Iyad Rahwan

Inquire About This Speaker

Acclaimed Futurist, Computer Scientist and Pioneering AI Scholar Whose Ongoing Research Reveals How Emerging Technologies Will Impact Humans and Related Long-term Investments; Foremost Expert on the Future of Work, Human-Machine Collaboration and the Ethics of AI and Autonomous Vehicles; Director, Center for Humans & Machines, Max Planck Institute for Human Development; Former Professor, MIT Media Lab; Editor, Artificial Intelligence Journal; Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2020

Biography

Had we understood in advance how technology and social media would later impact humans, could we have prevented the problems we see today and shaped a different future? The good news is, organizations can now make more informed, strategic decisions around technologies they build and use before they invest by leveraging the science-backed forecasts provided by acclaimed futurist, computer scientist and pioneering artificial intelligence (AI) scholar Iyad Rahwan.

Director of the Center for Humans & Machines at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Rahwan and his diverse team of more than 20 interdisciplinary researchers – including computer scientists, physicists, psychologists, economists and political scientists – conduct unique experiments grounded in behavioral science. Their ongoing research shows how rapidly emerging technologies driven by AI, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and the metaverse, will shape the way people think, learn, work, play, cooperate and govern. Their data-driven scientific insights give organizations and individuals the information they need to strategically invest in and plan for the future with a higher level of certainty about likely outcomes.

“People have recognized that machines impact our lives. And with AI, increasingly those machines have autonomy in how they shape us,” says Rahwan, who was named to the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2020. “Understanding how these new AI agents behave and misbehave, and how their behavior impacts human psychology, social norms, economic behavior and culture, is becoming the defining question of our time.”

A widely respected computer scientist whose earlier work at MIT led to his being dubbed the anthropologist of AI, Rahwan is particularly focused on helping organizations understand the ethical implications of the technologies they develop and use. Author of the darkly funny Evil AI Cartoons, which playfully highlight AI’s potential harms, Rahwan closely examines the upsides and downsides of autonomous vehicles, surveillance, machine learning, automation, Deep Fakes, and Human+AI creativity. More recently he and his colleagues have been studying how human networks can be leveraged in ways that improve collaboration and cooperation and combat corruption.

In addition to helping leaders better read and extract value from data, Rahwan shows them how AI and humans will complement each other in the future workplace.

“When people predict a job may disappear, they tend to ask if a machine can replace those skills,” he explains. “But typically, machines don’t replace a whole person, just part of their skills. In some cases, machines make a person more productive, which can lower prices and increase the demand for more people. Organizations will need to analyze many factors when it comes to matching machines with people and determining the best way to fill the skills gaps.”

As organizations move toward a new technological era, Rahwan’s future-focused guidance continues to be of great value to leaders in every sector as they prepare for an increasingly AI-driven workplace and economy.

###

Iyad Rahwan is an honorary professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Technical University of Berlin. Until June 2020, he was an Associate Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a lifetime Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).

Rahwan’s work has appeared in major academic journals, including Science, Nature and PNAS, and features regularly in major media outlets, including The New York Times, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. A native of Aleppo, Syria, he holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Iyad Rahwan is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Media

AI Is Creating Its Own Culture – And Passing It Down To Humans

May 30, 2022

How AI’s Growing Influence Can Make Humans Less Moral

August 2, 2021

Job Connectivity Improves Resiliency in US Cities, Study Finds

April 13, 2021

Wall Street Journal

Self-Driving Cars Could Save Many Lives. But Mental Roadblocks Stand in the Way.

April 6, 2021

Could a Small City Become the Next Silicon Valley? It's Unlikely

September 3, 2020

We Can Make Surveillance Work for Us

June 26, 2020

Ethics, Efficiency and Artificial Intelligence

January 30, 2020

The Anthropologist of Artificial Intelligence

August 26, 2019

AI and the Social Sciences Used to Talk More. Now They've Drifted Apart.

July 1, 2019

Artificial Intelligence Is Now Far Too Big To Be Limited To Computer Science

May 31, 2019

Techworld logo

MIT Professor Calls for Multi-Disciplinary "Machine Behavior" Research to Address AI Fears

May 7, 2019

It's Time to Study Machine Behaviour Across Disciplines, Finds MIT Paper

April 29, 2019

MIT Technology Review logo

AI Researchers Want to Study AI the Same Way Social Scientists Study Humans

April 29, 2019

The New Yorker logo

A Study on Driverless-Car Ethics Offers a Troubling Look Into Our Values

January 24, 2019

Beware Corporate 'Machinewashing' of AI

January 7, 2019

How Much Does Your Life Matter to a Self-Driving Car?

December 5, 2018

Why We Need to Audit Algorithms

November 28, 2018

Self-Driving Car Dilemmas Reveal That Moral Choices Are Not Universal

October 24, 2018

Stern Strategy Group

Making Sense of the Ethics and Impact of AI

September 26, 2018

MIT Scientists Unveil First Psychopath AI, 'Norman'

June 7, 2018

MIT Technology Review logo

A Regional Reality Check: Mapping Automation-Proof Jobs and Skills (Video)

June 4, 2018

The Economist logo

To Understand Digital Advertising, Study Its Algorithms

March 22, 2018

MIT Technology Review logo

AI and the Future of Work, Q&A (Video)

November 8, 2017

Whose Life Should Your Car Save?

November 3, 2016

The Atlantic logo

The Nightmare Machine

October 24, 2016

Should Your Driverless Car Hit a Pedestrian to Save Your Life?

June 23, 2016

A-Z Name

Rahwan, Iyad

Biography

Had we understood in advance how technology and social media would later impact humans, could we have prevented the problems we see today and shaped a different future? The good news is, organizations can now make more informed, strategic decisions around technologies they build and use before they invest by leveraging the science-backed forecasts provided by acclaimed futurist, computer scientist and pioneering artificial intelligence (AI) scholar Iyad Rahwan.

Director of the Center for Humans & Machines at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Rahwan and his diverse team of more than 20 interdisciplinary researchers – including computer scientists, physicists, psychologists, economists and political scientists – conduct unique experiments grounded in behavioral science. Their ongoing research shows how rapidly emerging technologies driven by AI, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and the metaverse, will shape the way people think, learn, work, play, cooperate and govern. Their data-driven scientific insights give organizations and individuals the information they need to strategically invest in and plan for the future with a higher level of certainty about likely outcomes.

“People have recognized that machines impact our lives. And with AI, increasingly those machines have autonomy in how they shape us,” says Rahwan, who was named to the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2020. “Understanding how these new AI agents behave and misbehave, and how their behavior impacts human psychology, social norms, economic behavior and culture, is becoming the defining question of our time.”

A widely respected computer scientist whose earlier work at MIT led to his being dubbed the anthropologist of AI, Rahwan is particularly focused on helping organizations understand the ethical implications of the technologies they develop and use. Author of the darkly funny Evil AI Cartoons, which playfully highlight AI’s potential harms, Rahwan closely examines the upsides and downsides of autonomous vehicles, surveillance, machine learning, automation, Deep Fakes, and Human+AI creativity. More recently he and his colleagues have been studying how human networks can be leveraged in ways that improve collaboration and cooperation and combat corruption.

In addition to helping leaders better read and extract value from data, Rahwan shows them how AI and humans will complement each other in the future workplace.

“When people predict a job may disappear, they tend to ask if a machine can replace those skills,” he explains. “But typically, machines don’t replace a whole person, just part of their skills. In some cases, machines make a person more productive, which can lower prices and increase the demand for more people. Organizations will need to analyze many factors when it comes to matching machines with people and determining the best way to fill the skills gaps.”

As organizations move toward a new technological era, Rahwan’s future-focused guidance continues to be of great value to leaders in every sector as they prepare for an increasingly AI-driven workplace and economy.

###

Iyad Rahwan is an honorary professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Technical University of Berlin. Until June 2020, he was an Associate Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a lifetime Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).

Rahwan’s work has appeared in major academic journals, including Science, Nature and PNAS, and features regularly in major media outlets, including The New York Times, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. A native of Aleppo, Syria, he holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Iyad Rahwan is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

For a more in-depth understanding of these topics, book a confidential advisory meeting or interactive workshop with Iyad Rahwan

How Emerging Technologies Will Impact the Future of Business and Society

The way humans engage with the world is increasingly driven by technology. The good news is, organizations can now make more informed, strategic decisions around technologies they build and use before they invest. In this talk, acclaimed futurist, computer scientist and AI scholar Iyad Rahwan, director of the Center for Humans & Machines at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, discusses his team’s ongoing research, which shows how rapidly emerging technologies driven by AI, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and the metaverse, will shape the way people think, learn, work, play, cooperate and govern. His careful experimental and data-driven insights give participants the information they need to strategically invest in and plan for the future with a higher level of certainty about likely outcomes.

Strategically Planning for the Future of Work

How can companies best prepare for a future workplace where AI and automation will require a different set of human skills? Computer scientist Iyad Rahwan teaches organizations how to create strategic maps outlining occupations and skillsets that will – or will likely not – become automated. He also shares strategies for addressing these issues defensively so leaders can future-proof their organization and workforce.

The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

Designing and deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can be trusted is an extremely delicate process. Iyad Rahwan, an expert on the social impact of AI, discusses the ethical challenges of ensuring AI systems, such as autonomous vehicles (AVs), are safe and that their algorithms can be trusted. He explores how cultural differences and psychological biases, such as people’s inflated views of their own driving abilities, can make them reluctant to cede their power to AI, even when it is superior. In this riveting presentation, Rahwan explores the complex intersection of humans, AI and autonomous vehicles and what it means for AI developers, industry and society.

How Can We Make Surveillance Work for Us?

While new technologies allow for vast corporate and government surveillance, can the equation be leveraged in profoundly beneficial ways? AI expert Iyad Rahwan argues that in the face of inevitable and ongoing technological progress, appropriate degrees of privacy and regulation must be implemented regarding the use of data and algorithmic decision making. In this presentation, he discusses the use of surveillance to promote the public good, such as contact tracing during a pandemic, versus other more questionable, potentially unethical uses of surveillance that may infringe on personal privacy or convey dangerous biases.

Leveraging Social Media to Encourage Extreme Cooperation

The internet and social media have revolutionized our ability to cooperate at scale. Iyad Rahwan explores the physical and cognitive limits of crowds by following real-world experiments that utilized social media to mobilize the masses in tasks of unprecedented complexity. From finding people in remote cities, to reconstructing shredded documents, to canvassing an entire continent in search of balloons, the power of crowdsourcing is real. So are the exploitation, sabotage and hidden biases that undermine that power. To effectively leverage social media, we need to understand both the wisdom and madness of crowds. In this presentation, Rahwan shows how to harness collective efforts for constructive purposes – and combat malicious manipulation that can turn loose the fury of the mob.

Media

Array

Books & Research

Array

Similar Speakers

Array

Advisory & Consulting

Improve Investment Decisions and Society by Understanding the Future Impact of Technology on Humans

Acclaimed futurist, computer scientist and AI scholar Iyad Rahwan, director of the Center for Humans & Machines at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, leads a diverse team of more than 20 interdisciplinary researchers who conduct unique experiments grounded in behavioral science. Their data help organizations understand and anticipate how rapidly emerging advances in digital media and AI will shape the way people think, learn, work, play, cooperate and govern. As an advisor, he shares the meticulously curated data his team gathers with decision makers to help them shape the future of their business and society with more certainty about likely outcomes. He works with organizations in every industry and can cover any or all of the following topics during virtual or in-person advisory meetings, which can be customized to meet the needs of your organization and the size of your audience.

  • The Future of Autonomous Vehicles: Safety, Ethics, Investment
  • Financial and Business Implications of an AI-driven Economy and Society
  • Future of Work: Human-AI Cooperation and Collaboration
  • How Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) Will Shape Society and Business
  • AI and Bias: Ethical Approaches to Developing Technology
  • Machine Learning and Algorithms: Preventing Harm While Leveraging Benefits
  • Extracting Value from Data
  • Building Successful Collaboration Through Social Networks
  • The Future of Surveillance: How to Make It Work for Society and Business
  • The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Biology, Economics, Consumer Behavior, Psychology, and Sciences
  • Strategically Investing in the Future of Automation