Upgrade 2023: Join Us for Conversations About Scaling the Future

Light, Privacy, Twins, Edge, Work, Ideas, Music and More

Make no mistake, Upgrade 2023 is a live event. The annual summit hosted by NTT Research, which takes place in San Francisco, March 15-16, is emphatically in-person. Not virtual or even hybrid. If you want to see the demos and hear the experts – and some live music – you need to be there. And given the cool factor of the music (David Bowie tribute band, Sons of the Silent Age) you could say that not being there is tantamount to being square.

Upgrade 2023 is live in another sense of the word. This year’s theme is “Scaling the Future” and topics on the agenda have vital implications; the presentations will be quick and engaging; attendees should bring their attentive and alert A-game to match the top-tier thinkers, researchers, and implementers they will hear. It all begins on March 15 with a full-fledged, photonic innovation expo, focusing on the Innovative Optical Wireless Network (IOWN) initiative launched by NTT in 2019. The two-day expo will showcase progress in realizing the initiative’s bold mission, which is nothing less than transforming today’s prevalent electronic connections into a generation of low-power and highly responsive photonic connections capable of sustaining many tomorrows. 

What role does basic research play in such breakthrough innovations? That’s a question for the opening session on March 16. Moderating will be Paul Rand, VP for Communications at the University of Chicago, and host of the award-winning Big Brains podcast. Not averse to challenging topics (see for example, the Big Brains episode 104 on Why Quantum Computers Will Change our Future), Rand will be joined by representatives of academia, government, and industry in asking about how to avoid stagnation, how to balance freedom with failure, and whether fundamental research can “create an environment that champions discovery, produces more novel solutions, and spurs innovation.”

In a related, follow-up session that afternoon, Rand and representatives from business, academics and venture capital will look at how ideas move from inception to applications to scaled-up market viability. Beyond those two overview sessions, Day 2 features a series of quick, deeper dives. Please see the following topics, presenters, and previews: 

  • Privacy-Preserving Aggregate Statistics. Elette Boyle, Senior Scientist, Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab, NTT Research, will discuss how a new technology of “zero knowledge on distributed data” can enable businesses to gather necessary aggregate user statistics without being exposed to the personal data of individuals.
  • Probabilistic Estimation of Cardiovascular Bio Digital Twin Parameters. Iris Shelly, Research Scientist, Medical and Health Informatics (MEI) Lab, NTT Research, will present a method used to personalize the digital twin model that the MEI Lab is using to realize precision cardiology. 
  • Integrated Nonlinear Optics for Coherent Information Processing. Tim McKenna, Principal Scientist, Physics & Informatics (PHI) Lab, NTT Research will share recent progress with lithium niobate photonic integrated circuits, part of an alternative computing scheme that can change the game for information processing.
  • Using Attribute-Based Encryption (ABE) to Protect Privacy in Surveillance Camera Images. Pascal Mathis, Senior Software Engineer, and Jean-Philippe Cabay, Data Scientist, NTT Belgium, and winners of a recent NTT Research hackathon, will discuss a novel application of ABE.
  • Digital Workplace – Future Solutions, Experienced Today. Mary Leos, Digital Innovation and GTM, and Vishal Brown, Digital Workplace Services, NTT DATA, will discuss the creation of digital workspaces that are frictionless, proactive, and relevant.
  • Innovation at the Edge – Delivering Real Business Outcomes. Parm Sandhu, VP, Enterprise 5G Products and Services, NTT Limited, and Cédric Jarkovsky, Head of Product Development and IoT Marketing, NTT-Transatel will discuss infrastructure opportunities and provide practical use cases that leverage emerging edge technologies.
  • Truth in Sustainability. Bennett Indart, VP, NTT SMART World Solutions will present practical approaches to measuring, managing, and improving your greenhouse gas (GHG) emission profile across multiple scenarios.
  • IOWN for Sustainable Smart Worlds. Atsuko Oka, EVP, Head of Research and Development Planning, NTT. Photonic technologies enable higher performance and lower power consumption when compared to electricity-based infrastructures. This presentation will discuss the IOWN initiative’s contribution to sustainability and a smarter world. 

It’s a full plate. Attend Upgrade 2023 to feed your brain on optically driven infrastructure, new encryption technologies, precision medicine, digital workplace innovation, edge technology applications, and sustainability tactics and strategies. Plus, you’ll hear a tribute to multifaceted visionary David Bowie, one of the most persistently creative, popular musicians of the last half century, an apt artistic counterpart for this two-day consideration of scientific and technical ideas, invention and innovation.
So, are you in? If so, register here.