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Nextgens Technologies
December 8–9, 2009
Salt L
ake City, Utah

  PETER COCHRANE PREVIEWS THE CONFERENCE
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UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
December 10

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overview agenda


Topics include:
• Human memory augmentation
• Computational interfaces
• Smarter, smaller, completely connected devices
• Local, open-source manufacturing
• Smart neural control
• Miniature devices
• Nano materials
• Energy matters

conference overview
As our world becomes more complex and our needs far more embracing, solutions to long-standing problems will involve multiple disciplines and technologies. We may well wonder why it took us so long to reap the benefits that combinations from diverse fields can offer. In this annual conference, we’ll look at the possibilities of a world further augmented and enhanced—a world in which science and technology will continue to converge.

With storage getting denser and technological advancement continuing to creep closer to the cusp of optical- and biocomputing, it is hardly far-fetched to say that Moore’s Law will prevail. Human augmentation will get a boost as we become more creative about incorporating biomimetics into our designs and our bodies. 3-D printers, fabrication and synthesis machines, and nano-inks for the printing of electronic circuitry on anything will allow for rapid prototyping of new devices and short production runs.

Engineering the computations performed by the brain might allow us to correct or compensate for the deficits of neural disorders. What insights will learning how neurons communicate with each other give us? Will the Internet become self-aware? Scalable plastic electronics has been a long-time goal; will we get there with a better understanding of optoelectronic materials? How will new computational interfaces and agents, especially those embedded in our clothing or our bodies, change our everyday mobile experience? What’s next for embedded digital and analog microcontroller systems? We’ve seen that games can be useful teaching and learning tools; can we use them on the Internet to give us an understanding about how to do better search on the Web? Lenseless microscopes are on the horizon and their impact on the diagnosis of a variety of diseases will be huge. How realistic is it to do extreme scale high performance computing in the cloud? Microbial fuel cells have been grown in laboratories for years, but that’s hardly scalable. New techniques may allow us to farm algae directly from the oceans to create microbial fuel cells in sufficient enough quantity to provide sources of fuel.

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Partial list of speakers

Mr. Alex Abreu, Founder, WikiPaths
Dr. Feargal Brennan, Professor, Offshore Engineering, Cranfield University
Dr. Ed Boyden, Leader, Synthetic Neurobiology Group, MIT Media Lab
Mr. Tod Dykstra, Chief Executive Officer, Streetline Networks
Dr. Tacis Gavoyannis, Vice President, TVMOBiLi
Dr. Jim Gemmell, Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research
Dr. Peter Girguis, Assistant Professor, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
Dr. Ben Goertzel, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientist, Novamente
Mr. Fred Homewood, Chief Executive Officer, Gnodal
Dr. John Lupton, Associate Professor of Physics, University of Utah
Dr. Andres Maricq, Professor of Biology and of Neurology, University of Utah
Mr. Bre Pettis, Founder, Makerbot
Dr. Dan Reed, Corporate Vice President, Extreme Computing Group, Microsoft Research
Mr. George Sidman, Founder, Chairman , and Chief Technology Architect, WebLOQ
Dr. Thad Starner, Director, Contextual Computing Group, Georgia Institute of Technology
David Talbot, Chief Correspondent, Technology Review
Dr. Sunil Vemuri, Co-Founder, reQall
Dr. Changhuei Yang, Assistant Professor, Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering, Caltech

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