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April 11–13, 2017
Boston, MA

MIT’s Plasma Science Fusion Center and Ginkgo Bioworks
April 11, 2017



conference overview
Hyperconnectivity is the inevitable consequence of the key developments of the past 25 years: the Internet, mobile technology, social networks, and the Internet of Things. Decision cycles that used to be measured in months now take mere hours. As a consequence, the ties between organizations are stronger than ever, and boundaries begin to blur as they share data, infrastructure, and even personnel with their suppliers and with their customers.

Amazon has leveraged its customer network to drive all other major booksellers out of existence; iTunes killed the music stores; Netflix closed Blockbuster. Airbnb now offers more rooms than the largest hotel chains. A New York taxi medallion is now worth only one-fourth the value it had before Uber came to town.

Moore’s law is slowing down, but bandwidth and interconnectivity are still riding an upward exponential curve. Unfortunately, the cognitive load increases as well, and time neither dilates nor expands at the human level. This hyperconnectness is new to human history. The failure to adapt to it is one of the biggest risks that organizations face. We’ll focus on the networks that join us and the consequences of hyperconnectedness, both good and bad, for commerce and security.

list of speakers

Michael Stonebraker thinks the grand challenge now for large corporations is integrating disparate databases, at scale, in real-time. And he has some ideas for doing that.

Sandy Pentland's new startup, Endor, looks at human behavior using Social Physics equations to transcend the limitations of the traditional machine learning.

Nicole Immorlica predicts that by 2027, automation will give rise to a new economy in which most people’s societal contribution comes from the data they generate as they go about their lives rather than the work they do.

Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia and his colleagues at Indiana University have created tools that analyze the spread of hashtags across social networks; distinguish human Twitter accounts from bots, and, most recently, analyze the spread of fake news.

David Robert Grimes, of Oxford University, is the author of a recent paper, “On the Viability of Conspiratorial Beliefs,” that looks at the increasing difficulty of society’s maintaining agreement on basic matters of fact.

In his new book, Move Fast and Break Things, USC’s Jonathan Taplin argues that beginning in the 1990s, a small group of libertarian entrepreneurs hijacked the original decentralized vision of the Internet and in the process created three monopoly firms—Facebook, Amazon and Google.

Adam Gazzaley, neuroscientist and coauthor of The Distracted Mind. The book explains why our brains aren’t built for multitasking, and suggests better ways to live in a high-tech world without giving up our modern technology.

Paul Glimcher is the director of the NYU Kavli Human Project, a 20-year longitudinal study of 10,000 families that will combine their health, financial, and social data for social science research.

Jennifer Hasler and her colleagues at Georgia Tech have developed a roadmap for neuromorphic computing as a way to extend Moore’s Law.

Simon Levin, of Princeton University, is the author of a recent article, “What can Mother Nature teach us about managing financial systems?”

C. Karen Liu is an Associate Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Interactive Computing. She specializes in robotics and computational biomechanics, including building a generative model for human natural motion.

Jordi Puig-Suari, a professor at California Polytechnic State University and aerospace technology developer, is co-inventor of the CubeSat standard.

Martin Reeves of the Boston Consulting Group recently gave a TED talk, “How to build a business that lasts 100 years.”

Bill Schafer, CEO of Fairledger, uses blockchain to allow multinationals to verify the provenance of foodstuffs and to let rural farmers band together in virtual cooperatives.

Arun Sundararajan of NYU is the author of The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism.

Reid Williams, a researcher at IDEO’s CoLab, is developing Nomad, an open source, protocol-level project that uses blockchain to enable easy, open information discovery, remixing, composing, and sharing.

Patrick Henry Winston of MIT heads the Genesis Group, which is devoted to constructing a top-to-bottom, computational account of human intelligence, grounded in our ability to build complex, highly nested symbolic descriptions of situations and events.

John Osborne says Zigbee applications are diverse, from smart homes to food safety in the supply chain.

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