Robo Madness, The AI Explosion: Here’s the Agenda for March 31

What is this world coming to? Computers are beating human experts at Go. Humanoid robots are standing up to bullies with hockey sticks, or at least trying to. Drones patrol our airspace, for better or worse. What’s next—an A.I. for president? (One can only hope.)

One thing’s for sure: robotics and artificial intelligence are poised to have an explosive impact on technology, business, and society. That’s the big theme we are exploring in our second annual “Robo Madness” conference in Boston, this one subtitled “The A.I. Explosion.”

It’s all happening on March 31 (three weeks from Thursday) at Google in Kendall Square, Cambridge, in the afternoon. You can check out the full agenda here and grab one of the last remaining seats here.

A few slots are still pending in the program, but here are some highlights:

Colin Angle, CEO and co-founder of iRobot, will lay out his vision for robots in the connected home. More specifically, I’m guessing, robots that live in smart homes and are connected to the Internet of Things (AKA the Internet).

Helen Greiner, CEO and founder of CyPhy Works (also an iRobot co-founder) will do a chat about the future of drones and their deep societal impact.

Conor Walsh, head of the Harvard Biodesign Lab, will talk about wearable robots (soft exosuits) that can assist and augment human performance in activities like walking.

Dan Kara from ABI Research will set the stage with an overview of the local robotics cluster, as well as global stats on the industry’s growth and opportunities.

—We’ll mix things up by having a VC, a CEO, and the head of MIT’s CSAIL talk about doing science and business in robotics and artificial intelligence. General Catalyst’s Larry Bohn will join Scott Eckert of Rethink Robotics and Daniela Rus from MIT, in a conversation moderated by David Lane, head of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics.

Tom Ryden, executive director of MassRobotics, will lead a discussion on the new wave of startups flooding the robotics field. We’ll have Matt Revis from Jibo, Yaro Tenzer from RightHand Robotics, Max Versace of Neurala, and maybe a surprise guest or two to follow.

—Don’t worry, A.I., there’s plenty more about you coming. I am convening the top young A.I. startups around town to talk about the technology, the field’s business future, what strategies are working (and not working), and how our work and life will be impacted in the years to come. We’ll have Jana Eggers from Nara Logics, Rohit Gupta from Sentenai, and Rob May of Talla. This could be a whole separate event, really.

More updates soon, but in the meantime, here are registration details. See you all on March 31.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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