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Machine Intelligence, AI philosophy, Human-Machine relations, and the Future of Human Society – Nell Watson

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“Joy shared is joy doubled, sadness shared is sadness halved, thus we refute entropy” Nell’s favorite quote from Spider Robinson

Hi Ladies & Gentleman,
Welcome to the Hifluence Show Podcast where you can learn from my one-to-one conversations with pioniers and change makers in Flanders. And this episode, my dear listeners,  is a special one as it is the first Hifluence Show ever in English. That is simply because my guest on this show is an extraordinary North-Irish woman living in Ghent.
Nell Watson is an engineer, entrepreneur, and futurist thinker. She has a longstanding interest in the philosophy of technology, and how extensions of human capacity drive emerging social trends.
She lectures globally on Machine Intelligence, AI philosophy, Human-Machine relations, and the Future of Human Society, serving as Associate Faculty at Singularity University and a member of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
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 (now QuantaCorp), 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.
In this absolutely incredible conversation I had with her we discuss machine intelligence, machine ethics and the importance of optimism!
I kid you not, Nell is one of the most captivating people I ever met and I can almost guarantuee that listening to our conversation will change your perspective on the future of mankind.
So her she is specially for you: Nell Watson!

Luister nu!


  • Nell’s main project: machine ethics datasets (04:45)
  • Why Nell is so passionate about the link between man and machine (07:45)
  • Pragmatic optimism in essence (11:30)
  • Should we be afraid of technology? (15:00)
  • Nell elaborates on “When one predicts based on recent developments or trends, one can entirely miss the bigger picture, the overall function that is generating the curve.” (16:30)
  • About the fountain of youth, anti-aging. (18:55)
  • Toddlers & Tablets, addiction or evolution? (21:30)
  • Blockchain can enable new forms of governance and transparancy (25:30)
  • On the purpose of life (29:30)
  • Is aging a bug or a feature and anti-aging techniques (34:00)
  • Overpopulation: threat or opportunity?
  • Amoral vs supermoral machines (41:00)
  • Is mankind in a moral pole shift? (50:00)
  • Nell’s best decision of 2017 (52:00)
  • Which book have you gifted most? (54:30)
  • Travel plans
  • Nell’s tweet for the world (1:03:00)

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