Daniel Russell is the Űber Tech Lead for Search Quality and User Happiness in Mountain View. He earned his PhD in computer science, specializing in Artificial Intelligence before he realized that magnifying and understanding human intelligence was his real passion. Twenty years ago he foreswore AI in favor of HI, and now enjoys teaching, learning, running and music, preferably all in one day. He worked at Xerox PARC before it was PARC.com, and was in the Advanced Technology Group at Apple where he wrote the first 100 web pages for http://www.Apple.com using SimpleText. He also worked at IBM and briefly at a startup that developed tablet computers before the iPad.
His keynote focuses on what it means to be literate in the age of Google – at a time when you can search billions of texts in milliseconds. Although you might think that “literacy” is one of the great constants that transcends the ages, the skills of a literate person have changed substantially over time as texts and technology allow for new kinds of reading and understanding. Knowing how to read is just the beginning of it – knowing how to frame a question, pose a query, interpret the texts that you find, organize (and use) the information you discover, and understand your metacognition – these are all critical parts of being literate as well. In his talk Dan reviews what literacy means today and shows how some very surprising and unexpected skills will turn out to be critical in the years ahead.