Every year, NYC Media Lab hosts a summit where investors, professionals and students come together to present projects and ideas. This year’s NYC Media Lab Annual Summit was held at The New School on September 20th. There were thought-provoking debates, hands-on workshops and 100 demos. Attendees appeared thrilled to explore the future of digital media innovation.
Keynote speakers were Thomas Reardon, CEO and CO-Founder of CTRL-Labs, and Maya Wiley, Senior Vice President for Social Justice and Co-director, Digital Equity Lab The New School.
Reardon’s talk was the highlight of the event. It was very engaging and insightful. Reardon has received his PhD in Neuroscience from Columbia University. The core idea of his discussion was very similar to what Don Norman said in his book “The Invisible Computer”. Norman discusses what computers are good at and what humans are good at. He then suggests that technology is designed and people are being asked to conform to the needs of the computer. Although it is useful to take advantage of the strengths of the computer, this only works if the machine adapts itself to human requirements. Reardon presented a technological solution to issue Norman discussed in his book. He discussed the huge gap between human input and human output. How neural interfaces can solve the output delay problems. He explained that muscles are causing delays in the output, and if we manage to read the mind, we can eliminate muscles from the process. He argued that capturing intention, not just motion and making it work, is the future. He also mentioned that this technology will help people with motor neuron diseases. After hearing his ideas, I am very excited to learn more about neural control and robotics.
Wiley is a nationally renowned expert on racial justice and equality. She discussed that technology is driving policies and urged entrepreneurs to model their business to help low-income households. She highlighted the difficulties that low income, coloured neighbourhoods face. Her talk was insightful and made me think about the effects of technology on underprivileged populations. As suggested by Jentery Sayers that blending together collaboration, experimental media, and social justice research can bring a new trajectory for American and cultural studies.
Seven innovative startups presented their ideas and prototypes. Some notable projects that inspired me were:
Ovee is a project by Jane Mitchell and Courtney Snavely. It is a platform that creates a community that supports women as they navigate reproductive health issues. Ovee is my favourite project because I can relate to the problems it is addressing.
Let’s Make History
Lead team members of the project are Ilana Bonder and Hadar Ben-Tzur. In the mobile application of Let’s Make History, a user can travel back in time to Washington Square Park through augmented reality. Users can also join Wallace and June- two young activists on a 1968 spring day, in a cinematic experience.
Anderson and University’s – NUMBERS, FACTS AND TRENDS SHAPING THE WORLD.Pdf. https://lms.pratt.edu/pluginfile.php/831785/mod_resource/content/0/PIP_Report_Future_of_the_Internet_Predictions_031114.pdf. Accessed 10 Dec. 2018.
Anderson, Janna, and Elon University’s. NUMBERS, FACTS AND TRENDS SHAPING THE WORLD. p. 61.
Larry Diamond. “Liberation Technology.” Journal of Democracy, vol. 21, no. 3, 2010, pp. 69–83. Crossref, doi:10.1353/jod.0.0190.