I’m thrilled to be speaking at the Emotion AI Summit at MIT Media Lab next month! It’s a one-day event focused on artificial emotional intelligence and features Nicholas Negroponte, Rosalind Picard, Rana el Kaliouby, Cynthia Breazeal, AI scientists from Google and Amazon and many others who are central to this rapidly developing field, as well as to my new book, “Heart of the Machine”.
From the web site:
Affectiva is organizing the first ever Emotion AI Summit. At this summit we will explore how artificial emotional intelligence, or Emotion AI, can move us to deeper connections with technology, with businesses and with the people we care about.
Join us for a thought provoking day, in which business and technology leaders will discuss Emotion AI, and how it’s transformative to many areas including conversational interfaces, social robotics, automotive, education, gaming, retail, wellness and consumer insights.
We will explore the practical applications of Emotion AI today and where it will go in the future.
The Association of Professional Futurists had their 2017 Gathering in Seattle this past weekend and it was a huge success! Centered around a theme of Global Health Futures, we explored issues dealing with the future of human health, planetary and environmental health and literally extraplanetary health! This later addressed our need as a species to extend humanity well beyond the earth if we are to survive in the longterm as a species. As session moderator Glen Hiemstra explained, the Fermi Paradox asks an important question about where everyone else is in what should be a universe teeming with life. One speculation is that most of these civilizations destroy themselves before they can spread beyond their planet of origination. This same bottleneck may await us, and as I wrote many years ago, we need to “make a backup.”
Sarah Chesemore (left) and Brian Arbogast (right) of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation discuss global health trends with University of Washington health policy researcher Jan Flowers (center) during the Association of Professional Futurists’ gathering in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
There were lots of other events and sessions as well, including the Friday morning session I moderated that looked at human health futures for the billions of people who don’t have the most basic levels of health care, including a sanitary toilet system and vaccinations against preventable diseases. This currently leads to millions of people dying needlessly each year, with the majority of these being newborns and children under five, the weakest and most vulnerable among us. I was pleased and proud to be able to have a role in such an important and meaningful discussion.
GeekWire, the national technology news site just made me their “Geek of the Week“. Given all the amazing tech talent in the Seattle and Puget Sound region, it’s quite the accolade. Half interview, half bio, it’s definitely great publicity, not to mention a good introduction to what a futurist does.
We live in such an incredibly rich, vastly complex universe, I can’t help be continually fascinated thinking about how it functions, how it came about, and where it’s going.”
The new podcast Seeking Delphi only began a few months ago, but host Mark Sackler has already spoken to several excellent guest futurists. So I was really pleased when he asked me to speak with him about the focus of my book for Podcast #12: Artificial Emotional Intelligence. It was great fun and I hope we’ll have an opportunity for another conversation soon!
Wow, what a month March was! Heart of the Machine was officially released on March 7 and we marked the occasion with a one hour talk, signing and official book launch at Town Hall Seattle. 150 people attended, made up of friends, family and (hopefully) prospective readers.
Then it was off to Austin to speak at SXSW. I’d never been to either, the city or the festival, so this was a great treat to boot. I was genuinely surprised as I walked from the green room to the event room and had to pass 500 people who were waiting in line for a space that only held 250! Nevertheless, I got to speak with a few people at the book signing afterward who waited around despite not getting in.
Over the course of the next few days there were a number of television interviews (thank you SXSW, CNBC and XPrize/Popular Science). But the icing on the cake was waking up one morning to learn that my book had received a terrific review in the New York Times Book Review – from none other than Ray Kurzweil! I felt stunned and honored all at the same time!