IEEE Unveils Lineup of Leading Technologists Presenting at Annual SXSW® Conference

IEEE Unveils Lineup of Leading Technologists Presenting at Annual SXSW® Conference

“Curated in partnership with SXSW, IEEE's seventh annual “Tech for Humanity Series” explores leading-edge technologies, critical issues and the societal and ethical implications of high-tech advancements that will shape humanity's future.”

PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, 13 February 2018 – IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, today announced its lineup of speakers and events at the annual South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference in Austin, Texas, 9-18 March 2018. The 2018 IEEE “Tech for Humanity Series” includes 30 global technologists and thought leaders who will participate in 12 speaking sessions. The series also includes three Meet Ups, an official party and an experiential trade show presence with a virtual reality (VR) activation. All sessions can be searched for in the official SXSW schedule and followed using the hashtag #IEEESXSW on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

IEEE’s seventh annual SXSW series explores the future of quantum computing, machine learning and “machine consciousness,” and digital identity. A secondary theme centered on the future of the human body will explore the future of regenerative medicine, human tissue and organ manufacturing, extreme bionics, clinical VR, and full-body multisensory engagement through hearables, scent technology and reality gaming. The series will also highlight critical ethical issues at the intersection of autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

William Hurley (whurley), founder and CEO of Strangeworks, Inc., IEEE Senior Member, and Chair of IEEE’s Quantum Computing Working Group will deliver the SXSW Convergence Keynote address entitled “The Endless Impossibilities of Quantum Computing” on Tuesday, 13 March at 2:00 pm. From advancing artificial intelligence and meteorology to driving breakthroughs in molecular modeling and particle physics, to creating next-generation cryptography, this IEEE Tech for Humanity session will expose the radical paradigm shift quantum computing will drive in emerging technology, highlight how it will permanently alter the computing landscape and influence shifts in the balance of international power.

“We are in a race where countries are investing billions for a chance to be the world’s first quantum computing superpower,” says whurley. “The quantum age teases us with technological advancements that could change humanity’s future. That doesn’t mean we should ignore the potential consequences.”

The IEEE “Tech for Humanity Series” includes two SXSW Featured Sessions

Dean Kamen, world-renown inventor, humanitarian and founder of DEKA Research & Development, FIRST®, and FIRST® Global, and IEEE Member will address his newest undertaking in Regenerative Medicine and Human Tissue Manufacturing. Discover how the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) is working to turn advancements in the regenerative medicine ecosystem into a full-scale biofabrication industry. Explore a future where the mass production of human cells, tissue and organs may be fabricated on demand from recipients’ own cells—saving lives and curing chronic conditions.

Extreme Bionics: The Future of Human Ability features IEEE Member Hugh Herr, Co-Founder the Center for Extreme Bionics, MIT Media Lab; Aimee Mullins, actress, model and the first female amputee to compete in the NCAA; and Professor Hans Georg Naeder, third-generation CEO of the world’s leading prosthetic and orthotic manufacturer Ottobock. This session will explore the latest advancements in biomechatronics, surgery, optogenetic interfaces and regenerative medicine, highlighting how connecting human biology with technology can be achieved more seamlessly than ever before. Explore a world where disability is redefined, where prosthetics look and feel like their biological counterparts, and technology helps extend and transcend natural human physicality, cognition, creativity and sensory abilities like never before.

The 2018 IEEE “Tech for Humanity Series” includes a lineup of heavy-hitting speakers, including former Secretary US Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff; Poppy Crum, Dolby Chief Scientist and Associate IEEE Member; Doc Searls, Co-Author of The Cluetrain Manifesto and director of ProjectVRM at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University; Christof Koch of the Allen Institute for Brain Science; Dr. Leslie Saxon body computing pioneer and Associate IEEE Member; Skip Rizzo, clinical VR pioneer and IEEE Member, University of Southern California; NY Times best-selling SciFi author Robert Venditti; and an array of technology luminaries and innovators. Additional IEEE sessions include:

SXSW Chief Programming Officer Hugh Forrest remarked, “Over the past seven years, IEEE has helped curate some remarkable sessions featuring some of the world’s leading technologists and innovators at SXSW. This year builds on that tradition. We remain enthusiastic about IEEE’s 2018 “Tech for Humanity” lineup at SXSW and our ongoing partnership to showcase thought leaders, leading-edge technologies, critical issues and insights related to the challenges and impacts new technologies will have on humanity.”

The full session and speaker lineup can be found on the IEEE “Tech for Humanity” series landing page, with hyperlinks to the SXSW schedule.

Official SXSW Party, Meet Ups and Trade Show VR Activation

The IEEE Tech for Humanity Series at SXSW also includes IEEE’s fifth annual Official SXSW party at the historic Driskill Hotel on Sunday, 11 March from 8-10 pm. The party features music, open bar, STEAM carnival entertainment from Two Bit Circus, IEEE Technology displays and more. The IEEE Tech for Humanity Party will be preceded by a private, invitation-only VIP/Media preview hour from 7:00-8:00 PM. Interested press can request VIP admission by contacting the IEEE party organizer.

In addition, IEEE will host three one-hour Meet Up networking events for SXSW badge holders, including:

From 11-14 March, IEEE will also host an experiential trade show booth at the SXSW Trade Show. Located in booth #523, IEEE will feature “IEEE uniVRse,” an experience of emerging augmented, mixed and virtual reality technologies. Participants will explore their technology future, highlighted by visionary applications in healthcare and colonizing other worlds. Along the way, they will experiment with some of the innovations IEEE is helping bring about to enable this transformation.

About SXSW

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, TX, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features conference programming, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2018 will take place March 09- 18, 2018. Learn more at

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About the IEEE Standards Association

IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) is a collaborative organization where innovators raise the world’s standards for technology. IEEE SA provides a globally open, consensus-building environment and platform that empowers people to work together in the development of leading-edge, market-relevant technology standards, and industry solutions shaping a better, safer and sustainable world. For more information, visit

About IEEE

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice in a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers, and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics. Learn more at

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