USC Marshall Hosts First Summit on Future of Tech and Entertainment

USC Marshall Hosts

On Thursday, March 23 at Shutters Beach in Santa Monica, over 400 people gathered to celebrate leaders in fields vital to Southern California’s thriving entertainment industry. These fields included: Augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, digital media, gaming and e-sports. The summit featured robots, holograms and a variety of other unique tech displays.

SCALE: The Future of Tech and Entertainment is a summit co-founded and co-hosted by USC Marshall’s Lloyd Grief Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and journalism.

Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Robert Iger even made an appearance at the event. Iger spoke to enthusiasts and fellow tech pioneers about the importance of technology in advancing Disney’s brand, and how he has leveraged technological advances to reach consumers.

At the summit, Iger encouraged listeners to stay open to new ideas and innovations. According to Iger, “Many of our businesses are traditional, but in our marketplace, you’ve got to have a foot in the future. You have to be a strategist and an operator.”

The co-founder and creator of Siri, Adam Cheyer, also spoke at SCALE. Cheyer addressed the future of artificial intelligence, and the fears surrounding the idea of sentient machines. There were several interactive tech demos, including a holographic Michael Jackson.

In a statement about the summit, executive director of the Lloyd Greif Center, Davide Belasco, stated that his plan is for SCALE to become an annual event. Belasco said that, “SCALE is essentially a startup. Like any startup, it needed people to believe in it and nurture it to make it happen. When Bob Iger signed on, we knew we were in business. Then everyone joined in.”


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