Close

Idealog Podcast: Tanmay Bakshi and Dr Joanna Batstone on working with IBM's Watson

Idealog digital editor Ben Mack chats with Tanmay Bakshi and Joanna Batstone about working with IBM's Watson, the future of artificial intelligence, whether robots will one day replace us all, and more.

Artificial intelligence. We’ve all heard about it – the good, the bad, and the seeming inevitability that it’s when, not if, AI will become self-aware. IBM knows it, too – which is why it brought together some of the world’s foremost experts to the Watson Summit New Zealand in Auckland this past week.

Tanmay Bakshi.

Among the featured presenters was 13-year-old Tanmay Bakshi, a Canadian computer programmer, honorary IBM consultant and TEDx speaker, who is on a global mission to get 100,000 children excited about coding. If that’s not ambitious enough, by the age of 9, Bakshi had learnt several different programming languages and built his first app. At 12, he was the world’s youngest programmer on Watson.

Dr Joanna Batstone.

Aside from Bakshi, Dr Joanna Batstone, head of IBM Australia's Research Lab and chief technology officer who has published more than 80 papers and received a number of awards from leading institutions throughout the world, spoke about the impact on business if young people bring coding skills to the workplace, especially as AI and other automation becomes more prevalent.

So, although the name of the summit came from Watson – IBM’s artificial intelligence most famous for its performances on the TV game show Jeopardy! – it was about a whole lot more than games.

But games can be important, too - especially when you're an artificial intelligence that learns like humans do.