Where the curb meets the cloud: urban innovation in the digital age
Chief Technology Officer
Tuesday, October 4, 9:15-10:15 AM
Abstract: Cities have benefited from the three greatest technological innovations of the past 200 years: the steam engine, electrification, and the automobile. But each advance has created its own challenges, including pollution, overcrowding, sprawl. As the digital revolution transforms cities once again, how can we make sure it improves quality of life while minimizing the downside? With population density comes the possibility of deploying network connectivity and wayfinding at lower cost, but density also increases complexity of deployment. How can digital technology reduce the bad friction of urban environments, such as congestion, cost, and complexity, while increasing good friction, such as all of the serendipitous interactions that cities encourage? Underlying all this change is ubiquitous connectivity and mobile technology, from the phones people carry with them to the supporting devices and network endpoints embedded in the urban infrastructure. Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company that works with cities to develop new technology that can improve urban life. We will discuss some of our discoveries and beliefs, and talk about our plans to use mobile technology to help cities take full advantage of the digital revolution.
About the Speaker:
Craig is Chief Technology Officer of Sidewalk Labs, leading the engineering team which focuses on developing new urban technologies. Before joining Sidewalk Labs, he founded Google's first remote engineering center, located in New York City. In his role as Engineering Director at Google, he oversaw the development of products including Google Local (now Maps) and Froogle (now Google Shopping), as well as features of web search such as Question Answering and Web Definitions. As engineering director of Google.org, Google's philanthropic arm, he co-founded Google.org's Flu Trends and Crisis Response projects, providing maps, imagery and a missing persons service after crises in Japan and elsewhere.
Prior to joining Google in 2000, he was an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Rutgers University, and a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Biochemistry Department at Stanford University. He is the author of 44 peer-reviewed academic publications, and was awarded a Career Grant by the National Science Foundation for work combining information retrieval and computational biology.
A native of New Zealand, he earned a BSc in Computer Science from Canterbury University and a PhD in Computer Science from Waikato University. Passionate about great coffee, he co-founded Happy Bones café in Little Italy with his wife Kirsten and partners from New Zealand.