You might feel more optimistic about the future today than you did last year. But that’s not exactly a high bar to clear: The slog of the past 18 months has shown us that we’ve still got a few kinks to work out in this whole society thing.
That’s why we bring you RE:WIRED. Navigating the future is going to take some serious work, as well as the willingness and insight to rethink how we shape the world. Today and tomorrow—November 9 and 10—WIRED is hosting a series of sessions with some of the top thinkers on the planet (and top thinkers about the planet). We’re talking with technologists, scientists, artists, actors, and even some royalty about how to build a world that works, well into the future.
Like last year’s iteration of the conference, this is a virtual event. If you want to watch live—or participate in the Q&A—you’ll need to register here. (Don’t worry, it’s free.) Check back here for updates throughout the two-day extravaganza. There are highlights below in this post, and links out to writeups of the main events along with the full videos.
What Should the Future of AI Look Like?
Nov. 9, 11 am ET
WIRED’s global editorial director Gideon Lichfield sat down with Kai-Fu Lee, CEO of Sinovation Ventures and co-author of the book AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future to discuss his predictions for the future of artificial intelligence and how to optimize AI to align with humanity’s long term interests. Then, Lichfield spoke with Yoky Matsuoka, founder and CEO of the personal assistant service Yohana, about using data and AI to assist our lives, but not control them. Read more about this session and watch the full video here.
Designing for the Future We Want to Inhabit
Nov. 9, 12:30 pm ET
Ever seen an iPhone? A MacBook? Well, you’ve got Jony Ive to thank for that. Ive designed nearly every iconic Apple gadget of the past 20 years. Then in 2019 he left to start a design firm of his own, LoveFrom. Today, Ive talked with Conde Nast global chief content officer Anna Wintour about his creative process and how he pulls ideas for the future from the lessons of the past. Read more and watch the full video here.
Speaking Truth to Biased Algorithms
Nov. 9, 1:30 pm ET
In 2020, former Google researcher Timnit Gebru released a paper that pointed out ethical issues in a certain type of AI software that Google used in its search engine. In response, Google forced her out. Today, Gebru joined WIRED senior writer Tom Simonite to talk about the lack of diversity and oversight inside the tech industry and how to develop AI that’s beneficial to society. Read more and watch the full video here.
The Internet Lie Machine
Nov. 9, 4 pm ET
Prince Harry is no stranger to the rumor mill and has endured years of online harassment. The Duke of Sussex joined Renée DiResta, a technical research manager at Stanford Internet Observatory and Rashad Robinson, president of racial justice organization Color Of Change for a conversation about how social media drives lies, hatred, and propaganda—and how platforms can reign in the so-called super-spreaders of misinformation. This session was moderated by WIRED editor-at-large Steven Levy. Read more and watch the full video here.
Creative Problem-Solving: Leveraging Technology for Good
Nov. 9, 10 am ET
This conversation with Amy Webb, founder of the business strategy firm Future Today Institute, and Kirk Skaugen, the executive vice president of Lenovo, was moderated by WIRED’s senior global director of audience development and analytics Indu Chandrasekhar. (This session was sponsored by Lenovo.)
The mRNA Revolution: Covid-19 and Beyond
Nov. 10, 9:30 am ET
In the dark days of the pandemic, it may have seemed like Covid vaccines took forever to come out. In reality, they’re among the most rapidly developed vaccines in human history—a genuine scientific marvel. Now they may usher in an unprecedented era of vaccines for multiple diseases. In this session, WIRED senior public health writer Maryn McKenna moderates a conversation with Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, and Nahid Bhadelia, the founding director at the BU Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research (CEID).