April 22, 2014 was day of Silicon Alley, in our own New York City in Spring Studios. Forget TED, forget tech expos, and forget Silicon Valley. This truly amazing day, which will blow your mind away, was Tribeca Talks Imagination Day, powered by The Hatchery. Some of the most influential, provocative and creative minds came together for an all-day summit that asks: what happens when our wildest dreams become reality and what will that reality will be in our not-so-distant future? We got to experience the wonder and inspiration of new technologies, as tech’s thought leaders revealed what is just beyond the horizon through multisensory storytelling.
Here is the list of geniuses who adorned the stage and a peek in to what they talked about.
- You can change your face, right in front of many eyes. It’s supposed to be possible, although we didn’t get to see that. Reason was disctance, says Natasha Tsakos, who was the host and presenter of the evening. She is known for pioneering ways of integrating technology with live performance. She is the President of NTiD: a creative powerhouse dedicated to inspiring and activating imagination through theatrical experiences with work for Cirque du Soleil, Super Bowl, Pharrell Williams, Miami Heat, Coachella Festival, Nickelodeon, MTV, BBC, and 900 TV shows and feature films with 2 books. TED speaker and Finalist for the World Technology Awards presented by CNN, Time, Fortune, and Kurzweil Ai.
- Wanna ride a car without needing to drive it? And be safe secure and more efficient too. It’s not too far, told Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots, who oversees Google[x] moonshot factory for building magical, audaciously impactful ideas that can be brought to reality through science and technology. He shared the wonderful work his group at Google, Google[x] is doing in the field of emerging technologies, with the goal of solving problems, innovatively and making things at least 10 times better. Like spreading internet to the remotest parts of this world through balloons and connecting this world together even better. Making quick deliveries throughAnd the Driverless Cars, which have become a reality and probably will be in our hands (without steering wheel!) very soon.
- You can get out of your house, get in your car, take it to a nearby “heli-pad” kinda flying terminal, and just fly away. And still pay same for gas as your car, and be 4-5 times faster. Yes, I’m talking of a FLYING CAR! And he can make it happen in less than a decade, says Carl Dietrich, CEO of Terrefugia. He is an expert in liquid bi-propellant rocket propulsion, aircraft design & fabrication, as well as plasma physics & fusion energy. As an aerospace industry entrepreneur, Dietrich raised over $12 million of private capital, grew Terrafugia through the successful development of airworthy prototype vehicles, and built a $30 million order backlog for Terrafugia’s launch product, the Transition®.
- Robots of future may not REALLY kill us all. They could be neurotic and may not follow our commands all the time. But they will be more empathetic and nice. Doing baby sitting, taking care of elderly. And they will be able to feel. This was shared by Anthony Lewis who is Senior Director, Technology at Qualcomm leading biologically-inspired computing and robotics. Dr. Lewis is an expert in robotics and neuromorphic engineering with more than 80 publications and patents in these fields. Dr. Lewis directed a multi-faculty robotics lab focused on cooperative robotics at UCLA, and developed high-performance control systems for robotic hands and force feedback exoskeletons as a member of the technical staff for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He also founded Iguana Robotics, a private research company, where he spearheaded the development of biologically inspired robots.
- Let’ stalk of some reality now. Robots talking to kids, listening to kids and responding intelligently. Answering there questions, playing games. Playing jeopardy, analyzing millions of data points in few seconds. Learning engineering, medicine and working on field with other engineers & doctors in remotest part of worlds. IBM’s Watson, is already doing that and possibilities are endless. And you may not believe, but IBM is sharing this technology for free, with innovators to find more innovative uses for this. Lauri Saft, shared some amazing information about the Watson project. She is Director of the IBM Watson Ecosystem program. In her current role she is responsible for developing a network of partnerships consisting of entrepreneurs & established companies who will build their applications on a foundation of cognitive computing. These companies will take advantage of the natural language processing and deep QA capabilities of Watson in order to serve their customers in new ways.
- One of the oldest Tech giants and pioneers of the world and one of the earliest startups, General Electric, is not any behind when it comes to imagination and innovation. There robots are talking with people, interacting, learning on the spot (like, how to poke!) and doing things like sorting & cleaning rooms, to working on assembly lines in production, to hazardous environments as well. GE’s goal is to make robotics and innovative technology, work side by side with humans to compliment things they do and save time & improve quality. This was shared by Alex Tapper who is Managing Director in GE’s Ventures group, where he focuses on growth strategy and venture investments in Robotics and other disruptive technologies. Prior to that role, Alex was GE’s Global Director of Innovation where he worked across all the GE businesses and the Global Research Center to design and bring to market breakthrough products and new business models. He is also the co-founder of the GE Open Innovation (crowd-sourcing) Center of Excellence.
- You can become Superman, fly over cities and save a child’s life. And you can make you more helpful towards other. Or you can embody a woman’s body, or body of a person of different race, and experience the prejudice and bias. And that can make you more empathetic towards there realities. How? Through Virtual Reality! And that’s just couple of the many amazing things VR can do. We listened to Jeremy Bailenson, who is founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Bailenson’s main area of interest is the phenomenon of digital human representation, especially in the context of immersive virtual reality. He explores the manner in which people are able to represent themselves when the physical constraints of body and virtually-rendered behaviors are removed. He designs and studies virtual reality systems that allow physically remote individuals to meet in virtual space, and explores the manner in which these systems change the nature of verbal and nonverbal interaction.
- Any of you who thing AOL is dead or a thing of past, may need to rethink. They are not just around, but they are still BIG, they are still GREAT and they are doing amazing things, like no one else. Adapting and defining how media is consumed today via internet and handheld devices; shows for mobile, shot on mobile, presenting relevant advertising content, which is dynamic and adjustable to individual; ability to reach out and read millions of household in USA; that’ sjust few things AOL is capable of and doing it like no one else. AOL is redefining new media content, shared Tim Armstrong, the Chairman and CEO of AOL which serves nearly 250M global consumers and is a leader in the digital content, video, and advertising industries. Armstrong served as an executive of multiple internet and media companies, including President of Google's Americas Operations, Snowball, Disney's ABC/ESPN Internet Ventures, and Paul Allen's Starwave Corporation.
- Did you ever imagine you could just print pancakes for your mother or child or loved ones, remotely, without being with there. Yes, you can print a delicious meal, without needing to cook it. Just print it! Sounds crazy? Well, not as per Ping Fu, the Chief Entrepreneur Officer of 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) works on the cutting edge of 3D printing at scale. Honored as Inc. magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Fu co-founded Geomagic, a 3D imaging software company, which was acquired by 3D Systems. The 3D technologies they developed were created to fundamentally change the way products are designed and manufactured around the world. She serves on the NACIE (National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship) at the Department of Commerce.
- To talk about future of medical technology was Efi Cohen-Arazi is CEO of Rainbow Medical which is at the forefront of implant technologies to restore and heal. Cohen-Arazi has over 25 years of experience in the medical and biotech industry. Cohen-Arazi served as CEO of IntecPharma Israel, General Manager & VP at biotech giant Amgen, Senior VP at Immunex and General Manager, and VP at the Merck-Serono.
- How many of you saw landing of NASA’s Curiosity on Mars? Are you aware of amazing findings and research that they are able to do to explore this universe? And not just that, are you aware of the technology that made this happen and its wonderful uses that we may be able to see in our daily lives? Are you aware of how NASA has changed the world we live in and is still changing it? We heard about some of that from Ashwin Vasavada, Project Scientist for NASA, who is a planetary scientist leading work on Mars. He has participated in several NASA spacecraft missions including the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Cassini mission to Saturn.
This was truly an awesome day of imagination, innovation and inspiration. To see what technology of future can do, not just for techies, but for all of us is amazing. How it can and it will impact our daily lives and the way we do things, is inspiring. Tribeca Film Festival has crossed a new mark by bringing this amazing event to New York City.