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Can a TED talk from artificial intelligence blow your mind?

At TED conferences, a standing ovation is the ultimate award, validating that the audience was truly moved by the speaker. Can AI ever achieve that marker?

On Thursday at the TED Conference in Vancouver, TED’s Chris Anderson and the X Prize Foundation’s Peter Diamandis announced the AI XPrize, which will give an award to the first AI to take the stage (whether it rolls, walks, floats like a hologram or is a disembodied voice) and gives a TED talk that moves the audience enough to receive a standing ovation.

AI XPrize

The details and the rules are still being decided, and Anderson and Diamandis encouraged anyone interested to reach out via the website with comments and thoughts. Anderson said they’d give a couple of the finalists a chance every year at the annual Ted Conference the opportunity to give a talk to test whether they can receive the standing ovation.

“This might take 20 years, who knows,” said Anderson on stage. But Anderson noted that the new XPrize is a way for the TED community to keep track of the progress of AI and to help discover what computer intelligence can and can not do.

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