AI, babies, and agency

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AI, babies, and agency

In this podcast we hear from machine learning pioneer Yoshua Bengio, who believes that creating a true artificial intelligence will only be possible once machines have something that babies are born with: the ability to interact with the world, observe what happens, and adapt to the consequences of their actions.

Yoshua Bengio

Yoshua Bengio (Photo copyright: Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation)

We'll find out how such agency helps us learn, what it could mean for computers to have it too, and hear about Bengio's work introducing it into an area of machine learning called deep learning.

And, in honour of the mathematician Ron Graham who sadly passed away in July, we celebrate our very favourite number, Graham's number, by telling you about it in just one minute.

You can find out more about Bengio's take on agency in this series of articles, about machine learning in this article, and about Graham's number in this article.

The music in the podcast is by Oli Freke and the track is called Line-1. You can listen to more of Oli's music on Soundcloud.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking the download link below, and you can subscribe to our podcast feed in your podcast aggregator of choice, or directly through Apple Podcasts or Spotify.


This podcast was partially funded by the European Mathematical Society.

This podcast now forms part of our coverage of a major research programme on deep learning held at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI) in Cambridge. The INI is an international research centre and our neighbour here on the University of Cambridge's maths campus. It attracts leading mathematical scientists from all over the world, and is open to all. Visit www.newton.ac.uk to find out more.

INI logo

You can listen to the podcast using the player above, and you can listen and subscribe to our podcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify and through most other podcast providers via podbean.


It is a very good song that touches the listener's heart.