Posthumans, Big Data and New Interfaces

Alistair Croll (Solve For Interesting), Toby Segaran (Google), Amber Case (Geoloqi), Bradford Cross (Flightcaster) Moderated by: Alistair Croll
Location: Mission City Ballroom
Please note: This and all other keynotes will be live streamed and recorded.
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Strata looks at three things: Big, open data; ubiquitous computing and the democratization of IT; and new interfaces that make complex, multidimensional data accessible and usable.

Put those three things together, and you’ve created an entirely new way of thinking. No longer do we learn by rote; we phone a friend. Compelling infographics have taken the place of political discourse. And any device that can send an SMS is tied to the most powerful computers in the world.

How will this change us? Will it make us shallow and distracted, as Nicholas Carr suggests? Will it prepare us for a truly connected society, where antiquated ideas like broadcast marketing and representative democracies give way to one-to-one buying and direct voting?

The change is slow, but inexorable. A few short years ago, we were warned not to put our real names on the Web. Today, every site has a share button, and we freely track our own activities for all to see. Each of those acts leaves a crumb of data; take away our smartphones, and we feel like we’ve had a digital stroke, leaving us without faculties we otherwise take for granted.

It’s maybe an understatement to say that connected access to the sum of all knowledge changes us. It’ll shape how we work and play. It’ll change how we learn. It may even alter who—and what—we love.

In this panel discussion, we’ll look beyond the bytes and algorithms to think about humanity awash in a sea of information.

Photo of Alistair Croll

Alistair Croll

Solve For Interesting

Alistair has been an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker for nearly 20 years. He’s worked on a variety of topics, from web performance, to big data, to cloud computing, to startups, in that time. In 2001, he co-founded web performance startup Coradiant (acquired by BMC in 2011), and since that time has also launched Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, the Bitnorth conference, the International Startup Festival and several other early-stage companies.

Alistair is the chair of O’Reilly’s Strata conference; Techweb’s Cloud Connect; and the International Startup Festival. He’s written four books on analytics, technology, and entrepreneurship, including the best-selling Lean Analytics which is being translated into eight languages. He lives in Montreal, Canada and tries to mitigate chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at Solve For Interesting.

Photo of Toby Segaran

Toby Segaran

Google

Toby Segaran is the author of the O’Reilly titles, “Programming
Collective Intelligence” and “Programming the Semantic Web” and a
contributing editor of “Beautiful Data” . He frequently speaks on the
subjects of machine learning, collective intelligence and freedom of
data at conferences worldwide.

Toby previous worked as a Senior Data Scientist at Metaweb before it
was acquired by Google in 2010. He now works on large-scale data
reconciliation problems at Google. Prior to Metaweb he founded
Incellico, a biotechnology software company which was acquired in
2003.

Toby holds a B.Sc in Computer Science from MIT and is deemed a “Person
of Exceptional Ability” by the USCIS. He loves applying data-analysis
algorithms to everything ranging from pharmaceutical trials to online
dating to financial risk models.

Photo of Amber Case

Amber Case

Geoloqi

Amber Case is the founder of Geoloqi.com, a platform for next generation location. Her main focus is mobile software, augmented reality and data visualization, and reducing the amount of time and space it takes for people to connect.

Case has spoken at TED on technology and humans and was featured in Fast Company 2010 as one of the Most Influential Women in Technology. She’s worked with Fortune 500 companies at Wieden+Kennedy and on major applications at Vertigo Software. She is @caseorganic on Twitter.

Photo of Bradford Cross

Bradford Cross

Flightcaster

Bradford has been doing applied research since 2001. His interests are in Maths, Statistics, Computer Science, Learning Theory, Network Theory, Information Retrieval, Natural Language Processing, and engineering at scale.

Most recently, Bradford is co-founder and head of research for FlightCaster, where is responsible for the statistical learning and supporting architecture that power Flightcaster’s predictive algorithms.

Prior to Flightcaster, Bradford spent 2 years at ThoughtWorks.

Bradford began his research work in the hedge fund business, where he developed statistical trading strategies and the underlying software infrastructure. During this time he founded a few small trading partnerships and worked with O’Higgins Asset Management. In the process of building trading systems, he collaborated with SmartQuant on a project that was subsequently sold to QuantHouse and re-branded as their suite of research tools for algorithmic trading strategy development.

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Comments

Anuj Agarwal
02/03/2011 10:01am PST

Good stuff! I know that the consequences of collecting so much data about individuals has yet to play out but i think this will ultimately do us much more good than harm.

Its easy to see that when we’re able to collect a lot more real time data about our body and present it in meaningful ways to the individual, it will greatly improve health.

Imagine doing the same for the individual’s activities.

Picture of Duncan Ross
Duncan Ross
02/03/2011 9:20am PST

Started very well, but faded out. Perhaps more rehearsal needed! Toby made some great comments though…

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