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Notes From The Harvest Summit: Global Warming and AI

Sonoma vineyard

On Friday (11/10), I attended the Harvest Summit, at the La Crema wine estate in the Russian River Valley of California. I promised subsequent posts to share some of what I learned. You can find other posts about the event by scanning through my blog at johnpatrick.com.

After the discussions about Crisis Management, which I commented on in the prior post, Louie Schwartzberg, Director, Producer, and Cinematographer, gave an emotional presentation about harnessing clean energy to create a healthier world, and what we may wake up to one day if we don’t take action quickly. He then put his video skills where his mouth is and showed a stunning ultra-high-definition time-lapse video showing the environment and impact of global warming around the world. If a picture is worth 1000 words, Louie’s works will leave you breathless. You can see a library of his work here. A few of us spoke with Louie at a break and asked him about Elon Musk’s and Stephen Hawking’s view we will need to escape to Mars and other planets to avoid the apocalypse ahead. Louie’s answer was, “Why wait. We can fix the problems here on Earth.” 

Next up was Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI and how it is transforming our lives at home and at work is a topic I expect to be on the agenda of conferences on every field of endeavor around the world. Marlene Jia, COO at TopBots, a corporate strategy and research firm helping Fortune 500 executives with AI, interviewed Yoky Matsuoka, CTO at Nest, the smart thermostat company. Yoky offered the most clear and cogent explanation I have heard about what AI is all about. Yoky, born in Japan, has a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT. She has worked at Apple, Google, and other tech companies. Hearing her speak demonstrates why she is in such high demand. I was impressed she acknowledged everyone does not want their smart thermostat to know their daily habits and make independent decisions about temperature settings. In Home Attitude: Everything You Need To Know To Make Your Home Smart, I wrote it is possible for your home to be too smart. I spoke with Yoky about this later and she has a keen understanding of the point.

Stay tuned for more thoughts from the Harvest Summit.

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