Blaise Agüera y Arcas

What Data Tells Us About the Future of Human Identity

Identity politics occupies the front lines in today’s culture wars, pitting generations against each other, and progressive cities against the rural traditions of our past. Debates over gender and sexuality occupy particularly intense flashpoints of controversy as we struggle to understand ‘who we are now’.

Leading Google AI researcher and author Blaise Agüera y Arcas looks to the data he collected between 2016 and 2021, asking thousands of anonymous respondents questions about their behaviour and identity, with a focus on gender and sexuality. He comes to TEDxManchester to unveil what he discovered in seeking to understand what the future of human identity could look like.


An AI Guru & Humanist

Blaise Agüera y Arcas is a leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) researcher, author, and Vice President and Fellow at Google Research. He is a winner of MIT Technology Review’s TR35 Prize and Fast Company’s Most Creative People Award, as well as a frequent speaker at TED and many other conferences.

At Google, Agüera y Arcas leads a team working on AI, large language models, smart devices, technology ethics, and privacy. Publicly visible projects from his team include Federated Learning, Artists and Machine Intelligence, Coral, and many AI features in Pixel and Android.

In 2016, Agüera y Arcas wrote a widely read essay on the relationship between art and technology, and in 2017 he co-authored another popular essay on physiognomy and bias in AI as well as a refutation of claims that facial structure reveals sexual orientation. Some of this material has been incorporated into his latest book, Who Are We Now?, released in December 2023 via Hat & Beard Press. His debut novella, Ubi Sunt, published in 2022 and was a winner of the AIGA 50 Books 50 Covers Award.

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