1. Engineering Life - Artificial Genome Synthesis

It’s science fiction turned reality: from a closed-door Harvard meeting emerged a plan to create synthetic human genomes. That means assembling 3 billion chemical building blocks into one complete package of DNA, which encodes all the body parts and life processes that make up a functional human being. The project’s proponents say scientists could harness the power of life itself to create new medicines and artificial organs. But do the risks outweigh the rewards? Is making a human cell from data and raw materials opening the door to discovery or danger? Join Eliza Strickland, IEEE Spectrum, in conversation with researchers and critics about the ethics and implications of synthetic biology.

Featuring: Eliza Strickland, IEEE Andrew Hessel, Autodesk Marcy Darnovskyr, Center for Genetics and Society

2. Access & Affordability: The Virtual Care Clinic

This session will introduce USC’s Virtual Care Clinic (VCC), the first clinic to combine leading-edge technology, AI, virtual reality and mobile to introduce a scalable, accessible, affordable and proactive healthcare solution for patients and health innovators everywhere. Explore how the VCC will affordably extend healthcare access across borders and improve patient outcomes. Learn how the VCC platform will reduce legal and regulatory barriers-to-entry for healthcare innovators, speeding new health-related tools, apps and sensors to market. As the world population increases by 80 million per year, find out how Virtual Care will scale to meet human need!

Featuring: Michelle Longmire, Medable Leslie Saxon, USC Center for Body Computing

3. Brain Wearables

Tan Le is the Founder & CEO of EMOTIV, a bio-informatics company focused on identifying biomarkers in the brain for mental and other neurological conditions using EEG. Tan Le’s vision is to implement inexpensive neurological monitoring for developmental disorders. Her company, EMOTIV, developed a breakthrough interface technology, taking data directly from the brain and translating it to meaningful information. The potential for brain control of keyboards, robots, or wheelchairs is life altering for those with physical disabilities. She is currently pursuing the dream of widespread brain function screening to catch early signs of autism, epilepsy, and other conditions.

Featuring: Tan Le, EMOTIV

4. AI and the Suburbanization of the Mind

As our real world becomes increasingly filtered combining with mixed reality and interlocking with gamified experiences, what is the human cost? Will chance be sacrificed on the altar of a pleasant, friction-free life? Will serendipity be shut out by tech-enabled “white picket fences? Can art survive as an intellectual and aesthetic pursuit? Will humanity exist within a denatured world, optimized for homogeneity, or will we avoid the suburbia of the mind? As AI increasingly forms the backbone of future decision-making, this panel explores the dynamics and importance of programming for chance, accident and adversity.

Featuring: Heather Vescent, The Purple Tornado B.C. Biermann, The Heavy Projects Jay Iorio, IEEE

5. Going Beyond Moore’s Law

In 1965, Gordon Moore predicted that the number of components in integrated circuits would grow exponentially. The impact of Moore’s Law is all around us, in the myriad of gadgets, computers, and networks that power modern life. But the winning streak can’t last forever. The value of Moore’s Law is already on the wane. To keep making computers better and better, researchers are turning to new technologies, including circuits modeled on the human brain, carbon nanotube computers, and processors that make do with approximate rather than exact answers. Join Rachel Courtland, IEEE Spectrum, along with leaders in this new space, to discuss the end of Moore’s Law and what will replace it.

Featuring: Rachel Courtland, IEEE Tom Conte, Georgia Institute of Technology Tsu-Jae King Liu, University of California at Berkeley

6. AR/VR: The Promise and Danger Behind the Hype

The hype around AR/VR is reaching a noisy crescendo as pundits sing the praises of immersive tech. Join seasoned AR/VR veterans Todd Richmond and Skip Rizzo as they lead a provocative debate on the practical realities of AR/VR and Mixed Reality. Discover promising and pioneering AR/VR therapies in use today and explore their benefits and future promise. Find out how immersive tech is also suited for darker uses, from brainwashing and gaslighting to torture. As developers attempt to realize the promises of AR/VR, this session examines many practical, moral and ethical considerations related to protecting the health and safety of people.

Featuring: Todd Richmond, USC Institute for Creative Technologies Skip Rizzo, University of Southern California

7. Connecting the Last Mile

Only 40% of the world’s population is connected to the Internet. The U.N. recently declared Internet access a basic human right; making connecting the last mile in underdeveloped areas a priority for any organization focused on technology and ethics. However, the last mile is often the most expensive and resource-intensive due to the lack of underlying infrastructure. Also the bulk of the cost in installing fiber optical cable is the excavation required. Therefore, promoting “Dig Once” policies that facilitate installation of all critical utilities – water, power, and Internet – in one instance, is vital in ensuring efficient and sustainable development around the world.

Featuring: Chris Jannuzzi, IEEE Photonics Society and Technical Programs Bai Blyden, Southern Company Marina Ruggieri, University of Roma “Tor Vergata”

8. Euthanizing our Global System of 'Sick Care'

In an era of exploding population growth, chronic illness and new pandemics, our healthcare systems cannot scale, and demands outstrip global resources. But, are we facing a global healthcare crisis or is this an age of unprecedented health-care opportunity? Find out why our current systems of ‘sick care’ fail us and how digital can help scale healthcare for the future. Discover how a human-centered redesign to our healthcare systems can drive new, proactive models of care that mesh better with people's lives, support physicians and caregivers, reward positive behavior, improve health outcomes and protect human dignity, privacy and security.

Featuring: Andrew Thompson, Proteus Digital Health Bob Oliver, Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals

9. From FUI to GUI: The Challenges of Immersive UX

In this session, two veteran, leading-edge, immersive designers, Carolyn Farino and Jayse Hansen (Iron Man, Ender's Game, etc.) explore the technical and biomechanical challenges of moving from traditional, two-dimensional UX and/or ‘FUI’ (fictional user interfaces), to the multi-dimensional, rich user interfaces of the future. From cockpit to headset, they’ll discuss the technical challenges of creating and realizing new interface designs across islands of proprietary development. They’ll also highlight the physical challenges of immersive UX – as we attempt to connect interfaces to human “wiring” and leverage vision/perspective, motion/gesture, touch/haptics, audio/hearing and more!

Featuring: Jayse Hansen, Jayse Design Group Carolyn Farino, Digerati Design

10. Entrepreneurs for Social Change

Social entrepreneurs approach world issues with the same techniques as a business entrepreneur – using innovation & tech to bring about large-scale change – however the end goal is to create solutions directly for social, cultural, or human issues. Social entrepreneurs look to disrupt problems, find answers for social issues, improve systems, and transform our world. In this session we will look at three different organizations; Engineering for Change, the Verizon Foundation, and IEEE Women in Engineering and how they are working to improve the lives of underserved communities through tech solutions, entrepreneurial thinking & collaboration.

Featuring: Nita Patel, L-3 Warrior Systems Adele Gambardella-Cehrs, Epic Aneshia Smith, Aneshia Y. Smith Institute for Women and Girls Noha El-Ghoshaby, ASME (The American Society of Mechanical Engineers)

11. Hearables and the Age of Mediated Listening

In an age of mediated listening, technology will help us filter, amplify, process and respond to signals in the world around us, enabling hands-free control over our environments. Advanced medical devices that enable “super hearing” in patients, will also “listen” to our biometrics and respond to our brain waves. As passive listening gives way to more pervasive listening within our public and very private worlds “hearable” devices from Google Home and Amazon will take center stage. In a world where everything is listening, how will our lives, thinking and behavior change? Join experts from Karten Design, Starkey Hearing Technology and Dolby Technologies Inc. to find out!

Featuring: Simon Carlile, Starkey Hearing Research Center Stuart Karten, Karten Design

12. Closing the Education Gap with Technology

With a national funding gap of $1200 per student, underserved communities are not exposed to the same skills building as those in privileged areas. By missing out on entrepreneurial skills, executive function, and conceptual math skills, the proficiency gap grows at an alarming rate, leaving students unprepared for the jobs of the future. Technology offers possibility, but concern that edupreneurs don’t understand the needs of educators is a roadblock. Join an entrepreneur, an educator, and the Verizon Foundation in sharing their ideas for closing the gap. You will leave with a low-cost lesson plan idea that can be implemented immediately.

Featuring: Jamie Moesch, IEEE Andy Butler, Square Panda Nick Giacobbe, Chicago Public Schools Justina Nixon-Saintil, Verizon Foundation

13. The Ethics of Human Augmentation

Wearable, implantable, ingestible and embedded devices, assistive robots and biomechanical prosthetics are merging with people’s physiology in unprecedented ways. However, the pace of advancement outruns our ability to anticipate the impacts of augmented living on humanity. As technology helps us surpass natural, biological human abilities, how will it honor our values? What will it mean to be disabled in the algorithmic era? Will digital geno/phenotype and biometric data help us improve ourselves, or create new avenues for discrimination? Will everyone benefit from augmentation, or will we create an exclusive, 1% class of “super humans?”

Featuring: Ashley Shew, Virginia Tech John C. Havens, Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems



Help Bring IEEE Back to SXSW! #ieeesxsw

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