"We're at the time where technology is moving at a tremendous pace and there are distinct advantages for those who know vs. those who don't," says Yao Huang, Founder, The Hatchery, adding, "So this is about sharing information. The more companies know, the more they can adapt.
This year, Huang was tasked with curating the line up for Tribeca Imagination Talks, the innovation section of the Tribeca Film Festival.
"The conversation of marrying entertainment with technology is fantastic and storytelling is a great way to mainstream tech the way science fiction always has," says Huang.
Topics range from transportation to nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the future. Speakers include Astro Teller, Tim Armstrong and Ashwin Vasavada.
Here's a snapshot of what festival-goers will hear.
1. David Cummins, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Parking and Justice Solutions for Xerox Company. "In the near future we are going to be reimagining what a vehicle looks like and who drives and owns it. All of this is going to change transportation and perhaps mean an end to urban gridlock. As city gridlock lessens and vehicle ownership becomes less of an issue. Think the 'self-driving' pods of Steven Spielberg's 'Minority Report'. Companies should consider moving back to cities. I can see a future of 'reurbanization,'" says Cummins.
2. Carl Dietrich, CEO of Terrefugia. "As the average value of an individual's time continues to increase and the average travel speed continues to decrease, we will start to see more radically disruptive concepts come to market like Terrafugia's flying cars. For personal transportation in general, whether you're flying or driving, it's important for us all to start to get more comfortable with increasing levels of automation. We're already seeing this trend in cars today, but it is only going to become more pronounced in the future. The level at which you control the vehicle will progressively get higher and higher until it resembles telling a driver where you want to go--only that "driver" is a computer. The only differentiation at that time will be how fast you get there--will you drive or fly? Because transportation changes take a long time to develop, we are strategically positioning Terrafugia today to be in the right place at the right time," says Dietrich.
3. Efi Cohen-Arazi , CEO of Rainbow Medical. "Mechanical workshops as we know them will disappear, 3D printing and new bio-materials will prevail. Body monitoring systems will disappear and will be replaced with implanted sensors. The tech industry already sees medicine as the next frontier for exponential growth and internet/mobile/software companies will seek active role in medical applications. They will start with wearable sensors and managing clinical trials and move to therapeutic application as they gain confidence. And lastly, pharmaceutical companies will move from drugs/chemicals to devices," says Cohen-Arazi.
4. Alex Tepper, Managing Director of GE's Ventures group. "The robotics industry is evolving very quickly and every company should figure out what role they want to play in the new world, leverage their innate strengths, and catalyze and guide the ecosystem," says Tepper.
5. Michael Tolkin, CEO of IMAX Labs. "The future of entertainment is complete immersion. To continue to thrill and inspire people, creators need to experiment with new production tools, develop new forms of storytelling, and design enhanced presentation venues capable of delivering awe-inspiring experiences," says Tolkin.
6. Ashwin Vasavada, Project Scientist for NASA. "I think it's about changing perceptions. NASA's robotic Mars exploration program, and the Curiosity rover in particular, have made Mars a familiar and accessible place to this generation. It's a place where microbial life could have flourished in the past, and one we will reach and explore in the future," says Vasavada.
7. Ping Fu, Chief Entrepreneur Officer 3D Systems. "We need to put tomorrow's tool in children's hands today, not only educate them to be critical thinkers but also capable makers. 3D printers need to be in every k-12 school as teaching tools so children can make their ideas into reality," says Fu.
8. Anthony Lewis, Senior Director of Technology at Qualcomm. "I think robots will of course continue to take over repetitive jobs that we humans find unfulfilling. I think the real promise of robots will be when they come out the factory, so to speak, and start helping us in our everyday lives. Working together we will be capable of so much more than humans or robots alone," says Lewis.