Ars Frontiers is next week – here’s what’s planned at our first conference

Ars Frontiers is next week - here's what's planned at our first conference

Aurich Lawson

As we noted a few weeks ago with our announcement postwe are fast approaching the date of Borders of Ars, our inaugural one-day conference. The event will take place next week, May 12, in Washington, DC.

We will explore the interconnectedness of innovation, examining how the things that change our world are connected. Peering into our crystal balls, we’ll also try to answer a very pressing question: can we still generate explosive growth in these areas while prioritizing ethical technology and sustainability?

Because conversation fosters innovation, we’ve assembled a room full of subject matter experts in fields such as human spaceflight, machine learning, information security and biosciences to help us predict . At Frontiers, Ars Technica writers will sit down and interact with these experts, and we’d love to have you on board for the journey. More details on how to request an invitation to join us in person can be found at the end of this announcement.

Here’s an updated list of who’s coming and what’s going on.

The road to Ars Frontières

The week of the event, we’ll be kicking things off with a series of streaming virtual chats taking place May 9-11. These streams will be free for everyone to watch online, and we’ll be sure to promote them. here and on social media as they approach.

One of our Road to Frontiers virtual streams will focus on crypto and privacy, featuring Lesley Carhart, Director of Incident Response for North America at Dragos. Carhart’s feed will set the stage for the conference and help us meet security challenges in an increasingly connected world.

We’ll also be spending time with the founder of iFixit Kyle Wienswho will sit down with Ars Senior Product Expert Scharon Harding to talk about the importance of right to repair for the electronics we have. The “right to repair” is a key freedom in the digital age, and ensuring that equipment owners continue to have the right to tinker with the things they own is crucial to ensuring consumer freedom.

The main event

Our in-person conference will take place in Washington, DC on Thursday, May 12, and will feature a series of panel discussions moderated by Ars Technica editors. Each panel will bring together a set of recognized industry experts to discuss a topic in a fireside chat or panel format, and audience participation will be encouraged.

Cryptography and Privacy

We will have two different panels focusing on IT security, both moderated by Ars Security Editor Emeritus Sean Gallagher. The first is titled “Redefining Privacy in a Transparent World” and will examine how society should balance the desire of companies to monetize private information with the privacy needs of individuals and institutions. This panel will feature the EFF General Counsel Kurt Opsahlsecurity researcher Runa Sandvik, and ACLU Senior Policy Analyst Jay Stanley.

Security and Cyberwar

Our second infosec panel, also hosted by Gallagher, is called “Making Information Security Personal” and will examine what “information security” means in a world where everyone carries a handheld supercomputer at all times. moment. This panel of industry experts will include Cisco’s Chief Advisory CISOs Wendy Nathansecurity researcher Vineetha Paruchuriand SCYTHE’s Vice President of Operations Liz Wharton.

machine learning

I’ll sit down for a fireside chat with a data scientist Dr Nashlie Sephus, who specializes in identifying biases in AI/ML, to discuss the future of machine learning and some of the most important considerations as ML develops. We will primarily focus on examining the steps needed to expand access to machine learning. The digital divide is very real and we must ensure that AL/ML remains affordable and usable by all.

Commercial space

After a brief break for refreshments, we’ll be back with a pair of panels moderated by Ars space editor Eric Berger. First, he’ll sit down with the former NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver to discuss the role that commercial space will play in the coming decades, not only in the exploration of space, but also in the protection of the Earth. In public surveys, studying our changing planet consistently ranks among Americans’ top priorities for NASA, and the agency spends more than $2 billion a year on Earth science. This scientific enterprise seeks to identify changes in the climate and surface of the planet in order to better inform decision-makers. In recent years, the rise of commercial space companies has greatly increased the remote sensing work done by NASA.

Orbital debris

Next, Berger will address the topic of protecting low Earth orbit from space debris. This problem has become increasingly acute with the combination of an ever-increasing number of satellites and recent anti-satellite demonstration tests. Today, there is more debris and more satellites than ever before trying to avoid it in the precious space above Earth’s atmosphere. This panel will discuss the problem of debris, solutions the US government can implement, and the urgent need to work internationally to preserve this common space. The discussion will feature Quality Analytics Senior Analyst Caleb HenrySatellite Industry Association senior policy director Therese Jonesand U.S. Vice President of Global Space Policy and Government Relations of Astroscale Weeden Charity.


Ars Senior Editor Jennifer Ouellette will chair our climate panel. To face a somewhat precarious contextOuellette will discuss with the climatologist Michael Mann and Ars Senior Science Editor Dr. John Timmer on the world we are creating for ourselves and how we will leave it for the next generation. We know the broad outlines of how to manage climate change: reduce emissions and increase efficiency, and our panel will discuss some of the difficult details of this transition.

One of the biggest challenges will be how quickly we need to act to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. But that speed will have to be weighed against our ability to ensure that efficient, renewable technologies are sustainably built and their benefits spread to the poor and those in developing economies.

Hope to see you there

The afternoon will be loaded with programming and the number of places is limited. Given COVID, in-person attendance will be limited to 150 people, which gives us a pretty intimate affair. (COVID restrictions will be in effect.) There’s still time to request an invite, so if you’re interested, please fill out the form below. We will contact as many people on the list as possible with invitations.

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