Science fiction, tech and games inspire each other. What was once science fiction is becoming a technological fact. Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, has often said: “We live in science fiction.” And that’s the theme of GamesBeat and Oculus’s newest VR event, Science Fiction, Tech and Games, which takes place on February 17th from 10am to 11am.
In this hour-long chat, computer scientist and veteran science fiction writer Ramez Naam, Tim Chang, partner in Silicon Valley Venture Capital Fund Mayfield, and Dean Takahashi of GamesBeat will talk about the inevitable connection between science fiction and technological facts, and the can Anticipate the future.
Before starting novel writing, Naam was with Microsoft for 13 years, leading teams working on machine learning, neural networks, information retrieval, and internet scale systems. This unique background positions him as a bridge between science fiction and technology and helps him create visions of the future that are tied to what is technologically possible today.
His ideas are more relevant today than ever, given the advances in AI and other digital technologies that can bring us closer to a posthuman future. Naam talks about this future, as well as the potential risks that companies that face it may not see.
His 2040 Nexus trilogy also impresses with its ability to foresee the political implications of technology. In the series, a mind altering drug called Nexus immerses users in an augmented version of reality. The creator of Nexus is a bourgeois libertarian who believes he will free humanity and enable people to move into a posthuman future regardless of their body where their spirit can live on.
But in the novel, the US government sees Nexus as an illegal drug that can drive a wedge between humans and better humans. The government wants to exterminate it and destroy terrorists who want to disrupt society with it. Chinese researchers are conducting terrifying experiments using nexus to combine humanity and AI. Freedom-minded hackers are caught in the middle.
In addition to the Nexus series, he has authored two non-fiction books: The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet and More Than Humans: Accepting the Promise of Biological Improvement. Naam’s books have won the Prometheus Award, the Endeavor Award and the Philip K. Dick Award, recognized as the best NPR book of the year, and shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
Naam happens to be good friends with venture capitalist Tim Chang. Chang is focused on finding startups that fit into a vision of the future. As he said at a recent GamesBeat event, when people come up with ideas to envision this future, either as storylines or companies, or both – with the two really influencing each other. He was twice inducted onto the Forbes Midas list of Top Tech Investors and received the Gamification Summit Award for Achievement. His venture capital experience includes leading investments at Norwest Venture Partners and Gabriel Venture Partners. He has also financed game companies such as Ngmoco and Playdom. His operational experience includes working in product management and engineering across Asia for Gateway, Inc. and General Motors.
And of course, our moderator is GamesBeat’s lead author, Dean Takahashi, who has covered games for 24 years.
The event includes live questions and answers, opportunities to interact and exchange with other participants, and much more. If you have an Oculus headset, you can view the control panel in VR with the Oculus Venus app. You can also enjoy the conversation in our Zoom webinar.
Ways to participate in the conversation:
- Plug in a headset in Oculus Venues
- Register to see Zoom