Each year, the IdeaFestival held in Louisville, KY draws thought leaders from across the country to discuss tech trends and ideas—this year specifically related to cyberpunk, algorithms, and creativity. Here are some of the most interesting ideas that emerged from the conference:
1. Cyberpunk movement
Sci-fi author Rudy Rucker took the stage talking about a concept that began in the early 80s called cyberpunk movement—the idea of machines merging with humans in their everyday lives.
"In a nutshell, punk is give the finger and walk away," Rucker said. "Cyber is a sort of all purpose word. What cyber is about, it's about two things we were noticing in the 80s and this was the fusion of people and machines and the fusion of the physical world and the internet world which is something called cyberspace."
SEE: How machine learning's hype is hurting its promise (TechRepublic)
2. AI Algorithms
Another idea that came from IdeaFestival was the impact of AI algorithms, and what people can do about it. Emily Dreyfuss, senior writer for Wired, spoke about how algorithms can determine what people see, and also what they don't see, and the influence they have on people's lives.
"[Algorithms] don't exist without us, they're fed by us, which means that we imbue them with our own biases and our own values. We create them overtly to quote unquote, 'Make the world a better place.' That's what our technology is for," Dreyfuss said.
3. Power of Play
Lastly, psychologist Peter Gray talked about the power of play, and the importance of allowing children unsupervised playtime. This encourages children to explore their creativity and learn how to interact with other children. An organized sport such as Little League Baseball is not play, he said. However, letting children play a pickup baseball game in the neighborhood, or backyard, counts as play because adults aren't watching over them.
- IdeaFestival 2017: The cyberpunk future is here (TechRepublic)
- IdeaFestival 2017: Algorithms, AI and other Frankenstein-like technologies (TechRepublic)
- Algorithms can be racist: Why CXOs should understand the assumptions behind predictive analytics (TechRepublic)
- Facebook's Automated Insights wants to give you an AI-powered team of virtual data scientists (TechRepublic)
- Predictive analytics: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
Leah Brown has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she cover.
Leah Brown is the Associate Social Media Editor for TechRepublic. She manages and develops social strategies for TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research.