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lcz had the good fortune to get herself invited to a special conference entitled "Imagining the Future: Visions of the World to Come". This conference took place on 30th November 2001, starting with a short video by Arthur C. Clarke on his predictions for the future. He then joined the conference by telephone. Moderated by Scott Kirsner, (columnist and editor, including Wired magazine), the other guests were: Raymond Kurzweil (supreme software inventor, e.g. of OCR & speech recognition, and visionary author); Alison Taunton-Rigby (top industry biotechnologist/geneticist and humanist); and David Cyganski (WPI professor of electrical and computer engineering, expert in machine vision).
(For more plaudits, see the WPI page.)

lcz reports that it was a well-produced conference and well worth attending. For those who couldn't be there, the whole thing is available on streaming video from the WPI site. (Note, it is 2.5 hours long.)

We had previously come across Ray Kurzweil in relation to Blade Runner when an article recommended by Lukas and wamccabe on the newsgroup had some of his thoughts on the reality of future technology presented in various Film and TV SF. lcz had the foresight to print off the article before going to the conference and thus was able to get Ray's good wishes to all of us signed right next to the appropriate section. The original article which lcz printed off was written by Joey Gardiner and appears at Copyright is of course theirs and I recommend you to their site which is a great place for Tech News (although very frustrating when you want to find old articles!).

Here are the scans of the relevant parts of the printed pages, including the written message, (click to enlarge):

Hollywood technology scrutinised Page 1
Hollywood technology scrutinised Page 2
Ray Kurzweil dedication

In case you don't want to look at the images, the dedication from Raymond Kurzweil reads, "Nov 30, 2001. To Netrunner and the denizens of, Have a better one (and a better future!)" {Signed Ray Kurzweil}

Joey Gardiner described him thus: "Ray Kurzweil is the founder, chairman and CEO of Kurzweil Technologies, known for a print-to-speech reading machine for the blind as much for his piano synthesiser and other breakthroughs. He wrote The Age of Intelligent Machines while at MIT and was awarded the 1999 National Medal of Technology by Bill Clinton."

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