors, and how to make effective use of them to amplify ones' activities, is the fundamental key skill for enjoying massive business, technical, and societal success this century.
The Human Factors of Machine Intelligence
Access to intuitive machine predictions is now changing organisations, as they become flatter and more agile, and units within them become more autonomous, providing richer choice and freedom to employees. But 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?
A smarter, kinder, and trustworthy way to build a better world. This talk explores the latest developments in Machine Intelligence, Blockchain, and the emerging discipline of Machine Ethics. The confluence of these three domains is creating revolutionary new ways of organising society, and building trust between individuals and institutions. This can enable a massive increase in global human wellbeing in the coming decade – if we get it right.
WHY I ENJOY SHARING THOUGHTS
I have an irrepressible curiosity that drives me to dig into the 'whys' of the world. I this property gives me a broad awareness of many disciplines, a foundation for perceiving how developments in the future of technology, enterprise, and society connect and intersect.
I have an odd non-descript accent that some people tell me is pleasant to listen to. :)
I always enjoy fresh opportunities to connect with people, and so I am comfortable speaking on a spectrum of topics relating to the road ahead, be it delivering a guest lecture, discussing within a panel, or leading focussed workshops.
When time permits, I sometimes work closely with select organisations to help strategize the best ways to help meet their needs and objectives through innovation.
HOW I MATURED INTO BEING ME
"Nell Watson FBCS, FIAP, FRSA is an engineer, entrepreneur, and futurist thinker who grew up in Northern Ireland. She has a longstanding interest in the philosophy of technology, and how extensions of human capacity drive emerging social trends.
Nell has had an unusual career, including teaching post-grad Computer Science at the age of 24, and later co-founding a successful Graffiti arts company. Her ability to bridge the world of technology and the Humanities makes it easy for her to translate complex subjects so that they can be clearly understood.
In 2010 Nell founded Poikos, a machine learning-driven ‘AI for for body measurement’. Nell’s patented technology ‘dematerialises’ the 3D body scanner, by providing accurate 3D scans of the body with only 2D camera hardware, such as that found within smartphones, or laptops. This may then be applied to a range of markets, such as mass customisation, and health.
Possessing a long-term mindset, Nell serves as Senior Advisor to The Future Society at Harvard, as well as serving as an advisory technologist to several startups, accelerators, and venture capital funds.
She is also Co-Founder of OpenEth.org, an ‘ethical explication engine’ that aims to crowdsource ethical heuristics for autonomous systems.
In her spare time Nell enjoys coding games, such as her startup life simulator, Founder Life. Founder Life attempts to teach the mindfulness and psychological habits necessary for entrepreneurs to consistently execute under pressure.
She has also written two easily digestible books on philosophy – one for business leaders, and one aimed at children.
Nell lectures globally on Machine Intelligence, AI philosophy, Human-Machine relations, and the Future of Human Society, serving on the Faculty of AI & Robotics at Singularity University."
As of 2017 she is also:
• Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
• Fellow of the Institute of Analysts and Programmers (FIAP)
• Fellow of the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT (FBCS)
• Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. (FRSS)
• Fellow of the MIT Global Startup Workshop
• Founder & Council Member of the International Society of Digital Medicine (Headquartered in Nanjing, China)
• Senior Scientific Advisor to the Harvard Kennedy School’s Future Society AI Initiative
• Advisor to the Future of Sentience Society at Cambridge
• Member of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems
• Scientific Advisor to Diversity.AI, and anti-algorithmic bias think tank
• Venture Partner at Onevest 1000 Angels
• Editorial Board Member of The Journal of Digital Medicine
A few of the places where I have spoken or taught:
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