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To understand the future of artificial intelligence, we must first understand the history of human intelligence.

Author, A Brief History of Intelligence | AI Entrepreneur and Founder of Bluecore | Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree

Lavin Exclusive Speaker

As we come to rely more and more on AI systems, one question dominates the conversation: Where are we going next? Forbes 30 Under 30 member Max Bennett says that when we understand the history of human intelligence, we’ll be better equipped to understand—and shape—the future of artificial intelligence. Max is a star entrepreneur who founded one of the very first AI unicorns in 2013 (at over $1 billion valuation and $80 million in revenues). He’s also the author of the widely acclaimed book A Brief History of Intelligence, which has been called “amazing” (Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman), “a joy to read” (Dileep George, Google DeepMind), and “a truly novel, beautifully crafted thesis on what intelligence is” (Angela Duckworth, Grit).

How is it possible that AI can now beat a grandmaster in chess but still can’t load a dishwasher? Max Bennett explains how we can gain a fuller picture of AI’s current and future capacity by looking at the five major breakthroughs that shaped human intelligence (like the one that gave us an internal model of the external world, which AI is still missing). In brilliant and accessible talks, he reveals what the brains of yesterday can tell us about the AI of tomorrow.

In 2013, Max founded Bluecore, one of the very first AI unicorns. He cashed out a few years ago and used his time to explore, in tantalizing detail, the intersection of psychology, neuroscience, HI (Human Intelligence), and AI, which resulted in the visionary and widely acclaimed book A Brief History of Intelligence, one of the great books of the decade. Max is now embarking on a new entrepreneurial venture which utilizes next-generation AI thinking and architecture. He combines academic curiosity with an entrepreneur’s pragmatism to provide audiences with a roadmap for our future with AI.

Max was the cofounder and Chief Product Officer of Bluecore, one of the fastest growing companies in the United States, which uses AI to help some of the largest brands in the world personalize their marketing. It was recently valued at over $1 billion, has been ranked numerous times on Inc.‘s list of the 500 fastest growing companies in the US, and won the 2018 Glassdoor Best Places to Work award. Bluecore is used by 25% of the top 100 retailers in the US.

He is the cofounder & CEO of Alby, an AI company based in New York City. Prior to Alby and Bluecore, he was a trader at Goldman Sachs. He holds several patents for AI-related technologies, and has published numerous research papers in peer reviewed journals on the topics of evolutionary neuroscience and intelligence.

He is also the author of A Brief History of Intelligence, a paradigm shift in how we understand neuroscience and AI. He synthesizes decades of research on evolutionary neuroscience, comparative psychology, and artificial intelligence into a new understanding of human intelligence—and what it means for the technological innovation of the future. The book has been hailed by the world’s top voices in neuroscience, psychology, and AI: from Nobel Prize-winner Daniel Kahneman to grit pioneer Angela Duckworth. Google DeepMind’s Dileep George, cofounder of Vicarious AI, writes, “If you are interested in understanding brains or in building human-like general AI, you should read this book.”

Max graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, summa cum laude, with a BA in economics and mathematics, where he won the John M. Olin prize for the best economics honors thesis. He has been featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 list.

Speech Topics

Artificial Intelligence
How Human Intelligence EvolvedAnd Why It Matters for the Future of AI

To understand what’s next for artificial intelligence, we need to take a step back and understand how human intelligence evolved, says Max Bennett. “In a world that is increasingly filled with artificial intelligences that we offload decisions upon, it is becoming ever more important for us to understand the subtle ways in which AI systems differ from our own brains.”

Max is the author of A Brief History of Intelligence, a widely acclaimed book that combines neuroscience and AI to reveal the five breakthroughs that shaped our brains: from the ones we now share with AI (like the breakthroughs that gave us steering and language) to the ones that are still unique to us (like the breakthrough that gave us an internal model of our external world).

In this talk, he explains why our current understanding of the human brain is incomplete, and how we can move towards a fuller picture of the brain and its algorithms. He shows how the five breakthroughs in our brains’ evolution can give us a better understanding of intelligence as a whole, and equip us to not only understand but shape the future of AI.

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Retail
How Conversational AI Is Disrupting EcommerceAnd How to Thrive in the AI Future

“This year is to AI what 1994 was to the internet,” says Max Bennett. “There is a lot of hype around AI, but we have barely seen the beginning of these new technologies dispersing through business.”

Max is the cofounder of multiple AI companies (including Bluecore, which provides marketing personalization to 25% of the largest brands in the country). In this smart and engaging talk, he gives you a unique look into what retail leaders need to know to compete in this shifting landscape and offers sharp insights drawn from over a decade building AI technologies for ecommerce (like why you shouldn’t just blindly copy what Big Tech is doing). Audiences will walk away with a fuller understanding of what the technology does, how to apply it to your business, and what to look out for in the near future.

“Like with the internet, retail and shopping businesses are especially sensitive to this AI disruption,” Max says. “But those who navigate it well will come out the other side with vastly bigger, healthier, faster-growing businesses than they have today.”

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Featured Books

A Brief History of Intelligence
Evolution, AI, and the Five Breakthroughs That Made Our Brains

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