It’s hard to believe that our flagship technology event is gearing up for its 17th year this November. I feel lucky to say that this will be my sixth time attending EmTech MIT. Being present at EmTech each year is a privilege; it’s great to bear witness to the possibilities for the future at this wide technological crossroads.
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The event will take place once again at the MIT Media Lab, where attendees will share a unique architectural space with technology leaders and innovators from across industries and around the world. We’ll hear about both the latest breakthroughs and the biggest challenges facing thought leaders in various technology fields and disciplines.
The space at the Media Lab is intimate, so attendees can really mingle. It evokes a mood that’s quite different from being in an anonymous convention center or a nondescript conference room. From the stage we’ll hear the stories behind what drives technology leaders in their life’s work. We’ll also get to ask questions and share ideas, whether from our seats in the audience after a talk, or while chatting out on the deck from the atrium as we sip a coffee or glass of wine at the end of the day. There’s a palpable buzz when so many talented and brilliant people share a space.
This year I’m eager to hear keynotes from Andrew Ng on the intricacies of AI and Mary Lou Epson on the evolution of brain-machine interfaces. Yasmin Green will give a talk on global security, and David Keith will discuss climate change and the hope of geoeningeering to mitigate some of the effects of carbon emissions. And that’s to name just a few of the speakers on tap for this year’s program.
Our own technology reporters will also take the stage to moderate the conversations around this year’s themes, which reflect, as always, the big technology questions that we face as a global community. Whether you’re an executive, policy leader, venture investor, tech innovator, IP professional, researcher, journalist, or tech news junkie, you should be at EmTech in November.
Together we’ll ponder and discuss the future of work in light of advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics; we’ll find out what the state of the art is for next-generation brain interfaces; how social media is changing society; and adapting to the realities of climate change. And there’s another perennial event highlight—each day we’ll meet many of the 2017 innovators under 35 as they make three-minute pitches on stage to distill for us the technology problem they’re trying to solve and what’s at the heart of their work. As our editor, David Rotman, says of each year’s cohort of young innovators, “If you want to know the future of technology, these are the people to pay attention to.”