An insider’s peek at TC Sessions: Robotics & AI

We are not quite ready to announce the agenda for TechCunch’s April 18 robotics and AI show at UC Berkeley, but anyone who has been watching the speaker announcements is bound to be just a bit excited. Here’s a quick sneak peek at the soon-to-be-announced agenda.

Robotics & AI investor panel

For founders eager to know what’s on investors’ minds, there is an all-star robotics and AI investor panel that includes Peter Barrett from Playground Global, Helen Liang from FoundersX Ventures, Andy Wheeler from GV and Hidetaka Aoki from Global Brain. Not only will a TechCrunch editor grill these investors onstage, but there will be a separate and longer Q&A session where attendees can ask questions to figure out where VCs are focusing their funds.

AI – Understanding the unfathomable world

For anyone trying to fathom the nearly unfathomable world of AI, there is a remarkable session featuring, respectively, Dartmouth and UC Berkeley professors Hany Farid and Alexei Efros, who are two of the world’s leading authorities on the use of AI and computer vision to create live video of things that, well, never happened. Their work was featured in a remarkable New Yorker piece (“In the Age of A.I., Is Seeing Still Believing?”)

The future of human & robot interaction

In the robotics field, one of the toughest frontiers is human-robot interaction, which brings together just about every aspect of AI and robotics. UC Berkeley’s Interact Lab leader Anca Dragan, Affectiva co-founder Rana el Kaliouby and SoftBank Robotics HRI lead Matt Willis will convene for a panel discussion focused on the state of HRI today and where breakthroughs will come tomorrow.

Building a robotics startup

Building a startup is always a big theme at every TechCrunch event, and no less so when the subject is robotics, a notoriously unforgiving category for founders. Melonee Wise is CEO of five-year-old Fetch Robotics, which has raised $48 million. Manish Kothari is president of SRI Ventures and former director of SRI’s robotics program. Nima Keivan is the CTO and co-founder of four-year-old Canvas Technology, which has raised $15 million. Wise and Keivan will discuss how they got this far, and Kothari will share lessons he learned guiding many robotics founders forward. They will be available for audience questions in a separate Q&A after their session on the main stage.

These sessions should get us about halfway through… the morning! There is so much more we have yet to announce, including speakers, demos, workshops and more. And for the first time, we’ll also unfold CrunchMatch at this show, our highly successful app-based system to help attendees network and set up meetings. No one will have trouble finding interesting, like-minded folks to meet.

Early-bird tickets will stay on sale for only two more weeks. Book your $249 ticket today and save $100 before prices go up. Students, get a major discount with student tickets going for only $45 — book here.

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