Dawn or Doom
Dawn or Doom: the new technology revolution

The 2014 Presentations are available online.

View them now.

Watch for Dawn or Doom 2 Coming Fall 2015!

Dawn or Doom: The New Technology Explosion

Thank you for making the “Dawn or Doom: The New Technology Explosion” conference a huge success!

The 2014 presentations are now available online. See the videos now.

Browse the artist's graphic summaries of the talks as well as the lecturer's PowerPoint presentations that were available to share. These materials are openly accessible and entirely free! We hope you enjoy viewing the lectures, slides and graphic summaries.

Share your thoughts on Twitter @DawnorDoom.

2014 Conference

We are in the midst of an explosion of technology and knowledge. Google CEO Eric Schmidt famously said that we now create as much information in two days as humans did from the beginning of history to 2003. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, and data science promise to bring a new dawn of discoveries to improve society—while others are concerned about unforeseen consequences or malicious uses.

Just the speed at which information is developed and used to convert disruptive technologies and businesses raises questions, such as:

  • Is technology moving too fast for effective governmental legislation?
  • What are the risks and benefits associated with technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence, and do we know enough about each science to provide adequate answers?
  • Will corporations replace universities and governments as the organizing platform for innovation and progress? If so, what does this mean for citizens?

To investigate these questions, Purdue will host a one-day seminar on the benefits and risks surrounding some of the technologies that are both the most disruptive to current practices and being adopted the fastest. This seminar will present interdisciplinary discussions examining the research, opportunities, challenges, and questions brought about by the increasingly rapid rate of technological change.

A collection of Purdue faculty experts from all colleges will showcase their many perspectives related to this technology explosion, explore conditions that will foster innovation and investment into the next generation, and address the big-picture issues where both optimism and pessimism are warranted.

Additionally, this conference will examine ideas presented in Barrat’s book Our Final Invention, which asks, “Are ‘thinking’ computers the dawn of a bright future or the harbingers of doom for the human race?” The question of “Dawn or Doom?” will be applied to all areas of study at Purdue, and lectures will examine the question as it relates to such topics as machine intelligence exceeding human intelligence, the growth of nanotechnology, intelligent robotics, and emerging biotechnology.

Graphic Recording

Artists will be in each session recording the presentations as they happen.


Dawn or Doom speakers include:

  • James Barrat, author of Our Final Invention and documentary filmmaker
  • Jennifer Neville, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Statistics
  • David Hummels, Professor of Economics
  • 20 Purdue Faculty members presenting thought provoking, interactive talks on the technology explosion from their areas of expertise


Now in its fourth year, Dawn or Doom enables open-minded and thoughtful consideration of the potential risks and rewards posed by rapid, disruptive and seemingly continuous technological change that may be moving faster than our ability to understand it. The conference on Purdue’s West Lafayette, Ind., campus Sept. 26 and 27, 2017, is free and open to the public. Dawn or Doom '17 is directed by Purdue CIO and Oesterle Professor of Information Technology, Gerry McCartney, with the generous assistance of corporate sponsors.

If you’d like to be a sponsor of the event please contact Diana Hancock at hancockd@purdue.edu.