Put AI to work
June 26-27, 2017: Training
June 27-29, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Is the body the missing link for true AI?

Ben Medlock (Microsoft)
2:35pm3:15pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Impact of AI on business and society
Location: Beekman Level: Beginner
Secondary topics:  Natural Language, User interface and experience
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

What you'll learn

  • Explore the advances being made with AI
  • Understand why anticipatory technology enhances rather than detracts from the less digital parts of life—and why these changes are nothing to be afraid of


The artificial intelligence on your smartphone is learning and adapting, acting more and more like the human brain, and smartphones are actually beginning to understand more about the language(s) being typed, the person who is typing, and the context in which they are typing. Ben Medlock explains why AI technology is becoming ever more human and why this isn’t cause for concern.

You’ll learn how strides in areas like neural network technology and natural language processing help you meet the challenges in your everyday life, whether they are as simple as writing a text without annoying autocorrect or as complex as communicating as a nonverbal individual. Ben then argues that the key to achieving elusive human-like AI lies in a central piece of the puzzle: embodiment. Join in to learn how the mobile industry and beyond can better understand and support this massive worldwide movement.

Photo of Ben Medlock

Ben Medlock


Ben Medlock is the head of product at SwiftKey, which was recently acquired by Microsoft. As cofounder and CTO of SwiftKey, Ben invented the intelligent keyboard for smartphones and tablets that has transformed typing on touchscreens, making it easy for everyone to create and communicate on mobile. Ben is a prominent figure in mobile technology. He was ranked among the 2015 Wired 100 and is regularly asked to deliver keynotes at conferences, including SXSW, WIRED2014, and the Global Webit Conference. Ben has a first-class degree in computer science from Durham University and a PhD in natural language and information processing from the University of Cambridge.

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Paul Davis |
09/11/2017 11:00pm EDT

Wouldn’t it be tragically ironic if it turned out the key to true agi was to make it unaware of its processes – like us – in a way that negated it’s superior potential?

Ben Medlock |
06/29/2017 12:40pm EDT

HI Hyeon-Suk Lyu, thanks for the comment. I think governments need to work hard to understand the potential of applied AI, both positive and negative. I don’t know what the answer is around regulation but I know it has to be founded on a thorough understanding of the domain.

06/28/2017 10:48am EDT

What do you think is the best government policy approach that may support AI innovation? And if AI risk seem to be looming, do you agree with precautionary regulation on AI risk?