UCSF brain researcher Adam Gazzaley will moderate a fireside chat with science fiction writer Rob reid at our upcoming GamesBeat Summit 2017: How games, sci-fi, and tech create real-world magic. They’re a great example of how our theme captures the crossover between realms of science, science fiction, and games.

GamesBeat Summit 2017 will take place on May 1 and May 2 at the historic Claremont resort hotel in Berkeley, California, just a short distance from San Francisco. You can secure your seat here. Register today and receive 20 percent off current ticket prices. Use the code Deantak.

Their fireside chat is entitled, “Putting science into science fiction. Literally – and literarily!”

New York Times bestselling author Rob Reid’s soon-to-be released novel After On grapples with issues of digital consciousness. It’s set in present-day San Francisco and features a UCSF neuroscientist. So who better to help frame and and depict the issues than a UCSF neuroscientist? Adam Gazzaley became a mentor and adviser to Reid and his novel. In this session, the two will discuss the feedback loop between science and science fiction, and how both sides of this fascinating coin benefit from it.

Based in New York, Rob Reid is an author of speculative fiction. His new novel After On (release date: August 1, 2017) concerns a diabolical social network (Phluttr) with the means and (perhaps?) the inclination to take full control of human society.

His prior novel, Year Zero, was a New York Times bestseller, and depicts a vast alien civilization whose obsession with American pop music bankrupts the entire universe. A former venture capitalist, Reid was the founder, CEO, and later chairman of Listen.com, which created & developed Rhapsody – the first online music service to secure full-catalog licenses from all of the major labels. Rhapsody created the unlimited streaming model later adopted by Spotify, Apple, and many others.

Reid now works with tech startups as an investor, board member, and formal advisor. He was the founding outside board member of gaming mega site IGN, which went public and was later acquired by NewsCorp for $650 million. His current portfolio includes Kareo, Surf Air, Akili, Lyft, Poshmark, Brava, and China Rapid Finance.

Above: Adam Gazzaley of UCSF.

Image Credit: Adam Gazzaley

Adam Gazzaley obtained an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He completed Neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, and postdoctoral training in cognitive neuroscience at University of California, Berkeley. He is now Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco and the founder and executive director of Neuroscape, a translational neuroscience center engaged in technology creation and scientific research.

He designs and develops novel brain assessment and optimization tools to impact education, wellness, and medicine practices. This novel approach involves the development of custom-designed, closed-loop video games integrated with the latest advancements in software (brain computer interfaces, GPU computing, cloud-based analytics) and hardware (virtual/augmented reality, motion capture, mobile physiological recording devices, transcranial electrical brain stimulation).

These technologies are then advanced to rigorous research studies that evaluate their impact on multiple aspects of brain function and physiology. This utilizes a powerful combination of neurophysiological tools, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Gazzaley is also cofounder and Chief Science Advisor of Akili Interactive Labs, a company developing therapeutic video games, and cofounder and chief scientist of Jazz Venture Partners, a venture capital firm investing in experiential technology to improve human performance.

Additionally, he is a scientific advisor for over a dozen technology companies including Apple, GE, Magic Leap and The Void, and on the science board of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Dr. Gazzaley has filed multiple patents for his inventions, authored over 125 scientific articles, and delivered over 535 invited presentations around the world.

He wrote and hosted the nationally-televised PBS special The Distracted Mind with Dr. Adam Gazzaley, and co-authored with Dr. Larry Rosen the MIT Press book: The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World.

Other speakers include Tim Chang of Mayfield Fund; science fiction writer Eliot Peper; tech writer Violet Blue; Thomas Geffroyd, brand director at Ubisoft; Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield, founders of Sledgehammer Games; Rod Chong, chief commercial officer of Slightly Mad Studios; Laszlo Kishonti, CEO of AImotive; Ted Price, CEO of Insomniac Games; Mike Gallagher, CEO of the Entertainment Software Association; John Underkoffler, CEO of Oblong Industries and science advisor for Minority Report; Gary Whitta, the screenwriter for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Richard Marks of Sony PlayStation; Akshay Khanna of the Philadelphia 76ers; Greg Richardson of Team Dignitas; Megan Gaiser, CEO of Spiral Media; Guy Bendov, CEO of Side-Kick Games; Rami Ismail, cofounder of Vlambeer; Asra Rasheed, executive producer at Disney; Asi Burak, founder of Power Play; Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games; Owen Mahoney, the CEO of Nexon; Rich Hilleman of Amazon Game Studios; Chris Roberts, CEO of Roberts Space Industries; and Jamil Moledina of Google Play.

Above: Chris Roberts of Roberts Space Industries.

Image Credit: Roberts Space Industries

Inspiring moments lead to disrupting the worlds of gaming, tech, and entertainment. Who hasn’t been influenced by great novels like Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, which gave us virtual worlds, or Tom Cruise’s data gloves and gesture-controlled computer in Minority Report? Now those things have become real, and we want to see what’s coming next.

Our theme is about what inspires game developers, executives, and investors to be creative. Part of the event will focus on the inspiration cycle that is accelerating as the walls between science fiction, video games, and real-world technology come down. We don’t think there’s another conference that focuses on the seams between these industries.

This event will focus on inspiration and creativity. So much of what used to be science fiction is coming true, and it is inspiring even more accelerated visions of the future in games and other entertainment. We hope to inspire you by taking you to the moments that led to great ideas across multiple industries. You’ll leave refreshed and ready to change the worlds of gaming, technology, and more.

We think this conference will offer a rare chance for cross-pollination and networking between high-level people in different industries, and we believe that insights in one place can lead to inspirations in another.

This conference is for high-end gaming executives, startup CEOs, developers, investors, publishers, marketers, tech experts, entertainment industry professionals, sci-fi experts, AR and VR executives, and other professionals. I should also point out that this is where we try to create an actual GamesBeat community with our supporters, readers, and attendees. We gather the right people in the room and encourage everyone to get to know each other. Join us.

If you’re interested in sponsoring, message andie.rhyins@venturebeat.com. Thanks to our sponsors Samsung, Intel, Gazillion, the Canadian consolate, and Blackstorm.

Breakout sessions

  • Intersection of sci-fi, games, and tech
  • Monetization: How to acquire and retain your user base
  • Deals: Follow the money
  • Esports and community
  • Is the gaming world flat?
  • Platforms: Where to place your bets? VR, AR, and more

Advisory board

  • Sam Barlow, game developer of Her Story and creative director at Interlude
  • Michael Chang, senior vice president at NCSoft
  • Daniel Cho, chairman at Innospark
  • Jay Eum, managing director, Translink Capital
  • Clinton Foy, chairman of the Immortals and managing director at Crosscut Ventures
  • Megan Gaiser, co-CEO at Spiral Media
  • Lee Jones, global business lead Google Ads
  • Perrin Kaplan, principal at Zebra Partners
  • Roy Liu, general manager at Linekong USA
  • Wanda Meloni, executive director of the Open Gaming Alliance
  • Jamil Moledina, game strategic lead at Google Play
  • Adam Orth, founder at Three One Zero
  • Mihai Pohontu, vice president of emerging technologies at Samsung
  • Mike Sepso, cofounder of MLG and senior vice president at Activision Blizzard
  • Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors
  • Margaret Wallace, CEO of Playmatics
  • Marco DeMiroz, cofounder, The Venture Reality Fund

I’ve been writing about our theme for a while — the accelerating cycle of inspiration between tech, games, and science fiction. I interviewed Shane Wall, HP’s chief technology officer, about the connection between sci-fi and tech. The Westworld TV show also explored the seams between artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and video games.

This post is part of the PC Gaming channel, presented by the Intel® Game Dev program.
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