Fast Company European Innovation Festival will feature speakers Jared Leto, Darren Aronofsky, and more

Fast Company European Innovation Festival will feature speakers Jared Leto, Darren Aronofsky, and more

Sci-fi no more

Text: Marielle Solano

Here we are, 35 years after Orwell's dystopic Nineteen Eighty-Four world was supposed to happen, and we still have agency over (most of) our thoughts and actions. But as much as Big Brother theoretically remains fictional, we are not blind to our era's encroachment onto the complex realm of artificial intelligence – a technological advancement rife with both anticipation and fear.

That said, those sentiments are applicable to most deliberations about the future, so it's all we can do to attempt productive rumination. Who better to lead the discussion than Fast Company? Gathering a panel of established thought leaders in the progressive city of Milan this July, the Fast Company European Innovation Festival has the theme "The Dawn of Superintelligence" down pat, and will focus on the intersection between technology and humanity, the roles they play in relation to each other, and their collaborative potential for the goals of our future.Artificial intelligence, Rydot Info Tech, big data

The festival's speaker lineup evidently came into existence with sophistication and articulatory prowess in mind – and rightly so. These thought leaders are a selection of individuals possessing impressive credentials in their respective fields, owing no doubt to their expansive expertise in the areas they have dedicated themselves to; the professions range from historians to economists, authors to businesspeople, artists to chefs, and even includes the Mayor of Milan. And in true bull-like fashion, the progressive summit doesn't attempt to shy away from real (and difficult) human concerns of rising technologies – on the contrary, they face them head on with unwavering persistence, addressing important topics like the future of sustainable and philanthropic food practices (with chef Massimo Bottura), the implications of a bionic man (with scientist Riccardo Sabatini), and how AI can help sustain our global ecosystem (with screenwriter Darren Aronofsky). Plus, Jared Leto is set to appear on day 2 of these intensive talks, with his prolific tech investments contributing to his development of a unique perspective on discovering imminent art and commerce superstars.Artificial intelligence, robot woman

But where does Gucci come in? A culminated culture of technological innovation in the name of human creativity – that's where. And Gucci, as we now know, plans to uphold this ideology instead of being all talk; the Festival will be powered and hosted by the luxury fashion brand, who will kickstart the event at their corporate headquarters come July 9 (at Gucci Hub, located in the regaled Caproni aeronautical factory). A select few continuing on to the exclusive Florence leg of the trip also get to witness Gucci's hosting prowess in person – through a charming Gucci Garden Tour and dinner at Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura. That is not to say festival goers only dropping by Milan haven't much to anticipate: an enlightening interactive exhibition (enticingly entitled Sensorium) awaits, one that will feature advanced technologies applied to art installations in a creative bid to stimulate emotional responses from the viewer. Arctop (AI specialists interested in identifying human emotion and intention through measuring brain activity) and Weart (robotics developers aiming to digitalize the sense of touch and weave that into wearable gadgets) are among the chosen startups to make an appearance at this extraordinary exhibition.

So it seems pioneer technologies with ever-deepening understandings of human behavior have already arrived – we wait with bated breaths to what they will do next and what this means for our species of homo sapiens.
Gucci ArtLab in Florence in Casellina, products designed by Alessandro Michele, paintings by Unskilled Worker, Jayde Fish, Ignasi Monreal, Phannapast, Angelica Hicks, Trouble Andrew and Coco Capitán

The Fast Company European Innovation Festival will be held from July 9 to 11 in Milan and Florence this year. Tickets can be purchased here. For more information and latest updates, visit FCEIF's official website.