One hundred and forty curious minds gathered on Saturday, February 25 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Saratoga for the Second Annual Faith and Innovation Conference. Attendees explored the question, “What kind of a world do we want to live in?”  Shannon Vallor, professor of Philosophy at Santa Clara and author of Technology and the Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting, taught what “a contemporary practical wisdom for living well with emerging technologies” looks like.

Artificial Intelligence was the emerging technology of our conference. Mark Johnson, CEO of Descartes Labs in Los Alamos, explained the growing edges of AI and how it is helping to predict and hopefully resolve global issues of hunger and drought. As fast as we are trying to catch up with the developments of innovation, he noted, the law is scrambling just as fast. Stephen Wu, partner of Silicon Valley Law Group, explained where the law still needs to grow as many of these technologies become commonplace. The panel discussions between the three presenters brought out the differences between the tech community and those outside. All three indicated that the result of how we use these emerging technologies is completely up to us.

Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves, along with Father Tim Clancy, professor at Gonzaga University, and Robert Cuzick, Buddhist and teacher of compassion training, explored what the faith community has to teach the tech community and what the tech community can teach in return.

Plans for a mid-year conference are underway. The third annual Faith and Innovation conference will be February 24, 2018. Please mark your calendars and join us. For further information, please contact Channing Smith at 408-867-3493.