I am the founder and director of the Future of StoryTelling (FoST), a passionate community of people from the worlds of media, technology, and communications who are exploring how storytelling is evolving in the digital age. At the heart of FoST are two signature events: FoST Summit and FoST Festival. The two-day, invitation-only FoST Summit gathers top thinkers and practitioners from diverse fields to share ideas and experiences shaping the storytelling landscape. FoST Festival, open to the public, features VR and AR experiences, tech demos, a multiperson VR theater, panel conversations, live performances, interactive games, and much more.
In addition to the Summit and Festival, FoST also produces a wide range of content and programming, such as curated exhibitions; an annual series of short films; regular influencer salons, tech tastings, and storytelling workshops; and a popular blog and other social media content aimed at FoST’s network of over a million enthusiastic followers.
I am also the founder and CEO of Melcher Media, Inc., an award-winning app developer, book producer, and branded content company. Melcher Media works with leading brands (including Adobe, Lexus, Nike, and GE), media companies (Condé Nast, TimeWarner, NBC, and MTV), and individual authors (Vice President Al Gore, Oprah, Eminem, and J.J. Abrams) to help them tell their stories and connect with large audiences.
Doug leads Magenta, a Google Brain project working to generate music, video, image and text using deep learning and reinforcement learning. A main goal of Magenta is to better understanding how AI can enable artists and musicians to express themselves in innovative new ways. Before Magenta, Doug led the Google Play Music search and recommendation team. From 2003 to 2010 Doug was faculty at the University of Montreal's MILA machine learning lab, where he worked on expressive music performance and automatic t
Lance Weiler is a storyteller, entrepreneur and thought leader. An alumnus of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, he is recognized as a pioneer in mixing storytelling and technology. WIRED magazine named him “One of twenty-five people helping to re-invent entertainment” when he disrupted the industry with the release of his first feature, The Last Broadcast. Weiler co-wrote, co-directed and co-produced, and ultimately self-distributed The Last Broadcast which was made for $900 dollars and went on to gross over $5 million dollars as the first all-digital release of a motion picture to theaters via satellite. The distribution methods that Weiler introduced have since become the standard for digital cinema distribution today. After the success of The Last Broadcast, he began to work extensively as a writer, director, and producer, developing TV and film properties for FOX, TNT, Starz and Endomel.
In addition to his own projects, Lance often collaborates with other storytellers. In 2010, Lance was nominated for an International Emmy in digital fiction for his work on Collapsus: The Energy Risk Conspiracy. In 2014, Lance was Creative Director and Experience Designer of Body/Mind/Change, an immersive storytelling project in collaboration with David Cronenberg, TIFF, and the CFC. Body/Mind/Change was recognized for its innovative use of story and code, winning the MUSE Jim Blackaby Ingenuity Award and receiving a Webby Honorable Mention in the Games and Augmented Reality category.
How do you feel about machines creating stories or art? Do you think you can tell the difference between art, words, or music made by a human versus artificial intelligence? Does it matter? In storytelling, we are in the very early days of seeing the potential of artificial intelligence to aid storytellers and artists. While AI will never replace great human storytellers, it will enable us to tell more interactive and personalized stories in ways we have yet to imagine. Join Charlie Melcher, founder of the Future of StoryTelling, in a conversation with leading experts from the field to better understand how artificial intelligence is shaping the storytelling landscape.
SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. An essential destination for global professionals, the event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2019 takes place every March in Austin, Texas.
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