Lecture agency to contact is:
Steven Barclay Agency
12 Western Avenue
Petaluma, CA 94952
I love speaking assignments and am
accomplished in reaching an unusually wide variety of audiences.
I speak to kids and CIOs and scientists and artists. I've given
the keynote for the Arab Bankers Association (really!), been the
headline act on cruise ships, and given technical lectures over beat
boxes and scratchers as a science rapper. I'm funny; used to be a
regular on the "Stand up scientists" series in NYC. I love
collaborations and debates. In debates, I usually end up either
as the soft spiritual person facing excessively narrow scientists or
the skeptical realist facing diverse idealists, and no shift in
personality is required to take on both roles.
Below are some titles,
abstracts, and slides from assorted lectures. This selection is
skewed toward academic and technical content because those are the
kinds of talks that leave these trails behind.
that illustrate a recent "punditry gig".
Appeared on a panel with Paul Saffo, George Gilder, and Bill Joy at the 2005 Stanford
Innovation Summit Here's one account, and another and another. Watch it as streaming video here.
Here's a video of me giving a talk via video conference
technology to an audience in Europe from California.
open source movie of a talk to extropians which I hope shook them up.
"How well do people have to see each other for visual telecommunication
to work well, or would people prefer not be seen precisely?"
Visual telecommunication technologies have never met human factors
requirements. Worse, the full extent of the requirements is not yet
known. We are learning a lot, however. It is now possible
lines of demarcation between high-end video conferencing and
tele-immersion. Tele-immersion ought to convey certain cues that
demonstrably matter to the outcome of communication even if
non-specialist participants are not able to articulate the nature of
these cues as they are experiencing them. Fundamental physical
make the design of high performance tele-immersive interfaces difficult,
but strategies are emerging that are likely to overcome known barriers.
We are close enough to reaching the goal of quality tele-immersion that
it's time to ask how tele-immersive fidelity might need to be limited in
precise ways to bring out the best in the curious social species
tele-immersion is intended to help.
"Technology and the Future of the
Human Soul" or "What
is a Person?"
Technology is getting powerful
enough that it will soon change the
of the word "person". How will
we find meaning and direction
biotechnology and artificial
intelligence threaten to undo every
assumption we have about our
identities? One easy answer is to
some idea of progress for its own
sake, even if it means demoting the
human agenda. The other easy answer
is to turn backwards, to a seemingly
traditional, or fundamentalist,
vision of human identity, even if this
vision is actually a recent
invention. What is difficult is finding
new, but human-centered, path
"Advice to a Young Digital Artist"
Technology offers convenience, but
people are searching for
digital developments offer neither,
for the simple reason that the
creators are confused about what a
computer is. A skeptical appraisal
computers and the psychology of
relating to them can break through
blandness barrier that confines most
Next Big Change: Sensors and Pattern Recognition."
Two trends have just converged into
a super trend. One is the
robust pattern classification
algorithms, such as face recognition
The other is the arrival of cheap
sensors, like cmos cameras.
together bring about the possibility
that computers will be entering
most of their
own data soon, by massive sampling
of the environment, instead of waiting
people to enter it through a user
interface. There are two immediate
demand attention as a result:
The first is that we must now articulate
a policy for
deploying these new technologies
that preserves privacy and civil liberties.
second question is no less
important: How does an organization
make the best
use of these new capabilities?
After all, most of the data entered
turn out to be useful; Won't
automatically entered data be even lower
the whole? These two questions
are deeply related. Defining
human lines of
responsibility as machines take on
new tasks is the core philosophical
which both ethics and competitive
success now depend.
keynote talk for Digital Days at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.
The Next Five Hundred Years of
Every technology visionary holds in
his or her heart an extravagant image of what happens when computers,
user interfaces, and networks are developed to their limit. In
some cases, as with McLuhan, natural languages disappear and are
replaced by a universal mesh of direct brain links. Science
Fiction writers and Artificial Intelligence believers sometimes imagine
the emergence of a new global-scale consciousness that would be
separate from and "higher level" than people. Each of these
visions is a projection of core beliefs about epistemology and the
nature of personhood. In my case, my core optimistic mysticism
has lead me to propose an alternate future of communication. I
call this "Post Symbolic Communication".
In the Post Symbolic scenario, VR
equipment has become ubiquitous (30 years from now), is accompanied by
marvelous software authoring tools (100 years from now- software takes
so long!), and a generation of children have grown up with fluency in
the tools. Because of the generational pace of adoption of new
interfaces, my scenario must therefore only begin in perhaps 150 years
or more. In this future, children discover an alternative to the
use of symbols; they invent the content of a shared environment at a
conversational rate instead of using tokens like words to refer to
contingents that aren't present. I have explored the
possibilities of this future extensively, and have found that some of
our most cherished uses of abstraction, such as categories, are not
necessary when one has fluent control of concreteness.
Gave a keynote
this year on what alien computer programming techniques might be
like. There have been many requests for the slides, and I'll post
Title: Exocomputing in the Year 2304: A Survey
of Confirmed Alien Information Technologies
Jaron Lanier, Interstellar Computer Science Institute: Jaron
Lanier joined the Interstellar Computer Science Institute, based in
Berkeley, CA, Earth, in 2303 as a Senior Research Scientist. He
specializes in Virtual Reality, General Bio-information Theory, and
Abstract: As more alien civilizations have been encountered in recent
decades, a variety of exotic information technology strategies have
come to light. It has often been difficult to analyze these
technologies, as alien cognitive and social factors must be taken
into account, and these are in themselves challenging to
interpret. It is now becoming possible to present an overview of
a variety of alien information technologies and to glean insights
into how they might inform the future of human IT as well as what
might be expected from future alien encounters.
What remains to be done with Virtual
Seminar on People, Computers, and
Stanford University February
VR by definition presents the
ultimate user interface design challenge. Past decades of VR research
have yielded a plentitude of useful results, both positive and
negative, but much remains to be discovered. The last five years have
seen an acceleration of research into collaboration in VR, and in
particular the case in which users are represented with a degree of
realism to one another. This type of configuration is often called
"Tele-immersion." As is to be expected, many questions that have
existed for decades can now be re-asked in a more practical way, for
instance: When should an already-functioning user interface design be
changed so that another person observing it can better understand what
is going on? How much effort do people typically want to put into
controlling their own appearance in a shared world? Should a user
interface designer attempt to influence that user preference? What can
be done to reduce the huge space of interaction possibilities so that
users retain sufficient focus to accomplish a given task?
Reality and the Future of Consumer
What will be the next craze after
wireless? A better reason to
The first prototype of
"Tele-immersion", the driver application of
Internet2, started to work in
2000. It is now possible to get
of how people will use advanced
networks and media in five to ten years.
If anyone had doubts, we can now be
confident that consumers will want
much, much better connections than
what we have been calling "broadband".
"Can Biotechnology Escape the Curse
Computer hardware keeps on getting
better and cheaper, while
aspects of software appear to be
trapped in the 1970s. Some of
seemingly imponderable questions
about the next twenty years, such
potential for radical
discontinuities in the social order and the
viability of bio- and
nano-technologies, ultimately hinge on whether
software will catch up with
hardware. Natural evolution started
sped up. Can we discern signs
of a similar nascent acceleration
"What Will People Want After Broadband?"
For all the talk about new consumer
information and entertainment
services, most of the ones that
actually get financed are the same
television and telephone in new
packaging. But consumers have
demonstrated that television is
vulnerable. "Reality TV" is now
but the key to understanding it is
to realize that on average, consumers
are exhibitionists to the same
degree they are voyeurs. The asymmetrical
distribution systems being put in
place fail to address the widespread
passion to be seen and known.
back to Jaron's