Nell Watson speaker

Eleanor 'Nell' Watson

Engineer, educator and tech philosopher, Nell Watson is a captivating speaker on AI, Cognitive Science, Cryptomics and Human Society.


Nell lectures globally on Machine Intelligence, AI philosophy, Human-Machine relations, and the Future of Human Society, serving as Associate Faculty at Singularity University and a member of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.


Videos of Eleanor 'Nell' Watson


IOP Presentation NYC
How do you combine psychology and technology: Vint Symposium
Behind the Science

Speaker Profile


About Eleanor 'Nell' Watson


Nell Watson FBCS, FIAP, FRSA, FLS, FRSS, CITP has a longstanding interest in the philosophy of technology and how extensions of human capacity drive emerging social trends.

A sought-after public speaker, workshop facilitator and lecturer on emerging technologies, Nell has presented to diverse audiences internationally as well as for organisations such as Ericsson, Credit Suisse and MIT. She has taught and presented in India, Morocco, Chile, Brazil, the Nordics, the United Kingdom and across America.

As a result, Nell has built a track record as an insightful, imaginative, and broadly-aware presenter, an effective communicator and mentor and a speaker who makes complex subjects able to be understood by all. Her work is regularly covered by Wired, BBC, The Guardian, Forbes, Vice, and others.

Her unusual career includes teaching post-grad Computer Science at the age of 24 and co-founding a successful Graffiti arts company. Her ability to bridge the world of technology and the Humanities makes it easy for her to translate complex subjects so that they can be clearly understood.

In 2010 Nell founded Poikos (now QuantaCorp), a machine learning-driven ‘AI for body measurement’. Nell’s patented technology ‘dematerialises’ the 3D body scanner, by providing accurate 3D scans of the body with only 2D camera hardware, such as that found within smartphones, or laptops. This may then be applied to a range of markets, such as mass customisation, and health.

Nell also serves as Senior Advisor to The Future Society at Harvard and as an advisory technologist to several startups, accelerators, and venture capital funds.

Additionally, she is Co-Founder of OpenEth, an ‘ethical explication engine’ that aims to crowdsource ethical heuristics for autonomous systems.

In her spare time, Nell enjoys coding games, such as her startup life simulator, Founder Life. Founder Life attempts to teach the mindfulness and psychological habits necessary for entrepreneurs to consistently execute under pressure. She has also written two easily digestible books on philosophy – one for business leaders, and one aimed at children.

Positions and Honours

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
  • Fellow of the Institute of Analysts and Programmers (FIAP)
  • Fellow of the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT (FBCS)
  • Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. (FRSS)
  • Fellow of the MIT Global Startup Workshop
  • Founder & Council Member of the International Society of Digital Medicine (Headquartered in Nanjing, China)
  • Senior Scientific Advisor to the Harvard Kennedy School’s Future Society AI Initiative
  • Advisor to the Future of Sentience Society at Cambridge
  • Member of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems
  • Scientific Advisor to Diversity.AI, and anti-algorithmic bias think tank
  • Venture Partner at Onevest 1000 Angels
  • Editorial Board Member of The Journal of Digital Medicine

Speaking Topics


Making The Most of Machine Intelligence

Machine Intelligence is an incredible new utility that our society can tap into at will, in a revolution that we haven't seen since electrification. Explore how every sector of our economy is being affected by this change, and grasp how big data is driving this process. Understand how you can make the most of these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and how these forces are shaping the future of our humanity.

Magnanimous Machines

Intelligent machines are beginning to understand the needs, drives, and even values of humanity, with huge opportunities for each of our lives and our global society. Robotic counsellors offer an opportunity for everyone to gain access to the critical resource that is talking therapies. This is quite an expensive treatment and isn't covered well by insurance. As we can now democratise access to talking therapies, we might enjoy a much more mentally healthy society as a result. How can we retain our humanity, whilst growing past our greatest weaknesses?

Consigliere Commerce

As we delegate more of our commercial decisions to machines, we are creating a new layer of smart economic agents, and a new ‘machine demographic’ to market to. Aristocrats once enjoyed butlers to care for their personal needs without needing to be asked, as well as managers to take care of their estates. Something similar is coming to every one of us, as machines find clever ways to make us happiest and healthiest we can be, given a certain budget. Enabled by blockchain technologies, economic agents will add a third layer to the web. Appealing to machines may soon make more sense from a marketing perspective than appealing to humans.

Machine Ethics

The emerging field of machine ethics offers a revolution in how ethical analyses and transactions can occur. By making ethical decisions computable, we can give a sense of morality to machine intelligence, such as autonomous vehicles and personal assistants. Learn how we can best program these fuzzy aspects of 'humanity' into machine intelligence, in a way which respects differences of opinion and creeds, and yet provides adequate protection for humans and machines.

Exponential Ethos

Our global society is experiencing an immense shift: Entire industries once considered 'bricks and mortar', such as taxi rides and hotel rooms, are being transformed into digital powerhouses. Physical objects are becoming dematerialised, democratised, and dynamically distributed to all, at ever decreasing costs, and incredible value. Understanding the vast, disruptive power of exponential factors, and how to make effective use of them to amplify ones' activities, is the fundamental key skill for enjoying massive business, technical, and societal success this century.

The Human Factors of Machine Intelligence

Access to intuitive machine predictions is now changing organisations, as they become flatter and more agile, and units within them become more autonomous, providing richer choice and freedom to employees. But how can we make the most of these capabilities, and ensure that the spirit and wisdom of the human isn't lost in a sea of cold algorithms?

Cryptomics

A smarter, kinder, and trustworthy way to build a better world. This talk explores the latest developments in Machine Intelligence, Blockchain, and the emerging discipline of Machine Ethics. The confluence of these three domains is creating revolutionary new ways of organising society, and building trust between individuals and institutions. This can enable a massive increase in global human wellbeing in the coming decade – if we get it right.

Testimonials


"Nell Watson blew the whole crowd away with intelligence, humanity, insight and complex thinking. Just epic. The world needs more Nell." - Pete Trainor

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