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Ken Goldberg is the Director of the Berkeley Center for New Media, and Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at U.C. Berkeley. While Goldberg has spent four decades building better and more graceful robots, he is also dedicated to helping people better understand emerging technologies so that they can find opportunities in the societal shifts that will occur as robots come to play a greater role in our daily lives.
As a child, Goldberg and his father, also an engineer, tried to build an industrial robot that was capable of moving dangerous chemicals in the chromium plating plant that Goldberg’s father owned and run. Held back by a lack of materials, they did not achieve their goal. Goldberg’s father developed leukemia, most likely as a result of the extensive contact he had with carcinogens in his workplace, and passed away at the age of 45. The event cemented Goldberg’s decision to study engineering and pursue a career making robots capable of improving people’s lives.
Goldberg holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. His research has resulted in eight U.S. patents. His project, Telegarden, which allowed Internet users to control a real robot that cared for a garden, was the first time someone combined robots and web interfacing. He and his teams have made great advances in telerobotics, Cloud robotics, and robots used for medical procedures, including delicate cancer treatments. In addition to his position at U.C. Berkley, he holds an appointment at the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco.
Goldberg has authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed technical papers on algorithms for robotics, automation, and social information filtering. He is the co-director of the Emmy-Nominated Short Documentary “Why We Love Robots,” as well as the author of three award-winning Sundance documentary films, “The Tribe”, “Yelp”, and “Connected: An Autoblogography of Love, Death, and Technology.” Goldberg has delivered over 400 keynotes in venues such as SXSW, the World Economic Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, Google Zeitgeist, and TEDEd.
Award winning Roboticist, Filmmaker, and UC Berkeley Engineering Professor Ken Goldberg is a popular public speaker who combines compelling images and videos in dynamic presentations on emerging Artificial Intelligence and Robotics technologies, sharing insights about what isn’t new, what is new, and how we can prepare for the future.
Ken trains the next generation of researchers and entrepreneurs in his research lab at UC Berkeley; he has published over 200 papers in robotics and social media and holds 8 US Patents. Ken is a pioneer in technology and visual expression, bridging the “Two Cultures” of Art and Science. With unique skills in creative problem solving, invention, and thinking on the edge, Ken has presented over 400 keynote and invited lectures to audiences around the world at events such as the World Economic Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, Google Zeitgeist, TEDx, Web 2.0, SXSW, and at Google, General Electric, Intel, Cisco, Fujitsu, Siemens, Autodesk, Samsung, Tata, Vodefone, Deutsche Telekom, Fidelity, and Flextronics on topics such as the five listed below.
Ken and his graduate students pioneer research in optimal robot grasping, motion, and design for applications ranging from surgery to manufacturing to precision agriculture to social media. Ken’s artwork has appeared in 70 exhibits including the Whitney Biennial and he developed the first provably complete algorithm for part feeding and the first robot on the Internet. Ken served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE), Co-Founder of: the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM), Hybrid Wisdom Labs, the Moxie Film Studio, the African Robotics Network (AFRON), and Founding Director of UC Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture Lecture Series. Ken’s projects are regularly featured on television, radio, and in publications such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, and der Spiegel.
Ken was awarded the NSF Presidential Faculty Fellowship from President Bill Clinton in 1995 and elected IEEE Fellow in 2005.
With unique skills in creative problem solving, invention, and thinking on the edge, Ken has engaged audiences around the world in over 400 keynotes.
Technology keynote speaker Ken Goldberg shares what working with robots has taught him about being human. The respected roboticist relays four different projects he has worked on range from a web-controlled gardening robot to an automated surgery assistant, as well as the reason he got into engineering and his hopes for the future dynamic between people and robots.
He highlights the parallels between robots and humanity, noting that in many cases, in order to solve problems or complete a task, his robots followed the same advice we might give to humans. In the case of his surgery assistant robots who learned how to do stitches through watching human demonstrations, the robots needed several rounds of iteration before they could duplicate a doctor's work.
"If you want to do something well, there's no substitute for 'practice, practice, practice,'" Goldberg summarizes.
He encourages his audience to reflect upon the devices they dream about and what those devices might tell them about their own nature. "Robots are the most human of our machines," he points out. "They can't solve all of the world's problems, but I think they have something important to teach us."
Roboticist and technology keynote speaker, Ken Goldberg provides a first-person account of emerging technologies and the role they will place in society. An expert on the paradoxical views popular society bears towards AI, Goldberg makes a case that the increasing incorporation of robots into business and daily life will empower people. Goldberg is also exceptionally gifted at explaining the inner workings of robots, AI, and cloud computing in laymen’s terms, providing business audiences with a practical understanding of new technologies that organizations will need to adopt if they want to stay competitive.
Musk vs. Zuck: Are AI and Robots a Threat...or an Opportunity?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has surpassed humans at Jeopardy and Go, and driverless cars are widely believed to be around the corner. News articles claim we’re on the brink of a "Singularity" where robots will steal 50% of our jobs. Are AI and Robots an existential threat to humans as Elon Musk warns? Or is Mark Zuckerberg right in stating that humans have many good years ahead?
"Automation Anxiety" has a long history, with widespread pronouncements about the imminent loss of jobs to Automation in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1980s. Drawing on his experience as a robotics and AI research expert, Goldberg explores these issues in three parts: 1) What Isn’t New, 2) What Is New, and 3), How We Can Prepare. Ultimately, Goldberg reveals how new innovations will empower humans, not replace them, revealing the power behind new trends from “multiplicity” to "cloud robotics" and more.
Robots with Their Heads in the Clouds
The next generation of robots will be more social than solitary. Rather than viewing every robot as an isolated system with limited computation and memory, roboticists are now exploring how robots and automation systems can actively exchange information and resources via networks. Building on emerging advances in cloud computing, big data, open-source, and the Internet of Things, this paradigm has potential to significantly increase the capabilities of robots and automation systems.
Cultivating the Uncanny: Art, Fear, and Fascination with Technology
Engineers, animators, and designers apply the concept of the Uncanny Valley to technologies from AI to Robots to Siri. In 1919, a year before the word “robot” was coined, Sigmund Freud published an influential essay tracing the concept of the Uncanny back to the Renaissance. Goldberg illustrates this history with art that explores the shifting borders between the digital and the natural, including his Emmy-nominated short doc film that explores our collective fear and fascination with robots, the most human of our machines.
The Future of Brainstorming
To brainstorm at the scale of social media, we can use techniques from an unlikely source: Robotics. Goldberg presents recent results on social innovation and collective brainstorming work with the U.S. State Department, General Motors, and the State of California.
Putting the Turing into ManufacTuring: Recent Developments in Algorithmic Automation
Automation for manufacturing today is where computer technology was in the early 1960's, a patchwork of ad-hoc solutions lacking a rigorous scientific methodology. CAD provides detailed models of part geometry. What's missing is formal models of part behavior and frameworks for the systematic design of automated systems that can feed, assemble, and inspect parts. "Algorithmic Automation" introduces abstractions that allow the functionality of automation to be designed independent of the underlying implementation and can provide the foundation for formal specification and analysis, algorithmic design, and consistency checking.
“Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise of the future of robotics with the Cisco research community. Your energy and engagement with the audience made it an exceptional experience for all involved! “
“Just a note on Kenʼs presentation last night. One of the best presentations this year. Clear, visionary, entertaining, passionate, direct, thought provoking, and fun. Thanks to you and your team for a terrific event(s).”
-What’s Now: San Francisco
“It was a pleasure having you here and listening to your great presentation and panel discussion! Robotics is clearly a fascinating topic!
Thank you for supporting our event and contribution to an even better future Gigabit Society!”
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