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Wed 14th November
Holocaust survivor and BAFTA Award winner among fascinating speakers at York TED Talk event this Friday
WHAT'S the relationship between truth and technology? Are we controlling tech, or it is it controlling us? Could Artificial Intelligence kill us?

These and other questions will be tackled in York on Friday as experts come together with global tech specialists at a TEDxYork event.

The Blurred Realities event takes place during York Business Week, and will see holocaust survivor Martin Stern, BAFTA award-winning Catherine Allen, Deputy Director at the National Museum of Singapore Jervais Choo, among others, join local businesses to explore ideas and concepts around - and potential applications for - extended reality.

Event organizer Heather Niven said: “We’re very excited to welcome experts from across the globe to discuss a range of topics with some of our top home grown VR, AI and immersive technology specialists here in York.

“The topics and themes we’ll explore include how memories are anchored, how we engage with and protect ourselves from the world around us, and how technology can affect and reflect different kinds of truth.

“We’ll learn how we can enhance our reality using our senses in different ways, for example in food and drink. And we’ll explore the opportunities and threats on the horizon from our accelerating world of immersive and virtual reality, enhanced experiences and artificial intelligence.”

Tim Leigh is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and marketing director at York-based creative construction company, Stage One. The firm has worked on projects ranging from Olympic opening ceremonies to the Mercury Music Prize and creating pieces of experimental architecture.

Tim will be leading a ‘virtual reality check’ at the TEDxYork event. He said: “Virtual reality is predicted to become a US$100 billion industry within ten years. But what if the whole premise is flawed?

“Abstraction from reality runs the risk of making people feel uneasy, because it removes the physical anchors that we use to build community and create memories. I’m interested in looking at how we use augmented reality to blur the gap between what’s real and what isn’t, and to regain a sense of shared experiences and memories.”

Andy Nye runs immersive technology studio New Moon Studios, working with brands including English Heritage, Vodafone and IBM and specialising in using new technologies to engage consumers and to solve real world problems. He will speak at the event about why people don’t care about immersive technology. He said: “Having been an evangelist for extended reality since 2012, I’ve acquired some scars and have some definite views on the future of immersive tech. In my view, people just don’t care about the technology. For extended reality applications to their potential, I believe that we need to engage audiences emotionally, and I’m looking forward to discussing this in York next week.”

The Blurred Reality TEDxYork event takes place on Friday at the Everyman Cinema in York between 9.30am and 3.30pm. It will also be live streamed via on this link: for the full story please see the York Press

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