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Documentary Filmmaker, Speaker and Author of 'Our Final Invention'
Time Magazine named author and filmmaker James Barrat one of 5 Very Smart People Who Think Artificial Intelligence Could Bring the Apocalypse due to his groundbreaking nonfiction bestseller, Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era.
What James Barrat's clients say
"James Barrat was arguably the most thought-provoking and compelling speaker who stepped onto the stage at Solstice FWD 2018. His haunting and provocative perspective on the implications of AI on humanity had the entire audience on the edge of their seats, quite literally. His talk was only outmatched by his kindness and zero-ego attitude, which made him an absolute pleasure to work with on our signature summit of the year."
"James Barrat’s broad cultural fluency and acute sense of humor combine for an invitingly personal and accessible take on the subject of artificial intelligence. He presents technologically and philosophically complex topics with popular attraction as well as intellectual appeal."
"James Barrat was a wonderful campus guest and the perfect keynote speaker to launch our School of Business Center for Innovation and Ethics. He visited classes and engaged students in deep discussions throughout the day. In the evening, he spoke eloquently to the college community and the public about the ethical challenges of AI. Equal parts talk and conversation, the evening was compelling, and struck just the right balance between the technical and the human challenges we face."
"James gave KIE’s Eleventh Annual Fall Lecture and did a terrific job, speaking to around 350 people. He presents a clear and compelling argument, one to which everyone should be paying close attention. The implications for advanced artificial intelligence range from utopian to the end of human planetary dominance, possible even the end of our species. James gives us plenty of reason to think it could be the latter — a wake-up call if there ever was one. The feedback from his talk has been wonderful –– he made KIE look good!"
"James Barrat is a compelling writer and a powerful, eloquent speaker on a timely topic. Whether from the podium, on a radio broadcast by the local NPR affiliate, or over a cup of coffee in my office, Barrat holds his listeners and spectators spellbound by consistently raising urgent questions about the human condition."
"James Barrat gave an inspiring and compelling presentation on one of the most significant ethical issues of our time. His talk was exceedingly well received by students, faculty, and members of the wider Richmond region."
"James Barrat held a deeply knowledgeable Purdue audience in rapt attention during a compelling but also entertaining hour presentation on our campus. It’s safe to assume that he will have at least as powerful an impact on listeners hearing about the risks and possibly existential dangers of AI for the first time."
"James Barrat talked to a very technically astute audience consisting of students, faculty and technical staff and credibly and entertainingly presented both optimistic and pessimistic visions of the future. His obvious ease and familiarity with both the risks and opportunities of technology combined with his wry sense of humor to create a top-rate event for the audience."
James Barrat's 2023 biography
About James Barrat
Intelligence, Barrat contends, not strength or speed, is the superpower that enables humans to steer the future. Scientists around the world are developing machines whose intelligence grows exponentially, and will someday dwarf our own. Have we already plunged into an unwinnable intelligence race, with the future of humanity at stake?
As an award-winning documentary filmmaker, Barrat has made a career from introducing audiences to complex ideas in engaging and provocative ways. His films have set ratings records for National Geographic, Discovery, PBS, and other broadcasters in the US and Europe. Notable titles include the National Geographic Specials The Gospel of Judas (2006), Inside Jerusalem’s Holiest (2008), Herod’s Lost Tomb (2010), and The Rise of the Black Pharaohs (2014). For PBS Barrat created Spillover: Zika, Ebola and Beyond (2016) and the 90-minute feature-doc Facing Suicide (2022). In September 2024, Facing Suicide’s companion book will be printed by Penguin Random House. Barrat is currently at work on The Intelligence Explosion, an expose that shows how generative AI takes us closer to human level intelligence with mysterious and unpredictable emergent powers.
James Barrat's 2023 talks & topics
James Barrat's 2023 speaking fees
- United States
Specific fees fall within the ranges shown. These are presented as a guide only and are subject to change without notice.
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