Sean Gourley

GourleySean Gourley

TED Fellow, Founder and CEO of Primer

Sean Gourley is founder and CEO of Primer. Previously, he was CTO of Quid, an augmented-intelligence company he co-founded in 2009. Prior to Quid, Gourley worked on self-repairing nano-circuits at NASA Ames. He holds a PhD in physics from Oxford, where his research as a Rhodes Scholar focused on complex systems and the mathematical patterns underlying modern war. This research was published on the cover of Nature. He has served as a political advisor, briefed USCENTCOM at the Pentagon and addressed the United Nations in Vienna. He is a two-time New Zealand track and field champion.

Gourley sits on the Knight Commission, serves on the Board of Directors at Anadarko (NYSE:APC), and is a TED Fellow.


Augmented Intelligence: How Big Data Can Make us Smarter | Wednesday, October 3 at 9:00 AM

In this lecture, Sean Gourley talks about the three kinds intelligence: artificial intelligence (machines), collective intelligence (wisdom of the crowds), and augmented intelligence (amplifying human cognition). He uses the example of three games of chess to illustrate these concepts and show how augmented intelligence can beat artificial intelligence and collective intelligence. In fast-paced and illuminating keynotes, Gourley reveals about how the human brain processes information and filters out the noise, and he shows how we attempt to mirror this with software tools like Google’s PageRank and Facebook’s edge rank algorithms. Gourley will discuss the work his is doing with his company, Quid, designing interfaces for humans to interact with data and algorithms. With highly visual examples of how this allows humans to augment their intelligence through software and algorithms, Gourley shows you a side of big data you have never seen before.