“There’s a kind of magic in finding that your own voice has impact and the what you think, contribute or question really counts in the discussions and collaborations that spark transformation…”

SXSW Interactive Welcomed BRINK Institute as an Official Program Partner
Presenting 4 Events Over 4 Days, March 12-15, 2016

BRINK Institute presented two engaging panel sessions for SXSW Interactive March 12-15, 2016. Our first session demonstrated breakthroughs in Machine Learning, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence; and the second exploring exponential advances in Virtual Reality towards True Immersion and Presence:

The Holy Grail: Machine Learning + Extreme Robotics
SUNDAY, MARCH 13th | 3:30 PM | Austin Convention Center

BRINK Institute brought together “Sophia,’ Hanson Robotics’ state-of-the-art, most humanlike, female robot along with creator, David Hanson, visionary inventor and founder of Hanson Robotics and joining Eric Shuss, Founder of Cogbotics, manufacturer of cloud based intelligent robots for home entertainment, for an interactive conversation on the reality of advanced robotics, machine learning and cognitive sciences. Guests interacted with Sophia as “She” spontaneously tracked human faces, listened to speech and generated natural language responses while participating in dialogue about the potential of genius machines.

Stephanie Wander, Prize Specialist, XPrize Foundation (Moderator)
David Hanson, Founder Hanson Robotics
Ben Goertzel, Chief Scientist, Hanson Robotics
Eric Shuss, Cofounder Cogbotics
Introducing: SOPHIA, Hanson Robotics most humanlike genius machine

#BRINKai #Sophia #SXSW

In Pursuit of Presence: the Roadmap to True Immersion
TUESDAY, MARCH 15th | 11:00 AM | Four Seasons Hotel

Our brains interpret sensory input from the external world via electrical stimulus to create the experience of “reality.” The ultimate goal of virtual reality (VR) is to achieve a true replacement for the external world as the source of these stimuli—creating true immersion and a sense of “presence” that makes the virtual world seem as real as the physical.

Achieving “presence” in VR requires overcoming tremendous technical obstacles, as well as inventing and applying new technologies. Advances are being made in haptic, sensory and audio technologies but what do we need to close the gap between VR and true immersion, how fast can we get there and what does it mean to humanity once we arrive?

Jacqueline Bosnjak, Founder | Mach 1 Studios, Q Department
Tim Dillion, Executive Producer VR | MPC
Mike Woods, Founder & CCO | White Rabbit VR
Rebecca Howard, Independent VR Producer (Moderator)



BRINK Institute Hosted Two Exclusive* Salon Networking Events at Austin’s Acclaimed Driskill Hotel

BRINK Institute was delighted to welcome 250 guests to gather for cocktails and conversation on Saturday night to examine the potential social impact of VR Journalism. On Monday evening panelists investigated what the emerging potential of VR/AR and AI contribute to social and emotional learning, immersive healing and enhancing our own ‘human-ness’.

The evening program begans at 7:00pm and included Inspired Conversations panel program and cocktail networking session ending at 10:00PM.

Scroll down for BRINK Salon program information

Deep Impact: the AR/VR/Immersion Empathy Machine

According to VR documentary pioneers, Nonny de la Peña and Chris Milk, virtual reality represents a giant leap forward in mankind’s propensity for compassion. You don’t just walk in someone’s shoes, but see the world through their eyes.

In essence, a virtual reality headset is an empathy machine. We will explore the potential for profound social impact through documentary storytelling and VR journalism within immersive environments as a vehicle for empathy and the technological innovations emerging to make them even more effective.

BRINK was delighted to bring together the humanitarians, journalists and storytellers who are creating this amazing and compelling content, and the developers that are building the devices that will democratize its distribution.

Melissa Mahler, Founder | People Purpose Impact Magazine (Moderator)
Jake Silverstein, Editor | New York Times Magazine
Sam Dolnick, Associate Editor | New York Times Digital
Gabo Arora, Senior Advisor | United Nations
Paul Hynek, | Unofficial Cardboard
John Attard, CEO | Playing Forward, TaxiDog.edu

#VR4Good #BRINKvr

Healing Humanity: The Immersive Power of AI/AR/VR for Good 

As virtual reality storytelling evolves past empathy to impact, these companies are pioneering tangible applications of virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence that deliver real-reality results. Join us for a series of fireside chats with these innovators in their fields.

Harnessing the power and potential of AI/AR/VR, these visionaries are creating immersive human healing environments, teaching social emotional learning and crafting mechanisms for expanded human potential, while at the same time, democratizing access to this technology for global impact. In effect, the machines we’re creating are making us Better Humans.

During the BRINK Salon guests were invited to:

  • Interact with Sophia, as she responded to facial cues and answers questions
  • Experience immersive environments for healing with Reimagine Well
  • Wonder as children’s books came to life in augmented reality with Playing Forward
  • Explore the global impact of VR journalism with the United Nations
  • Visit virtual reality with individual VR viewers generously provided by Unofficial Cardboard

Melissa Mahler, Founder | People Purpose Impact Magazine (Moderator)
Roger Holzberg, Founder | Reimagine Well
John Attard, CEO | Playing Forward, TaxiDog.edu
Gabo Arora, Senior Advisor | United Nations
Paul Hynek, | Unofficial Cardboard
Michael Ronen, Cofounder | Splash
David Hanson, CEO | Hanson Robotics

Featuring SOPHIA the most Humanlike Genius Machine by Hanson Robotics

#VR4Good #BRINKvr