New York Times Tech Writer, Inventor of IBM’s Watson Computer to Speak at Colorado State University Technology Conference April 12

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David Pogue, New York Times technology columnist, and David Ferrucci, principal investigator of IBM’s Watson team that outsmarted TV game show “Jeopardy” champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, will lead Colorado State University’s FutureVisions Symposium April 12.

The interdisciplinary conference, which is free and open to the public, will be held 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center on CSU’s campus. Pogue and Ferrucci will participate via video conference as virtuality is a key theme of the symposium.

The FutureVisions Symposium is a biennial conference on the future of global information and communication technology sponsored by the Information Science and Technology Center (ISTeC) at Colorado State.

Additional speakers at this year’s event include 2007 CSU alumnus Duncan Ramsay of Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. He is the art production coordinator for Pixar’s 2013 film, “Monsters University,” and will talk about “The Pixar Way and the Future of Animation (or as much as I can say without getting fired).”

“FutureVisions seems like a great opportunity to bring professionals to CSU and peek into the future,” Ramsay said. “I’m looking forward to meeting some of the talented speakers, sharing some of my post-college experiences as well as exploring the Pixar culture and the future of animation.”

Topics include visualization, digital communication, artificial intelligence, digital games, cybersecurity, social networks and GIS-GPS.

Pogue will open the event via video conference with a talk on “The Future of Artificial Intelligence” with Bruce Blaho, research fellow for HP, and Chuck Anderson, computer science professor at CSU. Ferrucci will close the conference at 1:30 p.m. with Frank Biocca of Syracuse University; John Calkins, technical evangelist for ESRI; and Dan Russell, technical lead for search quality and user happiness for Google on “The Future of Intelligence Amplification.”

“Artificial intelligence (A.I.) and human intelligence amplification (I.A.) are two sides of the same coin,” said Pete Seel, a journalism and technical communication professor at CSU. “A.I. is about teaching our machines to be more intelligent and I.A. is about using our digital devices to enhance human creative activity.”

FutureVisions provides 27 diverse perspectives on the future of information science and technology in 15-minute talks by each speaker, Seel said. The speakers were selected for their visionary viewpoints in their respective fields.

“This is really designed for our students and it’s about their future. We ask the speakers to look ahead five to 10 years and describe a vision of the future of their fields. We want students to be thinking about their focus and how to plot their career trajectories to intersect with those visions,” Seel said.