2023 Emerging Tech

Emerging Tech brings together public interest advocates, policymakers, and companies to discuss the promise, pitfalls, and policy implications of cutting-edge tech.

Public Knowledge hosts Emerging Tech to bring together public interest advocates, policymakers, and companies on the cutting edge of technology. The event helps inform policymakers about the promise, potential pitfalls, and policy implications of fast-moving tech dominating headlines and impacting our society in new ways. Sign up to be notified to register for Emerging Tech 2024 here.

We invite industry experts from across the country to join us for an all-day discussion as well as a reception and tech showcase, where guests can experience the latest technologies first-hand and get to know the people driving the next iteration of the internet.

In 2023, the event focused on generative AI, XR technologies, and the decentralized web. Science fiction novelist, journalist, and technology activist Cory Doctorow keynoted the event. Doctorow recently released his book, “Chokepoint Capitalism,” on how both Big Tech and Big Content captured creative labor markets — and how we can win them back. Doctorow proposed that the best way to stop the internet’s long decline into “five giant websites, each filled with screenshots of the other four,” is to restore power to users. Doctorow explained that doing so creates a web where “we freely choose our online services from a wide menu and stay with them because we like them, not because we can’t afford to leave.” Learn more about this topic in his Electronic Frontier Foundation blog post.

Speakers from Unanimous AI, Mozilla, XR Association, and Stanford University joined Public Knowledge moderator and Competition Policy Director Charlotte Slaiman in a conversation on Warring Worlds: Competition and Openness in XR. Panelists discussed the potentials, pitfalls, and policies that lawmakers, innovators, and consumer groups need to consider as they delve into the world of XR. You can watch the panel here.

Speakers from Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, and Harvard Kennedy School joined Internet Archive moderator and Director of Partnerships Wendy Hanamura in a conversation on Decentralizing the Web Stack: Can It Fix Some of Our Biggest Problems? Panelists discussed the capabilities of a decentralized web stack and challenges to large-scale, open source digital networks. You can watch the panel here.

Speakers from OpenAI, SeedAI, Aspen Digital, and Latham & Watkins joined Public Knowledge moderator and Policy Counsel Nicholas Garcia in a conversation on Demystifying Generative AI: Understanding the Tech To Make Better Policy. Panelists discussed the fundamentals of this groundbreaking tech, as well as how we might regulate its powerful potential. You can watch the panel here.

Multiple companies and organizations joined the event to showcase some of the latest technology discussed in the panels. This showcase gives guests the opportunity to experience these emerging technologies directly so they can begin grasping both the practical and policy potential of these devices and how they might impact our society. You can glimpse the tech showcase here.

In 2023, we were joined by:

Dope Nerds, a Baltimore-based small business that exhibited VR hardware that featured immersive edu-tainment experiences on-the-go presented by founder Ursula Spencer.

Google, which demonstrated its augmented reality (AR) application Google Lens that uses a mobile device’s camera and computer vision to extend search to the world around you as well as Bard, the company’s generative AI assistant that operates similarly to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

OpenAI, creators of the popular ChatGPT powered by a new GPT4 model, which demonstrated its flagship tool driving much of the excitement around generative AI.

Project Liberty, which featured a decentralized social media platform called “MeWe” that uses a Decentralized Social Networking Protocol (DSNP) developed to power the new generation of decentralized social media applications allowing users to easily communicate with each other.

XR Association (XRA), which exhibited virtual reality (VR) hardware that enabled attendees to jump into immersive experiences, including the frenetic rhythm game Beat Saber and even Meta’s flagship VR social application Horizon Worlds.

Reach out to Michele Ambadiang, our Events and Development Manager, to sponsor this event, join the panel discussions, or participate in the tech showcase in 2024 to share your own world-changing technology. View our YouTube channel to experience more of this momentous event. You may also sign up to be notified when it’s time to register for Emerging Tech 2024.