The Singularity University/CNBC Exponential Finance conference will take place Tuesday in New York City. While it is currently sold out, here is the conference agenda:
Oh, great. Another tech conference. Just what we need. Not!
Another conference on all the amazing "disruptive" technologies that are going to change our lives: Artificial intelligence, robotics, big data analytics, genomics.
There is now a small army of professional futurists who are telling us how fabulous our lives are going to be, how much more efficient, faster, productive, and, well just more cool, than the past ever was.
There is also a small army of start-ups that usually consist of millennials who are stunningly confident they can "disrupt" the medical world, the financial world, the legal world.
And why shouldn't they be confident? They are too young to have known failure, and if they are sufficiently possessed of a modestly cool idea they will have soon have a cadre of middle-aged venture capitalists courting them.
What's missing from this picture? What's missing is the medical industry, the legal industry, the financial industry.
There are plenty of smart people at these large institutions who can see what's going on, and they are not lumbering dinosaurs.
They all have their own ideas about what the future will look like, and none of them are sitting around waiting to be "disrupted" by a group of millennials half their age.
That's what this conference aims to do, bring together disruptors with the firms they would like to disrupt: the JP Morgans or the RBCs or the Citibanks.
I'll be speaking with two banking futurists—Gavin Michael, head of digital for consumer and community banking at Chase, and Linda Mantia, head of digital, cards and payments for RBC, on the future of mobile payments, wearables, and far smarter credit cards.
Another area ready for innovation is the consumer investment space, everything from traditional full service on one end, to DIY on the other end.
Much of the action is in-between, with roboadvisors and those who want more personal service—but at a lower cost—all competing.
The key: technology enables you to provide more services at a lower costs.
I'll be speaking with two innovators in this field, both recipients of the 2014 CNBC Disruptor List: Bill Harris, CEO of Personal Capital, and Hardeep Walia, of Motif Investing.
Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain revolution will also be a key focus of the conference. The secure transfer of digital assets is promising to disrupt financial transactions, the real estate industry, stock settlement—anything that requires secure transfer of digital assets.
Blythe Masters, who left JPMorgan last year after holding several senior positions, including running the bank's commodity business and serving as CFO of the investment bank, and now heads up Digital Asset Holdings, will discuss how blockchain technology can: 1) reduce the cost of maintaining the infrastructure involved in transactions, 2) reduce systemic risk, and 3) improve the security and resilience of the financial system.
1)Brett King, American Banker's Innovator of the Year, will discuss the future of banking and how most banks will become technology companies in the next decade.
2) Machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence are at the heart of disruptive technologies. Neil Jacobstein, who co-chairs the artificial intelligence and robotics track at Singularity University, will tie all three together and show how these three disciplines are impacting stock trading, investment analysis, and consumer science.
3) Dan Nadler, founder of Kensho, will discuss how big-data analytics is disrupting not just the world of stock investing (Disclosure: NBC Universal is an investor) and uncovering hitherto hidden relationships, but also how its disrupting the news business, the music and movie business, and the retail industry.
4) Marc Goodman, author of the new book "Future Crimes" will give us an overview of the digital underground and how a vast army working for criminals, corporations and countries are using all the technologies discussed here and what may be the ultimate solution for cybertheft.
5) No Singularity University event would be complete without an appearance by its founder, Dr. Peter Diamandis, chairman of the XPRIZE, and Ray Kurzweil, currently a director of engineering at Google, where he leads a team developing machine intelligence.
Ray and I will discuss the latest developments in AI research and the recent dustup over Elon Musk's comment that higher-than-human machine intelligence could imperil mankind.