TEDxBoston 2016

Ben Vigoda

When Machines Have Ideas

Astronomers shared stories through the ages, enabling them to contradict and learn from each other. They broke stories apart and put them together in better ways—readjusting and reconsidering beliefs—to present new ideas that are more compelling and more accurate. Machines can do that too. “When we build stories into machine intelligence systems, we should enable them to attach probabilities to their stories” says Ben Vigoda.



Before founding Gamalon Machine Intelligence, Ben was technical co-founder and CEO of Lyric Semiconductor, a startup that created the first integrated circuits and processor architectures for statistical machine learning and signal processing. The company was named one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies by Technology Review and was featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, EE Times, Scientific American, Wired, and other media. Lyric was successfully acquired by Analog Devices, and Lyric’s products and technology are being deployed in leading smart phones and consumer electronics, medical devices, wireless base stations, and automobiles.

Ben completed his PhD at MIT developing circuits for implementing machine learning algorithms natively in hardware. He has won entrepreneurship competitions at MIT and Harvard, fellowships from Intel and the Kavli Foundation/National Academy of Sciences, and has held research appointments at MIT, HP, Mitsubishi, and the Santa Fe Institute. He has authored over 120 patents and academic publications. He currently serves on the DARPA Information Science and Technology (ISAT) steering committee.

Ben also co-founded Design That Matters, a not-for-profit that for the past decade has helped solve engineering and design problems in under-served communities and has saved thousands of infant lives by developing low-cost, easy-to-use medical technology such as infant incubators, UV therapy, pulse oximeters, and IV drip systems that have been fielded in 20 countries.

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