Charles Widger Endowed University Professor in Law, Business and Economics at Villanova University
Monday, 25 March | 09:00
Being Human in a World of Supposedly Smart, Digital, Networked Technology
Humans have been shaped by technology since the dawn of time. Yet techno-social engineering of humans exists on an unprecedented scale and scope, and it is only growing more pervasive as we embed networked sensors in our public and private spaces, our devices, our clothing, and ourselves.
Frischmann will examine how digital networked technologies affect our humanity. Instead of focusing on the doomsday scenario of super-intelligent, sentient AI enslaving humans, Frischmann will focus on how we engineer ourselves, how we outsource critical thinking to supposedly smart tech, and in doing so, risk deskilling ourselves. In short, Frischmann is less concerned with the engineering of intelligent machines than the engineering of unintelligent humans.
He will consider questions such as: When and how do humans become programmable? Can we detect when this happens? How will we evaluate it? What makes us human? What about being human matters?
He will propose a useful framework for examining these issues. Specifically, he will describe a series of reverse Turing tests that explicitly ask when humans are indistinguishable from simple machines with respect to basic capabilities.
Finally, Frischmann will examine the implications for high-tech industries. The logics driving progress in developing and deploying supposedly smart tech aim to maximize efficiency and productivity by minimizing transaction costs, eliminating friction, and ignoring boundaries, among other things. While these logics often make sense and can be justified with conventional cost-benefit analysis performed on incremental steps or decisions, they nonetheless can be shortsighted and unjustifiable for humanity. Human beings participating in high-tech industries may be at the forefront of societies facing these fundamental tradeoffs. For strategic, humanistic, and cultural reasons, industry participants might embrace, for example, the frictions inherent in being human and cultural significance of boundaries and context.
Brett Frischmann is a scholar, author, and professor. He explores technology and humanity and teaches interdisciplinary courses at the intersection of law, economics, business, ethics, and technology. Frischmann currently has several estimable academic appointments at respected universities in the US and abroad. He teaches courses in intellectual property, Internet law, privacy, and technology policy.
His most recent work examines the relationships between technology and humanity. His book, Re-Engineering Humanity, co-authored with RIT philosophy professor Evan Selinger, was selected as one of The Guardian's Best Books of 2018. This interdisciplinary book rigorously examines the supposedly smart techno-social systems that efficiently govern more and more of our lives. Frischmann also explores these themes in his recently published novel, Shephard's Drone.
Frischmann received his BA in Astrophysics from Columbia University, an MS in Earth Resources Engineering from Columbia University, and a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center. After several years working in law and academia, he joined he joined Villanova University to promote cross-campus research, programming and collaboration, foster high-visibility academic pursuits at the national and international levels, teach, and position Villanova as a thought leader and innovator at the intersection of law, business and economics.
Chief Commercial Officer, LanguageWire
Wednesday, 27 March | 11:45
The Multiple Paths to Growth
Growth is a necessity. All (or nearly all) business owners will agree that this topic can keep them awake at night. Growth is necessary to expand a company, share financial rewards, and provide employees with interesting career paths. Whether you run a small company or work for a major LSP, what do you need to ensure continued success? How can you constantly adjust your business in the face of fast-paced technology advances that can seem daunting at times? In this closing keynote, Véronique will talk about the recipe for business growth with a specific focus on the magic ingredient: sales.
Véronique has had the privilege of working for a handful of companies in the language industry, each very different in size and focus; all of which have grown to become well-known industry players. She will share her insight about what was required to take companies to new horizons and new stages — the commonalities and also major differences. She will share some of the mistakes made along the way in the hope that the audience members can avoid them. Véronique's goal is to leave delegates full of inspiration and optimism as they return home from the conference.
|Véronique has built a career in the localization industry over the past 25 years. She has worked in different countries, had the chance to experience many cultures and ways of doing business, and held senior roles with major industry players such as Lionbridge and Moravia. In her last role, she was CEO at Xplanation, recently acquired by LanguageWire. Véronique also served on the Board of GALA for four years. For the past 6 years, she has published her yearly Localization Trends ... and those crystal ball predictions have been pretty much on point year after year.|