TAN LE is recognized as one of the most influential pioneers in the emerging field of brain-computer interface. An inventor, explorer, and entrepreneur, she is the founder and CEO of EMOTIV, a San Francisco-headquartered neuroinformatics company. EMOTIV's mission is to improve understanding of the human brain and develop a platform for researchers, developers, and consumers around the world to be part of a global innovation task force. The company's non-invasive "brainwear" reads and interprets brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects with mere thoughts.
Born in South Vietnam, Tan migrated to Australia as a refugee with her family in 1981. At 16, she began University studies and went on to complete degrees in law and commerce. In 1998, Tan was named Young Australian of the Year for her community work, catapulting her into a prominent role as a social activist and public speaker. Tan has been honored by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a Young Global Leader since 2009 and currently serves on the WEF's Global Future Council on Neurotechnologies. Tan was featured in Fast Company's Most Influential Women in Technology in 2010, Forbes' 50 Names You Need to Know in 2011, and named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2013. Tan received the 2018 Industrial Research Institute Achievement Award for "outstanding accomplishment in individual creativity and innovation that contributes broadly to the development of industry and to the benefit of society." In 2018, a portrait of Tan was added to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia - an honor bestowed on prominent Australians whose life sets them apart as an individual of long-term public interest.
How do successful entrepreneurs come up with ideas that change the world? Tan Le, chosen by Fast Company as one of the Most Influential Women in Technology in 2010, credits her success in innovation to her early struggles growing up as a Vietnamese refugee and Australian immigrant.
In this moving presentation, Le talks about the moment she realized her outsider status provided a freedom to think differently and helped her succeed as a woman working in biotechnology and engineering—where the challenge is to constantly push the boundaries of what is possible. Le will show audiences how free to themselves from the norms that get people stuck, to look at things with a fresh perspective, and to never stop asking questions.
Due to rapid technological innovations in automation, A.I., and brain augmentation, there will be a dramatic disruption in social systems, political norms, and popular expectations. Society will be forced to rethink the nature of work, the way we interact with each other, and the principles on which we organize our societies. Advances in integrating humans and machines that combine analytical processing powers of computers with the creativity that is uniquely human will change how we think and lead.
In this talk, Tan Le will show automation and A.I. are not the threats they appear to be, but rather our allies as they become part of the new extended, augmented human organism.