Accelerating Change 2004
 
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Abstracts (alpha order by speaker)

The following are distinguished speakers at AC2004. All of them have contributed important work to understanding and responsibly guiding accelerating planetary change.

Lada Adamic
Research Scientist, HP Labs

Implicit Structure and the Dynamics of Blogspace
Abstract: The electronic nature of blogs, email, and instant messaging allows us to study the flow of information and the underlying social networks on a large scale.
Weblogs link together in a complex structure through which new ideas and discourse can flow. Such a structure is ideal for the study of the propagation of information.

We describe general categories of information epidemics and create a tool to infer and visualize the paths specific infections take through the network. This inference is based in part on a novel utilization of data describing historical, repeating patterns of infection. We have also developed a new ranking algorithm, iRank, for blogs. In contrast to traditional ranking strategies, iRank acts on the implicit link structure to find those blogs that initiate these epidemics. [back]

Clark Aldrich
Co-Founder, SimuLearn; Lead Designer, Virtual Learner;
Author, Simulations and the Future of Learning, 2003

Talk: Simulation and the Future of Learning
Moderator: Virtual Learning and Community Panel
Abstract: Six criteria are emerging as critical not just to simulations but to all successful educational experiences. Three are focused on content, and three on delivery elements.
Key criteria for content:
1. Linear content. 2. Systems of content. 3. Cyclical content. Additional criteria for delivery elements are: 4. Simulation elements that model reality. 5. Game elements that provide familiar and entertaining interactions. 6. Pedagogical (didactic) elements that ensure the students’ time is spent productively.

As we understand pedagogy (#6) and linear content (#1), we first mourn that they have become so dominant, but then realize how powerful they are in concert. It is only through the interelationships of all six criteria that we begin to get results that can truly transform people. [back]

Shai Agassi
Executive Board Member, SAP

Keynote: Achieving Enterprise Agility
Abstract: SAP customers process roughly 50% of the world's GDP through its systems annually. Flexibility, interconnectivity, analytics and usability are key capabilities that companies need to succeed in today's competitive marketplace. Mr. Agassi will illustrate SAP's strategy for enabling the "in-time enterprise" which can rapidly adapt to market demands and increase the velocity of events throughout business networks. [back]

Jeremy Bailenson
Director, Virtual Human Interaction Lab; Assistant Professor, Stanford U.

Collaborative Virtual Environments and Transformed Social Interaction
Abstract: Over time, our mode of remote communication has evolved from written letters to telephones, email, internet chat rooms, and videoconferences.

Similarly, collaborative virtual environments (CVEs) promise to further change the nature of remote interaction. CVEs are systems which track verbal and nonverbal signals of multiple interactants and render those signals onto avatars, three-dimensional, digital representations of people in a shared digital space. In this talk, I describe "Transformed Social Interaction", the manner in which CVEs can qualitatively change the nature of remote communication. Unlike telephone conversations and videoconferences, interactants in CVEs have the ability to systematically filter the physical appearance and behavioral actions of their avatars in the eyes of their conversational partners, amplifying or suppressing features and nonverbal signals in real-time for strategic purposes. In essence, virtual reality provides interactants with "conversational superpowers".

These tools can have a drastic impact on interactants’ persuasive and instructional abilities. Implications for communications systems, marketing strategies, and behavioral science research will be discussed. [back]

Nova Barlow
Online Community Developer, Themis Group

The Art of Community Management
Abstract: Community management is the critical success factor in determining whether an online game slips into oblivion or grows into a successful, long-lived service. It directly impacts conversion, retention, and, through word of mouth, sales. Although many games have a "Community Manager", this presentation will touch upon how community management done right is really a team effort.

The Art of Community Management also briefly provides an overview of internal and external methods in this area, as well as a few suggestions on what is needed to help create and maximize the potential of a well-functioning online community. [back]

Gordon Bell
Project Director, MyLifeBits, Microsoft BARC

MyLifeBits: The Memex Vision and Some Implications of Storing Everything Personal
Abstract: Within five years, our personal computers will be able to store everything we read, write, hear, and many of the images we see including a bit of video. Vannevar Bush outlined such a system in his famous 1945 Memex article. Since 2000 we have been working on MyLifeBits (www.MyLifeBits) to hold all cyberizable items from both personal and profession lives including articles, books, email and written correspondence, photos, telephone calls, video files, web pages visited. We are extending the reach to capture o(1000) images per day and psychological data through wearable devices e.g. the SenseCam from Microsoft’s Cambridge Lab, and BodyMedia www.BodyMedia.com.
While such a system has implications for future computing devices and their users, these systems will only exist if we can effectively utilize the vast personal stores. Although our system is exploratory, Microsoft’s Stuff I’ve Seen demonstrates the utility and necessity of easy search and access to one’s own data. Also, Google has announced its intention to provide a search tool for personal computer stores.

While capture has implications for future computers and users to have such a surrogate memory the implications in other facets of a person’s life raise many issues. For the user who may look at several hundred web pages and emails each day, the over arching research question the system needs to answer is: What can it provide and do so that an item can be managed so that it can be easily found again? Just navigating the stored life of individual would at first glance appear to take almost a lifetime to sift through especially if we are interested in a famous person e.g. Einstein. How will technology help us better archive these individuals?

MyLifeBits is currently focused on retrieval including the hopefully automatic addition of meta-data (e.g. document type identification, high level knowledge). Such data is essential for the user and future archivists, because without such higher level knowledge and concepts, the vast amount of raw bits from individuals will be completely unusable. The "Dear Appy" problem (unreadability due to degradation) is most unsettling to archivists and computer professionals. Can we provide a lasting store? While we are making progress in the capture of less traditionally archived content e.g. meetings, phone calls, video automatic interpretation and index of voice still lags. The most cited problem of personal archives is the control of the content including personal security and privacy, together with joint content ownership. In many corporations, periodic document expunging is a standard. Similarly, one’s life that is not in publicly available documents, is owned by the organization. Will items have to be expunged when an individual is no longer part of an organization? [back]
Dana Blankenhorn
Technology Business Journalist and Consultant
Author, The Blankenhorn Effect: How to Put Moore's Law to Work for You, 2002

The World of 'Always On'

Abstract: Business journalist Dana Blankenhorn has covered the online world professionally since 1985. He founded the "Interactive Age Daily" for CMP Media, and has written for the "Chicago Tribune," Advertising Age's "NetMarketing" supplement, and dozens of other publications over the years. Here he'll tell you his insights about what it will take to get us to the world of 'Always On', 24/7 connectivity, broadband, wireless, and the secure and scalable standards that will bring us to the next level of social opportunity and business productivity. Many compelling new business models will emerge in this transition. [back]
Cynthia Breazeale
IT Innovation Strategic Program Manager, Intel

Innovation Through IT: Enabling Systemic Innovation
Abstract: The Intel IT division chartered a small organization to work outside of the traditional roles and responsibilities and empowered them to discover new business value through innovation. The result was surprisingly immediate – and dramatic. Intellectual property capture rates within IT increased over 600% the first year. Emerging technology prototypes were merged with industry solutions causing adoption at government levels to soar. A new business practice was developed that provides IT managers with a means to project measurable business value return from information technology investments. The road to these successes, however, was not obvious.

In this session, Cynthia Breazeale will share the key learning, strategies and a few of the industry-transforming results of the Intel IT Innovation organization. [back]

David Brin
Physicist, Science Fiction and Nonfiction Writer;
Author, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?, 1999


Talk: Evaluating Horizons: What Limits Our Ability to Cope With Accelerating Change?
Abstract: Near-term trends—for example Moore's Law—appear to indicate that progress can accelerate. Complexity theory suggests that both cooperation and competition can have synergistic effects when participants within a system have full and rapid access to information. We can perceive such emergent properties happening whenever nature and civilization pass new thresholds. Such trends suggest that we ought to be embarking on a new era of power, intelligence and wisdom.

But there are countless examples of "oughts" that never happened. The logic of SETI suggests that our cosmos "ought" to teem with ancient and advanced intelligences, filling space with educational beacons, yet no Sesame Street tutorials have been detected. Tendentious wishing may be responsible for prematurely narrowing our view of possibility horizons.

Horizon Evaluation is a process for exploring what threats and opportunities may await us beyond the near term. It can suggest plausible scenarios for science fiction stories. It can also suggest ways to minimize threats and maximize opportunities. It may be particularly relevant for determining where to make investments.

Our civilization has already developed techniques that work well at exploring some sectors of the Possibility Horizon. Nearly all of these techniques rely upon rapid discovery of errors before those errors can prove fatal. Transparency of information flow appears to be the one common element. Only an open society would appear to have a chance of succeeding and taking advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead. [back]

Debate: The Cost and Benefit of Transparency: How Far, How Fast, How Fair?

Milton Chen
CTO, VSee Lab

Design of a Visual Communication and Collaboration Software for Afghanistan
Abstract: I will present VSee, a communication software designed for austere environments. VSee is unique in that it allows communication during emergency response when cell phone, telephone and the Internet are not available.

VSee was selected as the realtime communication system for the recent Navy humanitarian exercise, Strong Angel. Lastly, I will describe the deployment of VSee in Afghanistan. [back]

Doug Engelbart
Inventor of the Mouse; Digital Interface Legend; Founder, Bootstrap Institute;
Winner, Turing Award, MIT-Lemelson Prize

Keynote: Large-Scale Collective IQ: Facilitating its Evolution
Abstract: Yes, the pace of change is accelerating: the number of aspects of our life that are changing is itself accelerating; the rates of their respecive changing are accelerating; the secondary adjustments of each change vector to accommodate the other change-vector changes are accelerating -- an expanded "acceleration" perspective seems necessary for appropriately dealing with this situation.

Picture all of the world's humans trundling along in one common "human-society vehicle," carrying us in semi-separate, national/cultural "compartments" that are each evolving through its accelerating social, technological, economic, political, religious, etc. changes.

This vehicle is moving us faster and faster through an ever-more complex, multi-dimensioned space -- and increasing places in that "space" are dangerous for our society to stumble into. Are "we humans" in control? Sorry, but today we couldn't steer it even if the path were laid out for us.

Do "we" anyway have vision that is clear- and farsighted-enough to guide it if we did have "steerage control" of the vehicle?

My personal orientation has focussed on the need for what is essentially an "Augmented Collective IQ" capability which can provide both (1) the improved collective vision as to where we are headed and where we best should be headed, and (2) the improved collective control for steering our civilization/vehicle toward that envisioned future.

I will lay out a proposed strategic framework for facilitating the evolution of our collective IQ on a world scale. [back]

BJ Fogg
Director of Research and Design, Persuasive Technology Lab, Stanford University
Author, Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do, 2002

Captology: Understanding How Computers Manipulate People
Abstract: Can computers manipulate your thoughts and actions? Can they motivate you to stop smoking, persuade you to buy stuff online, or convince you to join the Army? Yes, they can.

For the past ten years I’ve been studying how computing products can be designed to change people’s beliefs and behaviors. During this period the purpose behind computing products has changed dramatically. More and more, interactive systems are designed to motivate and persuade people. Some applications of captology are beneficial, helping people achieve their own goals (such as exercising more often). However, many of today’s interactive products promote the interests of organizations at the expense of individuals.

To help you understand this domain better and to help you see what the future may hold, I will share key principles of captology along with illustrative examples. In addition, my students and I will demonstrate a new mobile phone application we’ve created to change how you access and read digital text. [back]

Dan Gillmor
Business and Technology Columnist, San Jose Mercury News;
Author, We, the Media: Journalism By and For the People, 2004

We, the Media: Journalism By and For the People
Abstract: Grassroots journalists are dismantling Big Media's monopoly on the news, changing it from lecture to conversation. Dan Gillmor will discuss the importance of this emerging phenomenon, a deep shift in how we make and consume the news. We the Media is essential reading for all participants in the news cycle: Consumers learn how they can become producers of the news through web journals (weblogs or blogs), Internet chat groups, email, and cell phones. Politicians, business executives, celebrities learn how the top-down controlled world of Big Media has segmented and undermined by the Internet Age. Newsmakers are learning how to successfully play by the new rules and shift from control to engagement. Journalists discover that the new grassroots journalism presents opportunity as well as challenge to their profession.

One of the first mainstream journalists to have a blog, Gillmor says, "My readers know more than I do, and that's a good thing." He makes the case to his colleagues that, in the face of a plethora of Internet-fueled news vehicles, they must change or become irrelevant. We the Media is a book about people. People like Glenn Reynolds, a law professor whose blog postings on the intersection of technology and liberty garnered him enough readers and influence that he became a source for professional journalists. Or Ben Chandler, whose upset Congressional victory was fueled by contributions that came in response to ads on a handful of political blogs. Or Iraqi blogger Zayed, whose Healing Irag blog (healingiraq.blogspot.com) scooped Big Media. Or acridrabbit, who inspired an online community to become investigative reporters and discover that the dying Kaycee Nichols sad tale was a hoax. Give the people tools to make the news, We the Media asserts, and they will. Journalism in the 21st century will be fundamentally different from the Big Media that prevails today. We the Media casts light on the future of journalism, and invites us all to be part of it. [back]

Brian Green
Co-Founder, Near Death Studios

Debate: Real Money in Virtual Economies: The Future of User-Created Content
Abstract: Not available at presstime.
Helen Greiner
Co-founder and Chairman of the Board, iRobot

Keynote: Mobile Robots - Saving Time, Money, and Lives
Abstract: Mobile robots are an emerging technology field, and iRobot Corporation of Burlington MA is leading the way. iRobot's products are not far-flung, far-off science fiction, but robots for the real world. They are practical, reliable, innovative products that effectively answer users needs with creative engineering and design.

On the consumer side, iRobot is credited for inventing the first successful home robot, originally priced at $199.99. The disc-shaped Roomba finds dirt and cleans it up on all kinds of household surfaces all without human intervention. iRobot's Roomba™ Robotic Floorvac is already cleaning floors in more than a half-million homes. iRobot also provides the PackBot™, a unmanned ground robot in use by the United States Government inspecting caves in Afghanistan, and investigating buildings in Iraq. Currently, this tough, mobile, easy to use robot is being used on hundreds of missions a day in Iraq clearing terrorist-set bombs.

Ms Greiner's talk will describe this new class of technology, how technology accelerations have affected our field, and how mobile robots will themselves catalyze accelerating change. [back]

Jamie Hale
President, Gaming Open Market

Debate: Real Money in Virtual Economies: The Future of User-Created Content
Abstract: Not available at presstime. [back]

Bruce Hall
Business Development, Digital Auto Drive

Team DAD (Digital Auto Drive): Autonomous Vehicle Navigation and the DARPA Grand Challenge
Abstract: Team DAD (Digital Auto Drive) is known to all who participated or observed the first Grand Challenge event (GC I) in March of 2004. Team DAD completed the QID course 8 times, was awarded the fourth pole position, and finished third, traveling 6.0 miles before being paused by DARPA, then becoming hung up on a rock.

Team DAD was one of the true innovators at Grand Challenge I. By employing a unique high-speed stereo-vision system and exceptionally smooth servo control, Team DAD’s technology impressed both the press and DARPA. This presentation recounts Team DAD’s experience at the event, describes the technology used, and their plans for the next GC event, scheduled for October 2005. [back]

Keith Halper
CEO and Co-Founder, Kuma Reality Games

Reality Games: The Next Revolution
Abstract: Kuma Reality Games has gathered tremendous attention with Kuma\War, an innovative PC game delivering accurate re-creations of actual events in the war just weeks after they occur—and set off a storm of controversy. But behind its provocative subject matter is a challenge to traditional game publishers. The company's 'Episodic Games' are building new content demand, new sources of revenue, and competitive distribution.

In this talk, Kuma CEO Keith Halper discusses the techniques and technology which make episodic games possible, their cultural and financial impact, and the process of introducing revolutionary change in the buzz-driven market for games. [back]

Robin Harper
Senior VP, Linden Lab, creators of Second Life

Real Learning in Digital Worlds
Abstract: What does it mean to try to teach in a digital world? The simulation aspects of digital worlds are enticing. Instant focus groups, real-time collaboration in a physically realistic environment, the elimination of distance, and in a world like Second Life, the ability to work together creatively, all hold tremendous appeal for teachers and students alike. How are people taking advantage of these opportunities? What does it mean for the community in a digital world to have a class of sociology students roaming the landscape?

Whether it's the Residents teaching each other, a college class in game design, or a long-term experiment in participatory democracy, digital worlds hold enormous promise for learning. We will look at the different ways people are experimenting with teaching and learning in a digital world, and explore the impact of these experiments on the community at large. [back]

Dewayne Hendricks
Wireless Activist; CEO, Dandin Group; Director, Wireless Task Force, GBOB Initiative

One Gigabit or Bust™ Initiative - A Broadband Vision for California
Abstract: It has been generally accepted that the United States has fallen behind other industrialized countries with regards to the adoption of broadband services. Recent estimates show penetration rates of only 35%, which compares quite poorly to countries such as South Korea, which has adoption rates exceeding 95%, with far greater average bandwidth rates being delivered at much lower costs. Other countries have adopted national broadband initiatives to bring high speed broadband connectivity to all its citizens such as the U.S.'s neighbor, Canada. The United States has no such initiative in place at the present time.

The State of California has decided to move ahead with its own broadband initiative. The that end it has tasked the Corporation for Educational Networking Initiatives (CENIC) to define and oversee a visionary broadband access goal for the state. CENIC's Gigabit or Bust™ Initiative (GBOB) addresses critical technical, policy, financial and organization challenges facing the delivery of one gigabit broadband to all Californians by 2010. The Gigabit or Bust™ Roundtable brings together the interests of research, education, commerce, state and local government and the general public to address the issues surrounding the implementation of robust end-to-end broadband capabilities to every education institution, business and home in California.

Providing the catalyst to businesses, government, community-based organizations, and educational institutions to cooperate and advance the state-of-the-art, CENIC’s focus on “first mile” solutions at one-Gigabit can provide the intellectual stimulation for dramatic strides in broadband deployment. With the range of geographical and economic issues within the state, effective learning can occur that will help other regions in the nation develop their own strategies for broadband deployment.

This talk will outline the goals and objectives of the GBOB initiative and report on its progress to date. The Initiative is in the process of implementing a number of pilot projects throughout the state, which will help to provide a concise roadmap as to how the goals of the initiative will be achieved, with an emphasis on the role of wireless technologies. [back]

Daniel James
CEO, Three Rings; Lead Designer, Yoho! Puzzle Pirates

Debate: Real Money in Virtual Economies: The Future of User-Created Content
Abstract: Not available at presstime.

Steve Jurvetson
Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Moderator: The Cost and Benefit of Transparency: How Far, How Fast, How Fair?

Talk: Discovering a Renaissance in Innovation
Abstract: Collectively, we are going to be learning more in next 20 years than in the last 100 years. But there is a glacial change of human nature compared to technological change.
DFJ's international affiliates are partners in a global innovation watch, maximizing the ability to discover the next disruptive technologies while they are in their earliest and most underfunded stages. Steve Jurvetson, one of Silicon Valley's leading lights in innovation funding, will discuss DFJ's general approach to the challenge of funding for technology and business innovation. Such perspectives may be helpful to designing and managing your own innovation pipeline in a world of increasingly global expertise. [back]

Peter Kaminski
CTO and Founder, Socialtext

Enterprising Social Software: Wikis and Weblogs
Abstract: When we say someone "works with information," we really mean they work with other people to assemble and share information. Shouldn't our tools help us do this work together?

Wikis and weblogs are lean, efficient tools born and bred on the web for working together as we share information. What can we learn from these tools and the way they're used as we adapt them for use within the enterprise? What do we keep the same, and what do we have to change?

Socialtext co-founder and CTO Peter Kaminski discusses these and other lessons learned in the course of developing and bringing the original enterprise wiki to market. [back]

Jaron Lanier
Founder, VPL Research; Advisor, National Tele-Immersion Initiative; Computer Scientist, Composer, Artist

Debate: Finding Humanity in the Interface: Capacity Atrophy or Augmentation?
Abstract: Humans are seeking to create life, and even consciousness. We're chasing immortality through digital backup of brains. Possibly even transcendent destiny, for those in the know (that old singularity meme.)

Computer people are sounding a lot like religious people these days. Meanwhile, old time religious people seem to distrust the scientific program more and more. Would stem cell research have been restricted if it had come up twenty years ago? Religion has a way of sneaking up on you, and so do religious wars. It takes two to fight a war, and digital culture still has time to shut this war down.

All that we need is a little humility, honesty, and the very hard work of designing computers for the sake of people instead of the easy fantasy work of designing computers for the sake of computers. [back]

Alex Lightman
CEO, Charmed Technology; Chair, North American IPv6 Summits;
Author, Brave New Unwired World, 2002

Lunch Intro: Brave New Unwired World

Richard Marks
Special Projects Manager, Research and Development,
Sony Computer Entertainment America


Keynote: You are Player One: User Interfaces in Interactive Entertainment
Abstract: An interface revolution is coming for computer entertainment. Though graphics have improved tremendously in recent years, interfaces have improved very little. Interactivity is the defining characteristic that separates gaming from other media, and this is the area that will advance the most in the next few years.

Computer entertainment is a technology-driven industry, and there are many new interface technologies ready for harvest. These technologies will accomplish two primary goals: 1) improve the interactive experience, and 2) make the experience more accessible via intuitive interfaces. Just as
graphical advancement has done recently, new interface technologies will continue to grow the industry and increase the audience for computer entertainment.

In my talk, I will describe the entertainment interface technologies that are the most interesting now, and I'll also give some insights on how these technologies will move forward over the next several years. I will demonstrate (live!) several EyeToy tech-demos for PlayStation2 that show how new interfaces can enable new gameplay ideas. I'll also talk a little about tech-transfer and give a quick overview of how the Sony EyeToy went from a 1-person research project to a global product with over 4 million units shipped. [back]

John Mauldin
President, Millenium Wave Advisors;
Author, Bull's Eye Investing: Targeting Real Returns in a Smoke and Mirrors Market, 2004


Bull's Eye Investing: Thriving in a Secular Bear Market
Abstract: It is not just in technology that we see accelerating change. The world of economics and finance is evolving to ever more sophisticated platforms. The very growth and even meaning of money is slipping away from the control of governments. And yet, the business cycle is still with us. Innovation cycles still take time to make themselves felt in the world.

How will The Next Big Thing affect our economy and lifestyles? What will be the result of all the new wealth that has been and will be created? Who will benefit? And who will be left behind? [back]

Peter Norvig
Director of Search Quality, Google;
Author, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (the world's leading texbook in AI), 2002


Web Search as a Force for Good (placeholder)
Abstract: Not available at presstime.[back]

Andreas Olligschlaeger
President, TruNorth Data Systems

Advanced IT and Security Systems in Law Enforcement
Abstract: The use of information technology in law enforcement has traditionally lagged behind private industry and increasingly even consumers. This talk focuses on the current state of the art in law enforcement technology as well as new technologies that are in development. Paramount to the successful adoption and use of these new technologies is the resolution of privacy concerns by the general public. To that end we will discuss those and other barriers related to the implementation of new technology. [back]
Cory Ondrejka
VP of Product Development, Linden Lab, creators of Second Life

Keynote: Living the Dream: Business, Community and Innovation at the Dawn of Digital Worlds
Abstract: Digital worlds are established destinations for fun and adventure. Like all frontiers, entrepreneurs are in these worlds, generating real-world profits. Digital worlds face important decisions around whether, and how, to embrace these business activities.

As their populations grow, digital worlds are drawing from all walks of life. People from around the globe are discovering worlds where the only limit is human creativity. People, ideas and cultures are interacting in ways never before possible.

Sustained economic growth relies on innovation. Historically, innovation has been a function of transportation and communication costs, property rights, belief structures, and capital markets. Digital worlds optimize these factors in ways the real world cannot, allowing significantly higher per capita growth than any terrestrial nation.

Over the next decade, visionary entrepreneurs will emerge from the digital melting pot of distributed and connected populations. Innovation and growth will allow digital worlds to capture an increasing share of the global economy. They will soon be in direct economic competition with real-world nations. [back]

Debate: Real Money in Virtual Economies: The Future of User-Created Content

Jerry Paffendorf
Director, ASF

Rise of the Virtual-to-Real Labor Force: 5 Free Ideas—from Underwear to Architecture
Abstract: People are creating content of real-world value inside of massively multi- player online environments. In many cases these virtual goods are only useful within the context of the virtual world they come from. But something of much wider significance is also beginning to happen: items first prototyped in virtual worlds are being manufactured in the real world, and items manufactured in the real world are being reconstructed in and sold through the virtual world.

This presentation will quickly introduce some pros and cons of prototyping in massively multi-user versus stand-alone software environments, give examples of virtual world prototyping thus far, examine some emerging technologies that will facilitate this virtual-to-real exchange, and suggest five business ideas dying to be worked on today. [back]

Christine Peterson
Founder and Vice President, Foresight Institute;
Author, Leaping the Abyss: Putting Group Genius to Work, 1997


Championing Innovation in Nanotechnology: Lessons Learned
Abstract:
Our task at Foresight is to help maximize progress toward and minimize potential problems coming from humanity's ever-increasing control of the structure of matter, down to the level of individual atoms. One of the most powerful developments we expect in coming years will be new classes of molecular machine systems -- artificial structures inspired by those already found widely in nature. Vigorous debate, policy formulation, and public education on this controversial topic has been in progress since the late 1970s, and organized since 1986. Major progress has been achieved, but challenges remain.

Foresight has been responsibly championing innovation in nanotech research and policy debate for many years, through annual conferences, our Feynman Prizes, the Foresight Guidelines, and other strategies. We have concluded that open, cooperative international development, including of defensive technologies, combined with stable, trustworthy institutions is the best path forward. As the National Nanotechnology Initiative and other efforts outside the U.S. take new steps toward Feynman's vision, we need calm, clear thinking about abstract, complex, and potentially scary topics. We'll discuss lessons learned in this process, as each year takes us closer to a world of transformative molecular nanotechnology.[back]

Gee Rittenhouse
VP of Wireless Research, Lucent

Future of Wireless Networking
Abstract: The wireless industry is undergoing a transition. We see the evolution from cellular 2G to 3G standards, the migration from circuit to packet applications, and the procession of voice to data. We also see the industry incorporating new wireless access technologies such as WiFi and WiMAX. All of this is occuring in a market place where voice subscriber penatration levels in many parts of the world are saturating and there is incredible pressure to reduce network capital and operating costs.

These conditions present signicant technology challenges to further increase network capacity, improve network operating efficiency, and the air-interface spectral efficiency. In this talk we present several technologies that address these issues and the future applications that will drive this traffic growth. [back]

Zack Rosen
Founder and Director, CivicSpace Labs; Creator, DeanSpace social software

Empowering Democracy through Social Software
Abstract: Social software will help define the future of our political process and the worlds power structure. We've seen great breakthroughs this past year in the United States and glimpses of a radical reshaping in South Korea.
But what are the dynamics that are driving this insurgency? What will be the next breakthrough? What are the societal implications?

I don't really know but after spending the past two years in the thick of this movement (Dean Campaign / CivicSpace Labs) I have fairly informed guesses. My talk will be focused around these questions and the clues and theories that best describe and identify what is really happening to our democracy. [back]

Steve Salyer
President, Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE)

Debate: Real Money in Virtual Economies: The Future of User-Created Content
Abstract:
Not available at presstime.[back]
Joachim Schaper
Vice President Americas, SAP Research

Smart Items in the Enterprise
Abstract: SAP is using smart technologies to provide a holistic service-oriented architecture for the seamless integration of real-world data and events with enterprise software. This approach efficiently exploits the capabilities of current, emerging and future ubiquitous computing technologies like embedded systems and wireless sensor networks, used reliably to assist enterprise-level decision making. Distributing business logic to the periphery of the network with business logic on the item, companies can enable the new and improved business processes directly at the 'point-of-action', therefore significantly improving response time and scalability of 'real-time' enterprise systems. Taking these new possibilities in networks and networked devices into consideration, many companies will soon provide high-value services that can be enabled and distributed through an enterprise service architecture. [back]

Tim Sibley
Chief Scientist, StreamSage

Language Processing: Is the Acceleration Missing?
Abstract: While advances in the field of computational linguistics certainly add to the accelerating pace of technological change within our society, the field itself is riddled with exponentially hard problems, inefficient development structures and incentives, and disconnected efforts that fail to compound. In light of this, the field is in some ways far less a model of accelerating change.

This talk will make a very concise attempt at untangling this situation to provide expectations of what new changes we will see in the near future. [back]

Rich Skrenta
Co-Founder and CEO, Topix.net


Text Analytics for News
Abstract: Not available at presstime. [back]

John Smart
President, ASF

Simulation, Agents, and Accelerating Change: Personality Capture and the Linguistic User Interface
Abstract: One of the most important accelerating transitions occuring today is the emergence of the Conversational (or Lingistic) User Interface or CUI. The CUI is the natural language front end to our increasingly malleable, intelligent, and humanizing Internet. Primitive CUIs exist today in interfaces like Google, but will become dramatically more powerful over the next few decades.

What will Windows (and the Google Browser) of 2015 look like? It seems clear that it will include sophisticated software simulations of human beings as part of the interface. First-world culture today spends more on video games than movies. These "interactive motion picture" technologies are more compelling and educating, particularly to our youth, the fastest-learning segment of society, than any linear scripts, no matter how professionally produced.

Now imagine that we have begun talking to our computers in a crude but useful verbal exchange post 2015. Human factors experience suggests that many of us will prefer to relate to virtual human beings who actively model our preferences and intent, as such parallel communication has the potential to be considerably more efficient than speaking to a disembodied machine. It seems likely that tomorrow's leading CUI-equipped virtual avatars/digital persona interfaces will model and display human emotion, intentionality, and body language, increasingly with a speed and consistency that no biological human being can match.

As our own most-preferred digital personal interface (our "Digital Me") gains exponentially more storage and processing capacity, it will incrementally engage in a process that William Sims Bainbridge calls "personality capture." Our DM's will carry an ever more valuable record of all the past communication we have had with them, and increasingly become our best professional representatives, coaches, managers, and extended memory for important events. How this profound technological development is likely to change our global political, economic, and social landscape, as well as the quality of our personal and collective sense of self, will be briefly discussed. [back]

Jim Spohrer
Director, Almaden Services Research, IBM Almaden

Service Science: An Emerging Multidiscipline to Accelerate Innovation
Abstract: This talk first defines what is meant by the coevolution of technology and business innovations, and then relates this type of coevolution to waves of changing work practices rippling through populations of people. Next, I summarize diverse perspectives on this topic expressed at the Coevolution Symposium (http://almaden.ibm.com/coevolution). A proposed collaborative research agenda on coevolution that links academic and business institutions is outlined -- specifically around the emergence of a new multidiscipline: service science.

After defining what services are, the astounding growth of the service economy in the US and around the world is considered. Next, the response of universities to the demand from industry for more highly skilled service practitioners, managers,and scientists is reviewed. Finally, a vision of the future of the service economy is presented, and the critical role service science might play in making that vision a reality. [back]

Brad Templeton
Chairman, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Debate: The Cost and Benefit of Transparency: How Far, How Fast, How Fair?
Abstract: Can all-pervasive surveillance be avoided? What are the dangers if we don't avoid it?

What are the things that always go wrong? How closely tied are privacy and freedom? Can we watch the watchers without them watching us? These questions will be explored. [back]

Peter Thiel
Co-Founder and Former CEO, PayPal; President, Clarium Capital
Author, The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and Political Intolerance On Campus, 1998


Virtual Money, Privacy, and Freedom
Abstract: For most of history, citizens and their property have been largely immobile, subject to the tyranny of place and the depredations of governments with virtually absolute power over citizens and their assets. But the past two hundred years have been a remarkable break from the past: wealth has accrued in ever greater proportion not to the tangible world, but to the realm of ideas; the development of unbreakable codes has freed citizens from the prying eyes of the state; and advances in transportation and international trade have made people and property more mobile than ever.

In this new world, the bond between citizen and state is no longer static and cannot be taken for granted. As the power of the state wanes in the face of these trends and the increasing interjurisdictional competition they engender, citizens become clients of states rather than subjects, and the power to decide the special case has fallen for the first time from the hands of the state to those of newly sovereign individuals.[back]

Will Wright
Founder, Maxis; Creator, Sim City, The Sims

Keynote: Sculpting Possibility Space
Abstract: Games and simulations allow us to experience hypothetical situations in fun and intuitive ways. From the designers perspective we need to architect these "possibility landscapes" which players will later explore. I will discuss some of the informal methods, concepts and tools that I use to approach this design task. [back]

Wlodek Zadrozny
Technologist, On Demand Innovation Services, IBM Research

Text Analytics for Asset Valuation: Tools for Evaluating Intangible Assets are Emerging and Will Change the Investment Landscape.
Abstract:
Intangible assets, such as brand value, customer opinions or management quality, constitute 80% of stock market valuation. Moreover, as a percentage, the proportion of intangible assets is increasing. However, there are few tools for evaluating and comparing intangibles. This situation is about to change: tools for evaluating intangible attributes of value are emerging; they use text analytics and data mining, and exploit information integration to bring together disparate data sources.

The coming change could be sudden, because there is a core of a hundred or so attributes used to evaluate intangible assets, and the existing technologies are capable of adequately extracting their values. When this process completes, the new tools and data repositories will allow investors to quickly review company performance with respect to the intangibles in the same way as spreadsheets and balance sheets currently do for the tangibles.[back]

 

Emcees and Moderators (alpha order)

Sonia Arrison (Emcee)
Director of Technology Studies, Pacific Research Institute (PRI)


Mark Finnern (Emcee)
Collaboration Manager, SAP Developer Network; Blogger, O'Reilly Network; Director, ASF
John Smart (Emcee)
President, ASF

Melanie Swan (Emcee)
President, Cygnet Capital
Tom Cowper (Moderator)
Deputy Director, Statewide Wireless Network, New York State Office for
Technology; Staff Inspector, New York State Police

Moderator: Pervasive Computing Panel

 

 

Analysis • Forecasting • Action

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