Dawn or Doom conference book available, organizing committee taking speaking and collaboration proposals

Cover of the Dawn or Doom 2016-'17 book.

Purdue’s Dawn or Doom conference on emerging technology risks and rewards has released its biennial book, which highlights speakers and events at Dawn or Doom 2016 and '17.

The colorful book showcases presentations by Purdue faculty researchers and featured guest speakers such as author Dave Eggers and WIRED Editor-in-Chief Nick Thompson, along with real-time graphical illustrations of the talks created by the Ink Factory. The book, titled “Dawn or Doom '16 & '17: The Risks and Rewards of Emerging Technologies,” should be available through Amazon.

In addition to the book release, Dawn or Doom organizers are seeking proposals from potential speakers and from campus groups with concurrent events that might work in collaboration with Dawn or Doom. If you have a speaker, event or project that could benefit from partnering with Dawn or Doom 2018 contact Diana Hancock at hancockd@purdue.edu.

The tentative tracks for the 2018 Dawn or Doom conference include:

  • Psychological and health effects of the internet and related technologies
  • Ethical use of Big Data and privacy
  • Bioengineering and human design
  • Autonomous vehicles and drones
  • Space and Mars habitats
  • Cybersecurity
  • Artificial intelligence and robotics

Celebrating its fifth anniversary Nov. 5-6, Dawn or Doom is designed to create a dialogue about the effects of rapidly emerging technologies, addressing major questions on the horizon like: Will artificial intelligence surpass human intelligence, and what happens then? What is the future of work if AIs and robots can do it all for us? What happens when all of our devices, homes, appliances, vehicles and other things are connected to the internet? Do we really want to design our children from the genes up? The Dawn or Doom book captures the wide variety of questions conference speakers address, using text and pictures and including audience tweets from each talk, as well as the Ink Factory’s illustrations.

“The book really encapsulates the Dawn or Doom experience,” says Gerry McCartney, executive vice president for information technology and chief information officer, who heads the conference. “Dawn or Doom is about asking big questions and not just looking at one way to answer them. The book includes visual representations, audience riffs on the topic and quotes from the speakers themselves.”

The conference on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus attracted more than 6,000 participants in 2017. McCartney says cross-campus collaborations and the diversity of topics, speakers and audience members helps pique interest in Dawn or Doom.

One new collaboration already is on tap for 2018. The Purdue Student Engineering Foundation hosts the yearly Engineering Expo for high school students to expose them to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers and education. The engineering foundation saw Dawn or Doom as an engaging channel for its event.

Jonathan Lemke, a junior in mechanical engineering and the expo’s coordinator, says Dawn or Doom speakers bring to life technical topics that might otherwise be tedious.

“The theme of this year’s expo is disaster relief engineering, which is a good fit with Dawn or Doom,” Lemke says. “Dawn or Doom makes the abstract real to its audience, which is what we’re trying to do with the expo.”

Writer: Kirsten Gibson, technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), 765-494-8190, gibson33@purdue.edu

Last updated: March 5, 2018