Xprize Wants To Fund A TED Talk Given By An Artificial Intelligence-

Xprize is a pretty fantastic outfit where innovation is concerned. It's launched some incredible, exciting, and thoroughly advanced initiatives over the past few years, including the development of a working Star Trek Tricorder and a private industry-funded Moon Lander. Technologically, the organization is known for its burning ambition and constant innovation; the founders are always looking to the next technological breakthrough or big issue in scientific research.

This time around, they've set their sights on artificial intelligence. The organization has partnered up with TED - a nonprofit devoted to knowledge, ideas, and intelligent discussion - in order to teach an AI to talk. Together, the two companies have announced an Xprize for Artificial Intelligence. This initiative's goal is a simple one: to have an artificial intelligence conduct its own TED talk without any human assistance whatsoever. 

It gets better, too. See, both outfits have decided that, instead of working everything out themselves, they'll turn to the public for a bit of advice. In other words, the two partners are looking to the average user for help in working out the final details of the presentation.

Yeah, as if the concept of an independent AI delivering its own TED talk isn't awesome enough, we've all got an opportunity to be directly involved in it. 

Xprize has set up a dedicated website on which users can pitch their ideas for the talk. There, they'll be able to determine how long the talk should run, what the basic format should be, what topic should be chosen, and even what sort of AI makes the cut as the presenter. Want a humanoid, walking robot capable of full locomotion? What about a rolling robot with a screen for a face? Or perhaps one of Boston Dynamics' nightmare bots? Or maybe, just maybe, you want to keep things simple - keep the AI as a disembodied voice.

Personally, I think having an AI talk about artificial intelligence would be fantastic - but it'd have to be a humanoid robot to deliver the full impact. What I'd love to see is a TED talk on the concept of self awareness and of how machine intelligence differs from human intelligence.Of course, that's just my personal preference. 

See, the talk doesn't have to relate directly to artificial intelligence. Anything - and I do mean anything within the bounds of common decency - is fair game. The point of the talk isn't to address issues of artificial intelligence, it's to create an autonomous intelligence capable of giving its own TED talk presentations and (presumably) even answering questions.  If that concept isn't at least a little bit impressive to you, you're depressingly jaded.

Now, there's no guarantee that an AI would be capable of actively fielding questions from the audience if it were to present - all we can do is hope, right? Either way, this looks like it's going to be pretty awesome when everything's finally decided on. 

The stage is set, folks. Pitch your ideas to Xprize and TED. Who knows? You might have a direct role in one of the most revolutionary TED talks to date.