NYC- The Many Ways We Will Soon Be Talking to Robots


Date: July 18, 2019

Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm EST

Livestream at 6:30pm

Speaker: David Duncan

What if in the near future the must-have gift for a one-year-old was a robot Teddy Bear that could be playmate, teacher, security guard – all in one? Would it be lauded as the wonder tool of early childhood development and childcare? Or would it be feared as way too creepy? And who would program what the robot said every day in every situation to that young mind – parents or some engineer? These are the kinds of questions that David Ewing Duncan explores in his new book Talking to Robots, Tales from Our Human-Robot Futures, and that he will lay out in conversation as our featured guest at our next What’s Next: New York.

Today many people have simple conversations and even the beginnings of emotional connections to our crude talking robots like Siri and Alexa.  But Duncan interviewed a wide range of experts in artificial intelligence and robotics and then projected out an array of scenarios about how people might interact in extremely complex and emotional ways with machines in the near future. He will lay out some of the ways that are coming just ahead that we would be wise to prepare for right now. Many of the fundamental design questions that will shape what AI can and can not do are being made today within leading companies and startups that are pioneering this new world.

Duncan is a great guide to this new world. He’s an experienced journalist who has covered the world of technology and life sciences and has written 10 books that help open up the future to business and general audiences. He also understands the business side of these fields and will help us understand what companies are wrestling with right now and how government policies can help guide towards more optimal outcomes. Join us for what will be a fascinating conversation and come celebrate the launch of his new book. This event will be the first public event after the official launch that week and we expect a great crowd.