Pedro Domingos

Speech Topics

Algorithms increasingly run our lives. They find books, movies, jobs, and dates for us, manage our investments, and discover new drugs. More and more, these algorithms work by learning from the trails of data we leave in our newly digital world. And in the world’s top research labs and universities, the race is on to invent the ultimate learning algorithm: one capable of discovering any knowledge from data, and doing anything we want, before we even ask. In this presentation, Domingos, one of the leading players in this race, takes us behind the scenes for a peek at the key ideas and latest developments in machine learning, from mimicking how the brain learns to simulating evolution, and reveals how they will revolutionize business, medicine, politics, and society.

Machine learning is the automation of discovery – the scientific method on steroids – that enables intelligent robots and computers to program themselves. No field of science today is more important yet more shrouded in mystery. Domingos gives us a peek inside the learning machines that power giants like Google all the way down to the smartphone in your pocket. These programs are already helping us fight the war on cancer and predict the movements of the stock market, and they are making great headway with instant language translation and discovering new laws of nature.

Leading us through machine learning’s five major schools of thought (neuroscience, evolution, psychology, physics, and statistics) Domingos assembles a blueprint for the future universal learner – the Master Algorithm – and discusses what it means for you and for the future of business, science and society.


Modern life is hard to navigate: so many choices, so little time. But help is on the way, in the form of algorithms that learn to predict what you want from the data you generate. Google, Facebook, Amazon and Netflix; banks, marketers and political campaigns: each has its own model of you continually making decisions on your behalf. But what you really want is a single 360-degree model that knows you as well as your best friend and is your trusted aide in everything you do. And it better be owned by you, not by a company with a potential conflict of interest. In this fascinating and eye-opening talk, Domingos explains how your digital alter ego is about to be born and why you urgently need to take control of it. Your “digital half” will soon be more indispensable than your smartphone, and the world economy will revolve around it. Now is the time to get acquainted with it.

You’ll live a lot longer than you think, thanks to the progress that medicine will make in your lifetime. And because progress is accelerating, you’ll see a lot more new things in the next decades than in your life to date.

Pedro Domingos takes you on a whirlwind tour of the new superpowers you’ll acquire, the technologies that will underpin them, and what you’ll do with them. Fasten your seatbelt – from controlling the world with your mind to editing your own genes, the next hundred years of your life are going to be a wild ride.


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Pedro Domingos is one of the world’s leading experts in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data. He is a professor of computer science at the University of Washington in Seattle and the author of The Master Algorithm. He is a winner of the SIGKDD Innovation Award—the highest honor in data science—and a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. He has received a Fulbright Scholarship, a Sloan Fellowship, the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award, and numerous best paper awards.

Pedro is the author or co-author of over 200 research publications, and has given over 150 invited talks at conferences, universities, and research labs. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine in 1997 and co-founded the International Machine Learning Society in 2001. He has held visiting positions at Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and MIT. His research spans a wide variety of topics, including scaling learning algorithms to big data, maximizing word of mouth in social networks, unifying logic and probability, and deep learning.

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