Microsoft and Google visionaries look ahead together

The future may be unwritten, but that doesn't stop visionaries from Microsoft, Google and Twitter from imagining it. On November 14th, they'll be gathering at the University of Maryland to share ideas and talk to students about what the future holds for information, MSNBC reports.

Attendees will include Mary Czerwinski, who leads research on human-computer interaction and information visualization at Microsoft, Dan Russel, Google's 'director of user happiness,' behind efforts to make search more effective, and Abdur Chowdhury, Twitter's former chief scientist. The trio will be appearing on Maryland Public TV, and a radio appearance, in addition to four on-campus programs.

The event marks the launch of the Future of Information Alliance (FIA) at the University of Maryland, which the University created as “a catalyst for trans disciplinary networking and research,” in their own words. In layman's terms, they'll be bringing in futurists from leading tech companies to discuss what they envision for the future, offering grants to faculty, staff and students, and creating an online community where people from all walks of life can come together and work to figure out better ways of finding, using, and sharing information.

 

This will ideally involve tight integration with social media platforms, particularly Twitter, which steals the spotlight on their website. They've set up their own Twitter feed to share diverse information on... information. To them, information entails everything from textbooks to Xbox.

 

Although they have managed to get speakers from three of the titans of computing, it isn't exactly clear just what the FIA is supposed to be. They don't say how they intend to find better ways of tackling information, or how people from different industries are supposed to work together to get there. While it's certainly possible for a group of people to get together and discuss how the software that they use every day could be made better, it's hard to say exactly how the FIA plans to actually do anything with the results of their brainstorming sessions.

 

Image courtesy of FIA

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