Demis Hassabis: creativity and AI – The Rothschild Foundation Lecture

Recorded at the Royal Academy of Arts on 17 September 2018:

Demis Hassabis, Co-Founder and CEO of DeepMind, draws upon his eclectic experiences as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) researcher, neuroscientist and videogame designer to discuss the implications of cutting-edge AI research for creativity and scientific discovery.

DeepMind is the world leader in AI research and develops programs to help tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since its founding in London in 2010, DeepMind has published over 170 peer-reviewed papers, five of them in the scientific journal Nature – an unprecedented achievement for a computer science lab. In 2014, DeepMind was acquired by Google in their largest ever European acquisition, and is now part of Alphabet.

Demis Hassabis is a former child chess prodigy who, following graduation from Cambridge University, founded the pioneering video games company Elixir Studios, producing award-winning games for global publishers such Vivendi Universal. After a decade of experience leading successful technology startups, Hassabis returned to academia to complete a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at University College London, followed by postdocs at MIT and Harvard, before founding DeepMind. The journal Science listed his neuroscience research connecting memory with imagination as one of 2007’s top ten scientific breakthroughs. Demis is also a five-time World Games Champion, recipient of the Royal Society’s Mullard Award, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Academy of Engineering, winning the Academy’s Silver Medal. In 2016, Demis received WIRED magazine’s Leadership in Innovation Award and in 2017 he was named in the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people. In 2018, Demis was awarded a CBE for services to science and technology, elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society and also awarded an honorary doctorate by Imperial College London.

The talk is followed by a conversation and Q&A with the RA’s Artistic Director, Tim Marlow.

This Rothschild Foundation Lecture is the first in a series of annual lectures generously supported by the Rothschild Foundation.

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