Two Talks at Qcon San Francisco: Virtual Reality and Calm Technology!

qcon-san-francisco-virtual-reality-amber-caseI’m excited to give the Keynote speech at QCon San Francisco (2016 Conference: Nov 7-9 Workshops: Nov 10-11) this coming week! I’ll be speaking on Monday, November 7th at 9am. This will be both and old and new talk.

What’s new? I’ll be extending an early talk I did on the history of wearable computing by adding an entirely new section on Virtual Reality! I’ve been holed up in Portland’s N Portland VR Lab taking video of all of everything VR, from rumblepacks and in-room sensors to games that shrink and grow depending on how much space you have for them!

Keynote: The History and Future of Wearable Computing and Virtual Experience

Location: Grand Ballroom ABC
Day of week: Monday, Nov 7, 2016.
Duration: 9:00am – 10:10am

Summary

Miniature electronics and and global supply chains have us on the cusp of a new era of human experience. Early forms of wearable computing focused on augmenting the human ability to compute freely. As pioneer Steve Mann and calm technology pioneer Mark Weiser wanted, “to free the human to not act as a machine”. What does this mean for us as designers and developers, and how can we build interfaces for the next generation of devices?

Who was here before us, and how can we best learn from them? These are the machines that will be a part of our lives in only a few years from now, and the best way to learn about the future is to dig into the past. This talk will focus on trends in wearable computing and VR as it developed from the 1960s to now, and then into the future. This talk will cover various topics on the history and future of wearables. We’ll learn about Ivan Sutherland, human augmentation, infrastructure, machine vision, processing, distributed computing and wireless data transfer, a church dedicated to VR, computer backpacks, heads up displays, reality editing, job simulators and unexplored realms of experience that haven’t yet come to life. We’ll also learn about the road from virtual reality to augmented reality and what we need to build to get there. This talk is for anyone interested in how we can add a new layer of interactivity to our world and how we can take the next steps to get there.

I’ll be giving an additional talk in addition to my keynote! Details below:

Second Talk: Designing Calm Technology

Track: UX Reimagined
Location: Seacliff ABC
Day of week: Wednesday, November 9th, 2016.
Duration: 1:40pm – 2:30pm

Summary

Our world is made of information that competes for our attention. What is needed? What is not? We cannot interact with our everyday life in the same way we interact with a desktop computer. The terms calm computing and calm technology were coined in 1995 by PARC Researchers Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown in reaction to the increasing complexities that information technologies were creating. Calm technology describes a state of technological maturity where a user’s primary task is not computing, but being human. The idea behind Calm Technology is to have smarter people, not things. Technology shouldn’t require all of our attention, just some of it, and only when necessary.

How can our devices take advantage of location, proximity and haptics to help improve our lives instead of get in the way? How can designers can make apps “ambient” while respecting privacy and security? This talk will cover how to use principles of Calm Technology to design the next generation of connected devices. We’ll look at notification styles, compressing information into other senses, and designing for the least amount of cognitive overhead.

Join me at the Future of Money and Digital Ethics at Sibos in Geneva, Switzerland on Sept 26 and 28, 2016!

logo-sibos-amber-case-future-of-moneyOn Monday, September 26th and Wednesday, September 28th, 2016  I’ll be speaking on the Future of Money and Digital Ethics on two panels at the Sibos International Banking Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

When

Future of Money

Monday 26 September
14:00 – 15:00
Plenary – PLR

Digital Ethics

Wednesday 28 September
10:30 – 11:15
Innotribe – INNO

Future of Money Overview

Delegates will hear Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist and Harvard Berkman Klein Center Fellow, speak on security, calm technology and intrusive media. Case says: “I want to talk about the idea that you should own your information first, and a third party should only be able to access that information for a temporary period in order to get something done. The idea user experience would be one where you can you can see what’s happening to your data, and authorise transactions at each point of exchange.”

Case, author of the book Calm Technology (O’Reilly Media), will also discuss a number of principles for managing the devices and the data that comprise the Internet of Things. “We live in an age of intrusive media. Technology should be there when you need it, and not when you don’t,” says Case. If we are all cyborgs now, as Case suggests (in the sense that we use technology to enhance, extend and add to our innate abilities), the challenge for the future will be to achieve a harmonious relationship with our technology. “Technology should enhance the human experience, not detract from it. Our devices should amplify the best of humanity and the best of technology. Artificial Intelligence can help automate our systems, but customer service is still essential,” says Case. That’s something humans can never automate. “It wouldn’t be wise for human connection to be replaced by machines,” Case concludes.

The Future of Money session at Sibos has become the “crystal ball” identifying major disruptive trends that are likely to affect the financial services industry in coming years.

In previous years, this session covered topics such as the latest developments on virtual currencies and blockchain, the disaggregation and unbundling of the financial services value chain, and automated credit. But what’s the next big disruptive force?

We believe the new buzzword is the interconnectedness of everything at scale and speed. In this Internet of Everything, every thing talks to every thing and end-points make their own decisions, powered by sensor-driven data collection, machine learning and automated decision making.

It is not the sharing economy as we know it, but a data sharing economy where driverless cars make toll road payments per minute, washing machines decide the right energy vendor at what time and price, where products are created ad-hoc and in situ by 3D printers (with IP royalties paid in real time), where investment decisions are made by a new breed of robo-advisors in real time.

Everything happens at scale and speed. This real-time economy will require a fundamental new infrastructure with more dramatic intermediation than what we see today in payments and securities, with frictionless micro-commerce and micro-payment transactions enabling real transparency of money and value in general.

We will need to rethink the notion of ownership and the definition and management of intellectual property, financial assets, digital assets, rights management and royalties in fully distributed peer-to-peer world. And how do we regulate a world where all the rules have changed?

We move from enabling transactions to enabling commerce, from transaction networks to new articulations of value- and trust-webs.

This session will bring together some of the sharpest thought leaders on this radical transformation of our industry, and will focus on the inter-connectedness of everything.

Two moderators will guide the audience through this exercise and ensure a deep interaction with the speakers in an exciting interactive format.

Since Sibos Toronto in 2011, the Innotribe “Future of Money” is standing room only. For the first year, the session moved to the plenary room as a big issue debate, so make sure you’re there early!

Speakers

  • Udayan Goyal, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Apis Partners and Anthemis Group
  • Jon Stein, CEO & Founder, Betterment
  • Carlos J. Menendez, President, Enterprise Partnerships, Mastercard
  • Amber Case, Fellow, Harvard Berkman Klein Center

Digital Ethics Overview

Billions of dollars are spent every year to track our actions, intentions, and sentiments online and via the sensors embedded in the world that surrounds us. Machine-learning algorithms may soon get to know us better than we know ourselves. While robots gaining consciousness is a growing concern, the future of human happiness is dependent on teaching machines what we value the most today.

As AI features in different products, wearable devices, and self-driving cars, we need to think in a critical way about where this will bring us – on an individual and societal level. Will it help us forward? Will it create more time for ourselves? Or will it make our world more complex and less efficient?

Coexisting safely and ethically with intelligent machines is one of the central challenges of the 21st Century. It demonstrates and strengthen the need to establish ethical standards for Artificial Intelligence to help us preserve the values we cherish the most.

This session is an integral part of the future show live. See the session description for detailed information.

Speakers

  • Gerd Leonhard, Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author and CEO of The Futures Agency, The Futures Agency
  • John Havens, Executive Director, The Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems
  • Amber Case, Fellow, Harvard Berkman Klein Center
  • Aurélie Pols, Data Governance & Privacy Advocate, Krux Digital / Ethics Data Group EDPS (European Data Protection Supervisor)
    Ericsson

What is Sibos?

Sibos is the world’s premier financial services event.

Sibos is the annual conference, exhibition and networking event organised by SWIFT for the financial industry.

What started out as a banking operations seminar in 1978, has grown into the premier business forum for the global financial community to debate and collaborate in the areas of payments, securities, cash management and trade. More at sibos.com.

Why The Internet Needs IPFS Before It’s Too Late

Note: This article was posted to TechCrunch as a guest post.

ipfs-why-internet-needs-it-before-too-late-distributed-computing

IPFS isn’t exactly a well-known technology yet, even among many in the Valley, but it’s quickly spreading by word of mouth among folks in the open-source community. Many are excited by its potential to greatly improve file transfer and streaming speeds across the Internet.

From my personal perspective, however, it’s actually much more important than that. IPFS eliminates the need for websites to have a central origin server, making it perhaps our best chance to entirely re-architect the Internet — before its own internal contradictions unravel it from within.

How, and why? The answer requires a bit of background.

Why We Have A Slow, Fragile And Forgetful Web

IPFS is a new peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol that aims to supplement, or possibly even replace, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol that rules the web now. Here’s the problem with HTTP: When you go to a website today, your browser has to be directly connected to the computers that are serving that website, even if their servers are far away and the transfer process eats up a lot of bandwidth.

Data providers get charged because each network has a peering agreement, while each network hop costs money to the data provider and wastes bandwidth. Worse, HTTP downloads a file from a single computer at a time, instead of getting pieces from multiple computers simultaneously.

Consequently, we have what we’re stuck with now: a slow, expensive Internet, made even more costly by predatory last-mile carriers (in the U.S. at least), and the accelerating growth of connection requests from mobile devices. It’s not just slow and expensive, it’s unreliable. If one link in an HTTP transfer cuts out for whatever reason, the whole transfer breaks. (Whenever a web page or media file is slow to load, a problem with a link in the HTTP chain is among the likeliest culprits.)

Remaking The Internet With IPFS

The InterPlanetary File System — a tribute to J.C.R. Licklider’s vision for an “intergalactic” Internet — is the brainchild of Juan Benet, who moved to the U.S. from Mexico as a teen, earned a computer science degree at Stanford, started a company acquired by Yahoo! in 2013 and, last year at Y Combinator, founded Protocol Labs, which now drives the IPFS project and its modest aim of replacing protocols that have seemed like facts of life for the last 20 years.

As a peer-to-peer distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files, IPFS seeks to improve on HTTP in several ways. Two, Juan told me in a recent conversation, are key:

“We use content-addressing so content can be decoupled from origin servers, and instead, can be stored permanently. This means content can be stored and served very close to the user, perhaps even from a computer in the same room. Content-addressing allows us to verify the data too, because other hosts may be untrusted. And once the user’s device has the content, it can be cached indefinitely.”

IPFS also addresses security problems that plague our HTTP-based Internet: Content-addressing and content-signing protect IPFS-based sites, making DDoS attacks impossible. And to help mitigate the damage of discontinued websites, IPFS also archives important public-record content, and can easily store important, public-record content.

IPFS would help the Internet grow into the system we’ve always aspired it to be.
IPFS’s final core improvement is decentralized distribution, which makes it possible to access Internet content despite sporadic Internet service or even while offline: “We make websites and web apps have no central origin server,” Juan explained. “They can be distributed just like the Bitcoin network is distributed.” This is actually something that HTTP simply cannot do, and would especially be a boon to networks without top-notch connectivity (i.e., the whole developing world), and for access outside of metropolitan areas.

Released in Alpha last February, IPFS has already started to see a lot of experimentation among early adopters. On September 8, for instance, Neocities became the first major site to implement IPFS, following a call from the Internet Archive for a distributed web. We currently suffer a constant loss of websites as their owners abandon them over the years — a growing crisis to our collective Internet memory — and this is a small but important step toward a more permanent web.

But will websites owned by large corporations follow Neocities’ lead, adopting such an as-yet-untested protocol — especially when the mere mention of “peer to peer” often terrifies them? That takes me to my final point.

Why IPFS Matters For The Future Of Internet Business

As I explain in my upcoming book, we are fast approaching a point where the cost of delivering content will outstrip the benefits — and profits. The major Internet companies are already struggling to stay ahead of our content demands, with armies of engineers at companies like Akamai, Google and Amazon devoted to this one problem.

And they haven’t even seen the worst of it: Thanks to rapid adoption of low-cost smartphones, whole continents of consumers will go online in the coming decade. The Internet of Things promises to only compound this challenge, as billions of devices add their own demands on our rapidly dwindling connectivity.

We are already in desperate need for a hedge against what I call micro-singularities, in which a viral event can suddenly transfix billions of Internet users, threatening to choke the entire system in the process. (A potentially life-threatening outage, when the micro-singularity involves a natural disaster or other emergency.)

Netflix recently started researching large-scale peer-to-peer technology for streaming, an early, hopeful sign that companies of its size and reach are looking for smarter content distribution methods. Netflix, YouTube, all the bandwidth-heavy services we cherish now would thrive on an Internet remade by IPFS, dramatically reducing the cost and time to serve content.

Beyond improved service, IPFS would help the Internet grow into the system we’ve always aspired it to be at our most idealistic, but cannot become with our current protocols: Truly capable of connecting everyone around the world (even offline) to a permanent but constantly evolving expression of who we are, and aspire to be.

View this post on HackerNews.

Welcome to the future!


Welcome to the future! People here get paid to research and predict the future here in Palo Alto, California. It’s always a fun place to visit, especially now with a new office space! “IFTF is an independent, non-profit research organization with a more than 45-year track record of helping all kinds of organizations make the futures they want. Their core research staff and creative design studio work together to provide practical foresight for a world undergoing rapid change.” #institute #future