Follow Us to South by Southwest

The interactive conference brings together tens of thousands of techies

20 February 2014

Photo: Mike Deeroski

From 7 to 11 March, in Austin, Texas, thousands will convene at South by Southwest (SXSW) to discuss tech topics, such as wearable devices, the future of smart cities, and novel ways to use and analyze big data. More than 700 events will be taking place in those five days, and The Institute will be there to report and tweet on the highlights from some of the sessions held by IEEE as part of its Technology for Humanity Series, as well as others. You can follow the coverage of the conference on our blog, IEEE Roundup, or on Twitter @IEEEInstitute.

To get a sneak preview of some of the events we’ll be attending, take a look at our itinerary below.

The Next Steve Jobs Might Be From Africa
Friday, 7 March at 3:30 p.m. CT

In this session, some of Africa’s top young technologists will discuss the future of innovation in their regions. With over 650 million mobile phone subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa—more than in the United States or the European Union—the explosion of mobile and wireless devices is bringing innovations in mobile banking, e-commerce, and telemedicine.

Welcoming the Robot Workforce
Friday, 7 March at 5:00 p.m. CT

In the near future, humans will increasingly rely on robots to manage agriculture, health care, manufacturing, and transportation. These human-robot interactions will change the way we think about the workforce and could allow workers to be physically present in two places at once. The session will cover the role of humans’ productivity and explore what might happen if society starts to resemble the animated film WALL-E, in which people become glued to their television screens while robots do all their work.

Body Computing: The Future of Networked Humans
Saturday, 8 March at 9:30 a.m. CT

The future of wearable devices and embedded technology will help people better manage their health, home, lifestyle, and even the climate around them. This session will cover the emerging tech applications that will ultimately connect humans to everything.

Cloud Robotics: Instant Scalability and Capability
Sunday, 9 March at 12:30 p.m. CT

What if you could acquire a new set of skills by plugging your brain into the Internet? This “Matrix-like” capability will soon be a reality for robots. Aided by the Internet of Things, “networked robots” will leverage the broad availability of open-source, open-access, and crowdsourced resources to help robots become more aware of their surroundings, social, and like human companions rather than their tools.

The Maker Age: Enlightened Views on Science and Art
Monday, 10 March at 2:00 p.m. CT

Adam Savage, host of Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, will explore the ties between art and science that date back to the Age of Enlightenment and luminaries such as Leonardo da Vinci. Savage will discuss how society could benefit by art and science working hand in hand.

Future Foods: New Cuisine for a New Age
Tuesday, 11 March at 11:00 a.m. CT

The term “processed food” is taking on a whole new meaning with advancements in 3-D food printing and “test tube” meat. The session will address how these technologies can protect the planet, while also providing organic and sustainable cuisine. IEEE Spectrum’s Executive Editor, Glenn Zorpette, will lead the discussion. He wrote “The Better Meat Substitute” in the publication’s special report: The Age of Plenty.

Tips and Tools for Protected Connection
Tuesday, 11 March at 12:30 p.m. CT

There is an array of options to help people protect their privacy and better manage their identity online. This panel includes digital security experts from IEEE and other organizations who will explore best practices and policies to help users develop their own definition of “private” and learn how to take on a more active role in protecting their data.

If you plan to attend SXSW, be sure to attend a talk by Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who will discuss her work with the Clinton Foundation. (Learn more about IEEE’s joint project with the foundation: App-E-Feat.)

For women in technology, be sure to visit the IEEE and Women in Tech Meetup to be held on Saturday, 8 March, and hosted by Mary Ward-Callan, the managing director of IEEE Technical Activities, and Karen Bartleson, president of the IEEE Standards Association and senior director of community marketing for Synopsys, an electronic design automation company in Mountain View, Calif. Also stop by the IEEE Technology for Humanity Party on Sunday, 9 March, at the Driskill Hotel for interactive games, entertainment by Two Bit Circus, and beverages made by a robot bartender.

Will you be attending SXSW or following the events online? Share with us which sessions you’re most looking forward to this year.

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