As the distinction between the digital and physical realm becomes ever thinner, the reality of an augmented society emerges. We at the UC Berkeley School of Information are eager to dive deep into the intricacies of how the two affect each other, explore the extent to which they dominate each other and appreciate how they complement each other.
Can the IOT connect more sensors than the number of people Facebook connects today? Will there be a time when chatbots will be penalised for breaking laws? Do we need to take special precautions when designing our boundary-pushing VR worlds? Bits and TeraBytes or Bits and Bitcoins? Will there ever be a scale to measure if emerging technology is constructive or destructive? Can artificial intelligence beat real brains? Is this dependency on machines a vicious cycle that would witness our future generations going back to primitive lives as we burst this bubble and find meaning in traditional ways.
Here at the School of Information, we are constantly intrigued by these discussions. Through InfoCamp 2018, we aim to take a variety of approaches to find the answers to these ambiguities by engaging with industry experts, social enthusiasts and academic scholars. As data fanatics, we are also extremely keen to hear out our audience through an unconference - a series of impromptu idea sessions. Throughout the day we will have keynotes, panel discussions, technical deep dive talks, EXPOs and more. We are thrilled to engage every student, every speaker and every expert attending InfoCamp 2018 in an intellectual rhythmic saga of bits and atoms, to this year’s theme of Augmenting Society.
Vijay Sammeta is the Chief Executive Officer for Civic Foundry, a civic innovation and technology consulting firm focused on the advancement of smart cities. With over 25 years of experience driving innovation in the public, private and non-profit high tech sectors, Vijay is able to deliver best-of- breed solutions to his clients. Vijay was the recipient of the White House’s Smart America Challenge Award, and his other successes with smart cities have been widely recognized by many other leaders in the field including the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Public Technology Institute.
Prior to his role at Civic Foundry, Vijay served as Chief Information Officer for the City of San Jose, overseeing and setting the strategic direction of technology investments for the nation’s 10 th largest City and $3.2 billion Capital of Silicon Valley. He has also worked for notable Silicon Valley technology firms Hewlett-Packard and McAfee.com, as well as the fiercely competitive world of advertising.
Robert is a Technical Director at Consensys, the leading firm within the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency markets. He serves as the organization’s Blockchain for Social Impact CTO, helping the firm consult and develop blockchain projects within Fortune 100 companies and multinational NGOs.
Prior, Robert has spent his professional career at Goldman Sachs, Teach for America, and, most recently Cisco Systems. He also founded Nomsy, a dietary restriction platform aiding consumers with niche content to better maintain their dietary lifestyle.
Robert received his B.S. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He very involved within his community and is the Vice President of the Silicon Valley graduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., a member of 100 Black Men, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the African American Community Service Agency – the oldest Black managed non-profit in Silicon Valley. Robert is also the Blockchain Curriculum Director for StreetCode Academy, a hack-hustle-design focused non-profit that teaches students of color in East Palo Alto how to code, grow businesses, and expose themselves to the tech industry and emerging technologies.
Leading the virtual reality company to create and deliver meaningful experiences to enhance everyday life. Olga works on Human-Centered VR Design and researches, evaluates and tests various VR solutions. Olga has Master's Degree in Communication design, during her journey as a creative professional, she has developed brands and successfully launched products always focusing on people, user-centered experiences and business goals.
She worked with different platforms, tools, and technologies such as P2P blockchain applications and, of course, VR. Olga’s varied skills were a great asset to start working on VR. Olga is fascinated by the constant VR discovery process and keeps learning new tools and skills every day.
Steve Toh designs and creates innovative user experiences using the latest in AR and AI technology. He constantly researches ways to provide users with highly usable and useful designs that bring immersive computing to everyone.
Steve has spent 10+ years in the games industry and several years at startups taking concepts down the road to finished products. Currently he leads a cross-disciplinary team at Google creating immersive computing experiences.
Ross is leading the vision and development of augmented reality (AR) mapping at Niantic, Inc., an innovative company building cutting edge planet-scale AR technology that can be leveraged to create “real world” interactive experiences that foster exploration, exercise and social interaction.
Obsessed with everything connecting the physical and digital worlds, Ross founded Escher Reality in 2016 to focus on exploring the intersection of digital and physical worlds, augmented reality (AR), and computer vision, which was which was acquired by Niantic in 2018.
Prior to founding Escher, Ross spent seven years on his graduate research at MIT in 3-D perception and mapping. He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering with a focus on Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University in three years.
James Wang is co-founder of Lioness, currently serving as CTO and COO, and a part-time partner at Creative Ventures, an early stage VC focusing on healthcare, agriculture, and industrial technologies. Previously, he spearheaded the pilot launch announcement and branding for Google X's Makani project, led a team of analysts overseeing billions in client assets at Bridgewater Associates, and co-founded and managed a consulting group specializing in microfinance in the developing world.
James holds an MBA from UC Berkeley where he was a Jack Larson Fellow in Entrepreneurship, a BA with Honors from Dartmouth, and an MS in Computer Science (candidacy) at Georgia Tech. He also holds a Data Science Specialization from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and completed the course track for a PhD Designated Emphasis in Computational Sciences and Engineering at UC Berkeley.
The economists Brynjolfsson and McAfee ask if simulating brain power with AI will be as big a disruption to employment as simulating muscle with machines was in the industrial revolution. Likewise, Friedman writes that there is a mismatch between the pace of change and our ability to develop the learning systems that would enable citizens to get the most out of these accelerations and cushion their worst impacts.
I find it interesting that economists are the ones who are calling for AI to help everyday people learn how to learn better in the face of the changes that AI is bringing.
What kinds of breakthroughs would we achieve if a large proportion of AI researchers, perhaps working in tandem with HCI researchers and learning scientists, focused large portions of their energy on figuring out a real breakthrough in helping people learn new things in a better, more effective way?
My dream is that every time someone thought about attempting to learn something new, their next immediate thought was: “No problem, I can do that!” And that thought would be merited.
What do we mean when we talk about class? I will discuss the role of social class, or ‘socioeconomic status’ (SES), in technology design and evaluation. While studies along socioeconomic lines are common in the social sciences, such approaches are more rare in human-computer interaction and technology design where “middle-class” has long been the invisible default. This research challenges the tendency to design for users whose lives resemble designers’ by discussing issues of power, culture, and resource access.