A Race Against the Machines

Not a race against the machines, but a race with them - from quantum computing to genetic sequencing, how powerful emerging technologies will create new commercial and societal tools and opportunities. In her keynote, futurist Sophie Hackford will explore how we might outsource major life decisions to avatars, having them interview for jobs, collaborate with colleagues (and strangers), try medical treatments, on our behalf. Sophie will explore how fully autonomous 'non-human' companies will participate in the economy, buying and selling services or skills. She will discuss how a new quantum computing architecture might solve some classical computing bottlenecks, and enable us to ask new types of questions of the machines. She will also propose that we will soon be using genetic information to make business decisions.

Keynote Video


Sophie Hackford
Sophie Hackford
Sophie is a futurist whose research entails meeting weirdos and troublemakers in off-the-beaten-track labs, makerspaces, garages around the globe - Shenzhen, Seoul, Detroit, Mumbai. As part of her research, she consults for exec teams and boards of large companies on understanding the explosive new technologies defining the new economy. Sophie is also CEO of a data and AI company, 1715 Labs, that she's currently spinning out of the Astrophysics department at Oxford University with her academic co-founder. This follows a career building businesses for WIRED magazine, for Singularity University at the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, and prior to California, the interdisciplinary Oxford Martin School at Oxford University, where Sophie raised more than $120m of research investment.