Future Technology Risks and Rewards
Free Conference Event
Oct 3 and 4, 2016


We are in the midst of an explosion of technology and knowledge.

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, facial recognition, Internet surveillance, and data science promise to bring a new dawn of safety and insights to improve society—while simultaneously raising legitimate questions about unforeseen consequences or malicious uses.

Just the speed at which new technologies are being developed and introduced prompts us to ask:

  • Is technology moving faster than our ability to understand it?
  • Will technologies such as big data, Internet surveillance, robotics, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology provide the solutions society's largest problems and usher in a new era of security and convenience? Or will these technologies put our jobs or personal wellbeing at risk?
  • Is virtual reality an expensive toy or a disruptive technology?
  • Is public policy effectively dealing with new technologies, or is the tech world moving too fast for effective legislation and regulation?

These are the questions discussed at the two-day conference at Purdue University, " Dawn or Doom 2016: The Risks and Rewards of the New Technology Explosion."

At the event, Purdue faculty experts and leading national authorities will present their perspectives on the current technology explosion, explore conditions that will foster innovation and investment into the next generation of technology, and address the big-picture issues where both excitement and alarm are appropriate responses.


In addition, in 2016 we are pleased to offer four additional conference events:

Outdoor Movie Night

Free Movie Showing - "Jurassic World" (BYOBlanket or Chair)

Date & Time Sunday, October 2 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Location Purdue Memorial Union - Front Lawn

Description Bring your own blanket! (Rain location is Loeb Hall) A new theme park is built on the original site of Jurassic Park. Everything is going well until the park's newest attraction--a genetically modified giant stealth killing machine--escapes containment and goes on a killing spree. PG-13 | 2h 4min Director: Colin Trevorrow Writers: Rick Jaffa (screenplay), Amanda Silver (screenplay) | 5 more credits » Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins

Writing about technology panel discussion

Panel discussion: "Writing About Technology"

An argument can be made that all journalism now is tech journalism, and perhaps the same can be said for much of today's non-fiction writing. Technology has become so pervasive and ubiquitous in the modern industrialized world that almost any subject will have a tech component.

Do you need to speak geek to write about technology? Is the ability to speak geek enough?

Join a few of the nation's leading tech journalists as they discuss what it takes to write about technology well, and future considerations for those interested in writing about technology and its place in our lives.

Dawn or Doom writing contest

Dawn or Doom art exhibit

Robot Futures Artifact Display

Robot Futures is an exhibition of student work from the course AD41700 Robots, Art and Culture, taught collaboratively by Fabian Winkler (Associate Professor, Department of Art and Design / Electronic and Time-Based Art) and Dr. Justin Seipel (Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering).

The artifacts in this exhibition were created by an interdisciplinary group of students with backgrounds ranging from art and design to computer science and engineering fields in the first three weeks of the Fall 2015 semester. They are sketches that investigate critically the “risks and rewards” of emerging robotic technologies and speculate on future narratives and realities they foreshadow. Rather than providing concrete answers or solutions, Robot Futures invites viewers to see robotic technologies as important reflections of our own culture and ask questions about their future socio-technological impact.

Art Exhibit "Discontinuities, Dreams and Diversions"

Discontinuities, Dreams and Diversions features art and design work that critically investigates realities of technology in contemporary culture and provocatively asks questions about the possible futures they foreshadow. Are they desirable? Can they be changed? What are forms of participation? The exhibition title suggests that technology and culture cannot be interpolated linearly into the future but that they are rather shaped by constant ruptures and complex interactions which are cleverly revealed in the work of the invited artists.


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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.



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