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10 November 2014

BT’s Connected Worlds book explores the future of collaboration

BT’s Connected Worlds book front cover

BT Tower recently played host to technologists, futurologists and distinguished guests at a talk to celebrate BT’s new book, Connected Worlds.

The book is a collection of essays and interviews exploring how connection builds innovation and community. Topics covered are as diverse as smart cities, artificial intelligence, crisis mapping and humanitarian architecture. From philanthropist Melinda Gates to smart city guru Carloand

London 2012 visionary Lord Sebastian Coe, Connected Worlds brings together a multitude of diverse and inspirational voices.

Dr Guy Hoffman, robotics expert and a key contributor to the book, presented at the BT Tower Talk event on human-robot interaction.

Robots = smart solution

“That robots are physical is one reason why they’re so successful. They offer something that no other technology has,” says Guy – recalling fascinating tales from his lab on research into how humans are adapting to robot interaction day-to-day, as opposed to the other way around.

Guy is responsible for the word’s first real-time human-robot Jazz duet. Guy argues that it won’t be long before robots offer us a smart solution to deal with some of life’s burdens.

Innovating the way we work

Dr Chris Brauer of Goldsmiths College led a panel discussion on how technology can be a force for good in today’s society. He was joined by technologist Ben Hammersley and BT’s resident futurologist Dr Nicola Millard.

The debate explored how we can use connections to boost collaboration. Ben Hammersley argues: “Technology facilitates individual getting together, allowing us to work together and accelerate finding key solutions.”

The general consensus of the evening was that true ingenuity can’t happen in a vacuum – our values of connectivity mean we can create possibilities. The more new connections that are made, the more new ideas are sparked and new inventions created.