Learn More About Hod Lipson
By now, everyone is aware of artificial intelligence (AI), and organizations across industries are evaluating its applications. But what really goes into creating AI systems is still an opaque process, and many leaders are unsure how their businesses can benefit. According to researcher, roboticist and Columbia University Professor of Engineering and Data Science Hod Lipson, AI is well on the way to touching all areas of business and society. Named among the World’s 7 Most Powerful Data Scientists by Forbes, he stresses how vital it is for AI research and development to happen out in the open and for everybody to understand where the technology is headed.
“A lot of this research is being done behind closed doors with public, taxpayer funds and it’s affecting every aspect of our lives,” explains Lipson, director of Columbia’s Creative Machines Lab, which was named by Popular Science one of the 25 Most Awesome Labs in the U.S. “You can think of AI like nuclear power; we don’t fully understand it, so we have trepidation about it, but the benefits far outweigh the risks. Part of the solution to this trepidation is for everybody to see how these systems work and for all of us to proceed together.”
In illuminating speeches and while advising organizations, he urges leaders to familiarize themselves with AI now, regardless of industry. With the explosive growth of intelligent systems, his response to the assumption that “AI can’t be applied to X” is “no – AI hasn’t been applied to X, yet.”
New Problems Require New Jobs
One of the areas where trepidation about AI surfaces is with the implications on the future of work. While the technology will lead to some automated systems, Lipson points out that many jobs aren’t in danger of being eliminated. In fact, the rise of AI systems is creating new jobs.
“If your hands are dirty, your job is safe,” explains Lipson, who has co-authored more than 350 publications that have been cited more than 40,000 times to date. “So, plumbers, hairdressers, surgeons, nurses, electricians. Basically, anybody whose hands are dirty aren’t in danger of being replaced by intelligent robots anytime soon.”
As for emerging jobs, he points to the fact that computers didn’t eliminate jobs or make less work for people, they just created new jobs and changed the work people do. Likewise, he says the job of the future will be to find out what problems exist, match the right AI tool to a particular problem, then take these powerful, specialized systems and harness them to solve the problem.
Ensuring Responsible AI Development
Lipson’s view of the future of AI is an optimistic one, with great benefits for education, scientific discovery and transportation. But he also cautions that an open development process and some form of oversight will be crucial.
“There should be regulation around transparency and how AI systems should be tested,” says Lipson, author of, “Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead” (MIT Press, September 2016). “Like the FDA with drug trials, we need a sort of clinical trial process for AI. There needs to be transparency around the systems they were trained on, and AI needs to be tested empirically so users can give informed consent.”
As for the artificial intelligence end game, Lipson isn’t afraid to touch on a taboo topic – self-awareness. “It might take 10 years; it might take 100 years. But regardless,” he says, “it’s surprising to me how fast it’s happening.”
With the speed of AI and robotics advancement, Lipson acknowledges the topic can be both exciting and unsettling, which is why his personal crusade is to ensure transparency and encourage leaders to become informed sooner rather than later.
“There are really three takeaways about AI,” he concludes. “It’s relevant. It’s coming fast. And it’s going to be ‘good enough’ before you know it.”
Hod Lipson is a professor of engineering and data science at Columbia University in New York City, and a co-author of the award-winning books, “Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing” (Wiley, February 2013) and “Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead” (MIT Press, September 2016), which has been translated into seven languages.
Lipson’s work on self-aware and self-replicating robots challenges conventional views of robotics and has garnered widespread media coverage. His TED Talk on self-aware machines is one of the most viewed presentations on AI and robotics. Lipson directs the Creative Machines Lab, which pioneers new ways to make machines that create and machines that are creative. He has also been a pioneer in open-source 3D printing as well as electronics 3D printing, bio-printing and food printing.
Lipson has co-authored more than 350 publications that have been cited more than 40,000 times to date. He has co-founded four companies and is a frequent keynote speaker both in industry and academic events.
Before joining Columbia University in 2015, he spent 14 years as a professor at Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. in 1999 from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, followed by a postdoc at Brandeis University and MIT.
Hod Lipson is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.
Columbia University Professor of Engineering and Data Science and Director of Columbia’s Creative Machines Lab Hod Lipson is one of the world’s leading artificial intelligence and robotics researchers, educators and practitioners. With the explosive advancement of AI systems, through small group workshops and one-on-one advisory sessions, he helps leaders across industries and governments understand why the technology seems to suddenly be advancing so quickly. He clarifies what its impacts will be on business and society and how organizations can leverage the technology to secure a competitive advantage now while preparing for the advancements of the future. He is available to discuss any or all of the following topics in programs which can be customized to meet the needs and goals of your organization with the added option of meeting virtually or in person.
- The 21st Century AI Primer
- Preparing For The AI Jobs of the Future
- What Will the Next AI Systems Look Like?
- How Driverless Cars Will Change Business and Society Well Beyond the Highway
- AI’s Most Taboo Topic – Sentience