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Texas ISchool Hosts Fireside Chat On Blockchain Technology

On Wednesday, December 12, 2018, The University of Texas at AustinSchool of Information hosted a "Fireside Chat" titled, The State of Everything, Blockchain Technology, Industry 4.0, and the Future Machine State. Bettina Warburg, co-founder and managing partner of Animal Ventures, joined Texas iSchool Dean Eric Meyer to discuss Blockchain Technology and the many transformative changes made possible by this exciting technology. 

Approximately 30 iSchool students attended the 1.5 hour talk and “Fireside Chat” discussion, after which a reception was hosted in the Tocker Foundation Student Lounge. 

During her talk, Warburg described the often-overlooked principles of Blockchain Technology, its current state, where it’s going, and how it’s paving the way towards something she calls, "Machine Trust" –a new path that will transcend age-old models of commerce, supply chain, finance, and governance to create something far more interesting: a distributed, transparent, and autonomous machine state for the decentralized exchange of value; a technological foundation that will trigger the rise of a new consumer class, and alter the relationship between humans and machines well into the future.

She explained modern-day blockchains, smart contracts, how governments get involved with blockchains, blockchain approaches, supply chains, and intelligent decision making. According to Warburg, “blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) are radically changing the way we engage with the economy.” “There is a need for ‘network state’ –where we create a shared reality,” she added.

In terms of where the future is heading, Warburg believes that “state awareness will level-up human-machine interaction.” Her main piece of advice for the audience including iSchool students was that they didn’t necessarily need to be blockchain coders. “It will become extremely important to be a non-technologist in a technology space,” she said.

A Blockchain Researcher, entrepreneur, and keynote speaker, Warburg is one of the first speakers at TED to unpack the topic of Blockchain. Her talk, How the Blockchain will Radically Transform the Economy, seen by over 5 million people, is to date, the most viewed TED talk on this topic. Bettina’s collaboration with Wired Magazine to help explain blockchain at 5 levels of difficulty has also been seen by over 2 million people. She is co-author of Asset Chains: The Cognitive, Friction-free, and Blockchain-Enabled Future of Supply Chains,a board member of The Frontier Center, executive producer of a show called On The Front (previously Tech on Politics), and on the board of Flow Media Ventures.