Tuesday, October 26, 2010

TransVision 2010, October 22-24, 2010

TransVision 2010 is over! I wish to thank all speakers and participants, those who came to Milan and those who participated remotely via Teleplace. Special thanks to Kim for her work at the main Teleplace workstation and for handling many technical problems, and to Cosimo and Jacopo for their work at the HD video camera. I wish to thank the volunteer Italian to English translator (I am not mentioning your name here because I guess you prefer it this way, but you know who you are and thank you so much), who gave also a great unscheduled presentation of the Polytopia Project. And of course I also want to thank Riccardo and Stefano for their support in organizing and running the conference. In particular Stefano should really have stayed at home to recover from recent surgery, but he made a special effort to be with us.

In the first two pictures, Dan Massey and Max More giving their talks. In the foreground, the Terasem 1 O'Neill Island One Space Habitat, a Bernal sphere model built by Simon Deering for the Terasem Movement of Martine Rothblatt and presented at TV10 by Khannea Suntzu. The model is now on its way to Florida to be delivered to the Terasem Movement. We had many great talks, not only about visionary technologies but also about literature, politics, philosophy and art. The second half of the first day has been dedicated to Italian neo-Futurist literary and artistic movement, but strike neo- because Futurism is always Neo by definition. I have been disappointed by not seeing as many people as I hoped: I counted about 65 participants in Milan over 3 days including a dog. The problem is that participating in conferences costs money and time, and in my own presentation (which I shortened to less than ten minutes to make time for other speakers) I proposed online conferences 2.0 as a solution.

We had about 30 remote participants in the in the TVirtual online extension of TransVision 2010, hosted by the teleXLR8 project based on the Teleplace online telepresence platform. Remote participants have been able to watch all talks in realtime, and interact with speakers and other participants. In the picture above, Max More's talk is shown to remote participants in Teleplace, and the virtual Teleplace conference hall is shown to the participants in Milan. We used two Teleplace workstations, one to stream the video and voice of the speaker and to interact with remote participants, and one to stream the speaker's slides. Lesson learned: if the text on the slides is small it is better to upload also the original .ppt or .pdf to Teleplace. We did this in realtime during the conference, but we should have done it in advance. For those speakers without presentations in .ppt or .pdf, we used the second Teleplace workstation to show the audience in Milan to the audience in Teleplace.

In the afternoon of the second day we have reversed the procedure outlined above and shown remote talks from speakers in Teleplace to the audience in Milan. After great talks by Eugen Leitl and Robert Geraci, Natasha Vita-More started her talk (picture above)... but 20 minutes into Natasha's talk all the Internet connections in the conference hall in Milan died, perhaps due to overload caused by too many WiFi connections in parallel (about 10 participants were using the hotel's WiFi connection). The Internet service provider's technicians could not fix the problem. The remote participants in Teleplace continued without us, and we have video recordings of the talks by remote speakers. However, all remote speakers have been invited to repeat their talks to the teleXLR8 community.

In the morning of the third day, not only the Internet connections in the conference hall were still dead, but also the screen projection system was dead! I had a (very) heavy-handed "exchange of views" with the hotel's personnel (wife says I can be quite unpleasant on occasions), and the technical problems were fixed.

This was a very interesting event, with great talks by great speakers. I am happy to have seen again many old friends and made many new ones. In the picture above, some speakers and participants at a dinner after the end of the conference. I was not really able to pay attention to any of the talks including my own, and I look forward to watching the video coverage. We recorded everything on video, both in HD with the cameras on site, and from Teleplace. The videos will be available online and on the conference's DVD proceedings. The videos recorded in Teleplace will be available online in a few days, and those recorded on site in a few weeks.

I have started two blog posts as containers and index pages for material to be posted later. Both posts have the same title as this one. The post on the TransVision 2010 blog will have links to the HD videos recorded in Milan, and the post on the teleXLR8 blog has links to the videos recorded in Teleplace. The Twitter feed created by participants at #TV2010 has the twitting history of the conference.

UPDATE - (almost) full video coverage recorded in Teleplace.
UPDATE - Transhumanist Science, Futurist Art, Telepresence and Cosmic Visions of the Future at TransVision 2010 @ KurzweilAI