Dr Simon Roberts

Co-founder and Partner
Stripe Partners

Bodies, Brains and Intelligence

Can we have intelligence without a body? If not, what does that mean for the development of AI and how we think about our relationships with it? I’ll consider how the idea of embodiment can contribute to our understanding of intelligence and how, in turn, this can inform our understanding of the potential and limitations of AI.


An anthropologist, Simon considers himself to have the best job in the world: researching the emerging frontiers of people and technology and trying to land that understanding with impact in complex environments. His career began with a PhD on the satellite TV revolution in mid 1990s India. He started the UK’s first dedicated ethnographic research company, Ideas Bazaar, before leading an R&D team at Intel’s Digital Health Group.

In 2013, Simon co-founded Stripe Partners, a strategy and innovation consultancy that supports teams working on near-term product launches and longer-range strategy engagements. We help our clients decide what to do now and what to do next.

Simon has long been connected with the world of business anthropology. He writes and speaks widely on anthropology, ethnography, and technology, and his work has been covered by Bloomberg, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC Radio 4, Quartz and The Daily Telegraph. His book on embodied knowledge, Hard Wired: How Our Bodies Acquire Knowledge and Why We Should Learn to Trust our Instincts, will be published by Bonnier in 2020.

You can read our interview with Simon here.