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December 4–6, 2017
San Francisco, CA

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BY November 10, 2017




agenda


Monday, December 4
6:00 PM
First-Timers Reception —Terrace Room (2nd Level)
6:30 PM
Welcome Reception —Terrace Room
7:00 PM
Welcome Dinner —Terrace Courtyard

Tuesday, December 5
7:30 AM

Breakfast Ballroom, Salon 3 (1st Level)

8:30 AM
Len Kleinrock, TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board — Ballroom, Salons1-2
Conference Welcome
8:50 AM

Mary Lou Jepsen, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Openwater
Transforming Health Care and Telepathy  
What if you could see what was going on in your brain or body with the detail of a high-resolution camera or MRI machine in a simple wearable skullcap or shirt? With this comes the promise of new abilities to detect, diagnose, and treat cancer, cardiovascular disease, internal bleeding, mental disease, neurodegenerative disease, and more. It may even make possible direct communication via thought alone.

9:40 AM

Nilo Sarraf, Doctoral Candidate, Queensland University of Technology
The Neurophysiological and Affective Components of Information Search Systems 
Human information interactions involve emotional and neurological responses as well as cognition. Mapping neurophysiological activities during the information search process with EEGs allows us to improve learning and information retrieval and construct better search query results, and could lead to smarter infobots and improvements to artificial neural networks.

10:20 AM
Coffee Break — Ballroom Foyer
10:50 AM

David Patterson, Distinguished Engineer, Google
50 years of Computer Architecture: From Mainframe CPUs to Neural-Network TPUs
Transistors are not getting much better (due to the ending of Moore’s Law) and the peak power per chip area is increasing (due to the end of Dennard scaling). The power budget per chip is limited (mechanically, thermally, and due to electromigration), and we’ve already played the multicore card (limited by Amdahl’s Law). Architects now widely believe that the only path left for major improvements in performance-cost-energy is domain-specific architectures, exemplified by Google’s Tensor Processing Unit. The TPU was only first deployed in 2015, yet it already serves billions of people. It runs deep neural network inference 15–30 times faster with 30–80 times better energy efficiency than contemporary CPUs and GPUs in similar semiconductor technologies.
11:40 AM

Doug Burger, Distinguished Engineer, Microsoft Research
FPGAs and Cloud Architectures
Hyperscale datacenter providers have struggled to balance the growing need for specialized hardware (efficiency) with the economic benefits of homogeneity (manageability). A new cloud architecture is needed that uses reconfigurable logic to accelerate both network plane functions and applications. This Configurable Cloud architecture places a layer of reconfigurable logic (FPGAs) between the network switches and the servers, enabling network flows to be programmably transformed at line rate, enabling acceleration of local applications running on the server, and enabling the FPGAs to communicate directly, at datacenter scale, to harvest remote FPGAs unused by their local servers. The resulting architecture is highly scalable. Such a Configurable Cloud architecture has been deployed at hyperscale in Microsoft’s production datacenters worldwide.
12:25 PM

TTI/Vanguard Announcements

12:30 PM
Members’ Working Lunch — Ballroom, Salon 3 (1st Level)
1:45 PM

Kyle Roche, General Manager, Mixed Reality at Amazon Web Services
Building for Mixed Reality
There are several sandboxes that the largest technology firms in the world have to have a shovel in—cloud computing and IoT, AI/machine learning, cloud computing, AR/VR, and voice interfaces. It should come as no surprise that within the past year Amazon has quietly formed a “mixed reality” group—nor that it’s headed by the former head of the company’s IoT group, nor that it has some interesting connections to Alexa.

2:30 PM

Jonathan Marks, Cofounder and Technical Lead, Quorum Analytics
Moneyball for Congress: Mitigating Legislative and Regulatory Risk
Politics, broadly, has been left behind by a lot of the technological innovation happening elsewhere in the economy. If you work in marketing, sales, or finance, there’s little chance you’re using the same software tools you were a decade ago. If you work in government, advocacy or public affairs? You probably do. Now that gap can be closed. Having compiled the world's most comprehensive database of legislative information, Quorum builds tools designed to maximize the impact and measure the success of a company’s government and public affairs work. Using natural language processing, machine learning, and cutting-edge interface design, the software is transforming the way advocacy works in Washington, D.C., all 50 states, thousands of US cities, and even the European Union.
3:10 PM
Coffee Break — Ballroom Foyer
3:40 PM

David Smith, Chief Executive Officer, CEO.Vision
Extreme Augmented Reality: What the Future Really Looks Like
Computers can manipulate large data sets; but humans cannot. With the right head-wearable display, though, a person might be able to visualize and interactively control millions of objects simultaneously. You could, for example, take an Excel spreadsheet with thousands of rows and columns and explore the data in a virtual space. The goal is to create a platform that permits augmented conversations where the users of the system are able to communicate and explore complex new ideas with each other that can't be imagined today. The computer participates in the conversation as well by providing a simulation, much like in Sketchpad you could start a sketch and the computer completed it. The ideal system is lightweight and nearly invisible. It should look like a regular pair of glasses or contact lenses, but must have a very wide field of view, must be in focus everywhere, and must have a very high resolution and frame rate. Eye tracking needs to be a fundamental part of such a system. The new devices must enhance user intention but minimize effort, much the way a mouse’s movement of a few inches is amplified into feet. Challenges remain, but we are on the verge of creating the generalized interfaces that we’ve always wanted.
4:25 PM

Tom Kalil, Senior Advisor, Eric and Wendy Schmidt Group and former Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology and Economic Policy and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council  
If You Don't Like the News, Go Out and Make Some of Your Own
The Trump Administration has not made science and technology policy a priority, and some of its proposals (e.g., cutting civilian R&D by over 20 percent; restricting high-skill immigration) are likely to undermine America’s long-term economic competitiveness. There are a number of steps that industry, academia, and other stakeholders can take to advance science, technology and innovation in the years ahead.
5:10 PM

End of First Conference Day

6:15 PM
6:30 PM
Buses to The City Club of San Francisco (155 Sansome St)  
Reception & Dinner

Wednesday, December 6
7:30 AM

Breakfast

8:30 AM

Jessica Flack, Professor Director of Collective Computation Group and CollectiveNet, Santa Fe Institute
Collective Computation and Decision-Making in Biology and Networks
Here are three interesting questions: How do observable rules in biology, which seem to work in aggregate, emerge from microscopic ground truths? How do complex systems (such as groups of macaques) stay robust in the face of shocks (macaques have their own police force, which acts as a social glue)? Finally, how do groups—whether in nature, society, or business—solve problems and come to decisions? The science of collective computation tries to answer questions such as these.
9:25 AM

Peter Van Valkenburgh, Research Director, Coin Center
Blockchains, Tokens, and Regulation
Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have been raising tens of millions of dollars of late. But even if the current boom does turn out to be a bubble—which it probably will—this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Bubbles can be as socially productive. They allocate capital to long shot, paradigm-shifting innovation instead of incremental improvements to existing technologies. The dotcom bubble created a lot of failed companies—but it also created Amazon, eBay, and Google. The Coin Center is uniquely positioned to understand and explain the technologies and markets behind the new cryptocurrencies—a market that’s currently well over $100 billion in value.
10:05 AM

Michael Golay, Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT
Nuclear Power and Climate Change
If widely accepted goals for limiting atmospheric heating are to be achieved, there remains a window of 60 to 70 years to fully transition the global energy economy away from fossil fuels. In that future world, we will get nearly all our energy from some combination of renewable and nuclear energy sources. Regardless of whether we pursue nuclear energy wholeheartedly, or merely as a backstop, should renewables not fully meet our needs, we need to begin developing better nuclear technologies. A promising menu of possibilities has long ago been identified but little advanced for several decades. Which technologies should we bring to practical fruition and deployment? How rapidly? By what means? Experience to date does not encourage optimism about how this will play out, but as engineers, as citizens, and as parents of the next generation, we must try.
10:45 AM
Coffee Break — Ballroom Foyer
11:15 AM

Vishal Sikka, Former CEO, Infosys
AI, Automation, and the Future of Employment
AI is cutting into employment at a faster rate than ever. Even IT, which has grown dramatically over the past 20 years, has many parts that are more mechanical than creative, such as infrastructure management, business process outsourcing, and software verification. The many jobs created in these areas are all vulnerable to automation. Depending on the nature of your business mix, huge parts of your business are prone to automation. It’s already happening. At Infosys, in the first nine months of this financial year, work equivalent to of 8,000 jobs was eliminated by automation. If we sit still, there is absolutely no doubt that our jobs are going to be wiped out by AI—60% to 70% over the next 10 years, or maybe less than 10 years, of the jobs that we do today are going to be replaced by AI unless we continue to evolve ourselves, unless we continue to develop better technology and faster automation.

12:00 PM

A Conversation with Author Ellen Ullman
The Hand That Writes the Code Controls the World
What happens when a software engineer writes about the society that exists within the world of programmers? You get a seminal memoir about her work from an insider's point of view, a novel where the protagonists are coding professionals, and a book chronicling her computing experiences over the course of two decades. You get a view of what computing is doing to us, a look at the beauty and elegance that can reside in code, and the perils when code writes code writes code without the intervention of human programmers—the loss of human agency.
12:40 PM
Members’ Working Lunch — Ballroom, Salon 3 (1st Level)
2:00 PM

Jonathan Chu, Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer, Verdigris
AI, GPUs, and Smart Building
Verdigris is an artificial intelligence IoT platform that enables smarter and more connected buildings while reducing energy consumption and costs. Its central idea came after co-founders, Mark Chung and Jonathan Chu, had been working on advanced algorithmic acceleration for deep packet inspection at a previous company. One month Chung had an excessive electricity bill, and they decided to apply a deep packet algorithm to figuring out where it was coming from. By combining proprietary hardware sensors, machine learning, and software, the current system learns the energy patterns of a building. It can forecast energy use, issue alerts about faulty equipment and maintenance reminders, and provide detailed energy usage information for each and every device and appliance.
2:40 PM

Meredith Perry, Founder, uBeam
Wireless Power Using Ultrasound
Wireless power has long been a goal in consumer electronics and, more recently, for the Internet of Things. Current contact-based systems fall far short of the ideal solution, which would provide power at a distance, safely with respect to health, and without interfering with Wi-Fi, cellular, and other signals in the air. Using ultrasound presents engineering challenges of its own, but avoids many potential problems that electromagnetism-based systems have. The technology has been demonstrated in the lab and a commercial system is on its way.

3:20 PM

Bob Lucky, TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board
Conference Reflections
4:00 PM
Meeting Closes


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