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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

4-4-06

Contacts:

James Oliver, Human Computer Interaction, (515) 294-2649

Karen Gulbrandsen, Human Computer Interaction, (515) 294-3092

Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917

Computer forum features hall-of-fame inventor, student demonstrations

AMES, Iowa -- Want to really experience music? Try watching it with a little help from virtual reality.

Need to learn to paint a tractor? Watch virtual reality make the training easier.

Heard about artificial intelligence? See a demonstration of artificial curiosity.

And then hear what Ray Kurzweil -- inventor, author and businessman -- has to say about merging biology with technology to boost human intelligence and capacity.

It's all part of this spring's HCI Forum: Designing Interaction 2006. The annual forum sponsored by Iowa State's Virtual Reality Applications Center will be 1-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, in Iowa State's Howe Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Kurzweil will deliver the forum's keynote address, "When Humans Transcend Biology," at 2 p.m. in the Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium (Room 1144 of Howe Hall). He'll also be available to sign his latest book, "The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology," from 3:30-4 p.m. in the first floor lobby of Howe Hall.

Kurzweil is credited with inventing the first music synthesizer that could recreate the sounds of a grand piano, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer and other technologies using artificial intelligence. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002. He won the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the nation's largest award for innovation, in 2000. And he received the National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest technology honor, from President Clinton in 1999.

But Kurzweil won't be the only original thinker at the forum. Iowa State graduate students will show off their developments in human computer interaction from 1-2 p.m. in Howe Hall's lower atrium. Lewis Hill will demonstrate how he's creating a virtual, multi-sensory world driven by music. Steven Pautz will show how he's developing virtual painting technology to help Deere & Company train new painters. And Tyler Streeter will demonstrate artificial curiosity with a digital creature that explores its 3-D environment.

Another 11 students will demonstrate their technologies during the showcase. And about 40 students will display poster exhibits of their research projects.

Here is the full schedule of the HCI Forum: Designing Interaction 2006 on Wednesday, April 12, in Iowa State's Howe Hall:

  • 1-2 p.m., Technology Showcase featuring hands-on student demonstrations, the lower atrium

  • 2-3:30 p.m., Ray Kurzweil will present "When Humans Transcend Biology," the Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium (Room 1144 of Howe Hall)

  • 3:30-4 p.m., Kurzweil will sign copies of his latest book, "The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology," (copies of the book will be available for purchase), first-floor lobby

  • 3:30-5 p.m., Poster presentations of student research projects, lower atrium

  • More information: http://www.hci.iastate.edu/FORUM06/

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Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil

Quick look

The HCI Forum: Designing Interaction 2006 will be 1-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, in Iowa State's Howe Hall. The forum will showcase student work in human computer interaction and the thinking of inventor, author and businessman Ray Kurzweil.

bookcover

Quote

"Anyone can grasp Mr. Kurzweil's main idea: that mankind's technological knowledge has been snowballing, with dizzying prospects for the future."

Janet Maslin, writing in a New York Times review of Kurzweil's latest book, "The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology"