Posted: Aug 16, 2019

Bismarck, ND     |     North Dakota Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley joined 9 other presenters yesterday at the sold out TEDx Bismarck event at the Heritage Center. 

Riley’s presentation, titled “Why you should want to be replaced by a computer,” emphasized the significant disruption that advancements in technology have had over the past century and across industries. He cited the drop of global population participating in the agriculture workforce from 50% to 32% due to advancements in farming techniques and technology and emphasized the role artificial intelligence could have in taking over humans’ day-to-day, routine tasks.

Riley emphasized the limitless opportunities of artificial intelligence (AI) to do mundane, repeatable tasks, freeing up humans to engage in meaningful work that can’t be performed by a computer, asking: “What is the opportunity for humanity if we accept that technology can do the things we never wanted to do anyway?” He framed the possibilities of AI in the context of today’s unique economy where there are also more job openings than workforce, and the need to empower the human intelligence that cannot be replicated by computers.

This was Riley’s first time presenting at a TEDx event.

"If you take away the commodity, the repeatable, the predictable, the mundane and the boring, you unbridle the human mind. You give us the possibility to reach for the stars. You give us the capability to look at all of the possibilities and ask the courageous questions. And that is why every one of us should want to be replaced by a computer." – Shawn Riley, North Dakota Chief Information Officer.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.



Photo credit: LuAnn Baker