Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron interviewed Amazon.com chief executive and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos May 18 at Transformers, a live event by The Washington Post about pushing the boundaries of knowledge. (Washington Post Live)

Transformers | May 18, 2016 @ The Washington Post

The way we live is dramatically changing. Robots are performing surgery. Computers are beating us at our own games. Genetic sequencing is changing the way medicine is practiced.

Transformers is a live journalism event by The Washington Post about advances pushing the boundaries of knowledge and the people who are making radical change seem inevitable. On May 18, in Washington, D.C., trailblazers in science, business, and technology explored breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, commercial space travel, education and health care.

HIGHLIGHTS

Neil Harbisson is a contemporary artist and cyborg activist best known for having an antenna implanted in his skull and for being officially recognized as a cyborg by a government. (Washington Post Live)
Andy Weir, author of "The Martian," spoke about the future of space flight on May 18 at Transformers, a Washington Post live event. (Washington Post Live)
NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden discusses the development of commercial space travel and NASA's contract with SpaceX to fly astronauts to the International Space Station next year. (Washington Post Live)
Eric Schulze, science communicator, explains why DNA is the closest thing we have to a "tangible, cosmic language." (Washington Post Live)

Watch video of all the speakers here.

AGENDA

8:30 a.m. | REGISTRATION

9:00 a.m. | WELCOME
-Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., Publisher, The Washington Post

SPONSOR REMARKS
-Shankar Chandran, Vice President, Samsung Electronics; Head of the Samsung Catalyst Fund

IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?
She founded Sirius XM, a religion and a biotech. Now we ask her: Has technology outrun humanity?

Martine Rothblatt, Chairman, United Therapeutics Corporation
Interviewed by Neely Tucker, Staff Writer, The Washington Post

OUT OF YOUR MIND
Advances in neuroscience and augmented reality are allowing us to experience the world like never before.

John Werner, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Meta
Neil Harbisson, Cyborg Artist, Cyborg Foundation
Sheila Nirenberg, Neuroscientist, Cornell Uiversity
Moderated by Lois Romano, Editor, Washington Post Live

NUMBERS TELL THE TRUTH
New tools are making meaning from data for critical national security issues.

Arati Prabhakar, Director, DARPA
Gary King, Professor and Director, Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University
Moderated by Jeremy Gilbert, Director of Strategic Initiatives, The Washington Post

THE NEW CURRENCY OF GIVING
Meet the business leaders who are giving big and making an impact.

David Rubenstein, Co-founder, The Carlyle Group
Wendy Schmidt, President, The Schmidt Family Foundation
Moderated by Katie Couric, Global News Anchor, Yahoo

11:00 a.m. | BREAK

11:15 a.m. | THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE SPACE
Recent milestones in commercial crew space transport are opening up new frontiers for business and exploration.

Administrator Charles Bolden, NASA
George Whitesides, Chief Executive, Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company
Julie Van Kleeck, Vice President of Advanced Space and Launch Business, Aerojet Rocketdyne
Andy Weir, Science Fiction Writer
Moderated by Christian Davenport, Reporter, The Washington Post

THE LANGUAGE OF LIFE
Is DNA the cosmic tool or the universal messenger?

-Eric Schulze, Science Communicator

ASK US ANYTHING
Platforms are creating communities, building businesses and pushing boundaries.

Steve Huffman, Co-founder and Chief Executive, Reddit
Emmett Shear, Founder and Chief Executive, Twitch
Moderated by Caitlin Dewey, Digital Culture Critic, The Washington Post

12:30 p.m. | BREAK

2:00 p.m. | WELCOME BACK
-Lois Romano, Editor, Washington Post Live

FREE RADICAL: A CONVERSATION WITH CRAIG VENTER
The pioneering geneticist talks about genomics, synthetic biology and the future of medicine.

J. Craig Venter, Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive, Human Longevity, Inc.
Interviewed by Alison Snyder, Senior Editorial Producer, The Washington Post

SPONSORED CONTENT | TRANSFORMATIVE TECHNOLOGY: INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
Shankar Chandran, Vice President, Samsung Electronics;
Interviewed by Betsy Page Sigman, Professor of Operations and Information Management, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

ARE WE THERE YET?
A roboticist and a policy shaper draw a roadmap for autonomous vehicles.

Helen Greiner, Founder and Chief Executive, CyPhy Works
David Strickland, Counsel, Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets
Moderated by David Cho, Deputy Business Editor, The Washington Post

TECHSPLAIN IT TO ME
“The father of the Internet” explains how it works and what’s needed as billions more devices connect on Earth and beyond.

Vinton G. Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist, Google

3:30 p.m. | BREAK

3:45 p.m. | EVERYDAY AI
It’s out of the lab and into your life.

David Kenny, General Manager, IBM Watson
Julia Ross, Dean, College of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Moderated by Brian Fung, Reporter, The Switch, The Washington Post

ROPORTER WINNERS ANNOUNCED

PRIME TIME: A CONVERSATION WITH JEFF BEZOS
Amazon’s chief executive and owner of The Washington Post talks about technology, space, the everything store and more.

Jeff Bezos, Founder and Chief Executive, Amazon.com; Owner, The Washington Post; Founder, Blue Origin
Interviewed by Martin Baron, Executive Editor, The Washington Post

5:00 p.m. | Closing remarks
-Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., Publisher, The Washington Post

The event also featured a robotics competition for local high school students. Students had one day to build new tools that could gather information and help journalists challenge the boundaries of reporting stories. Jeff Bezos and Helen Greiner judged the competition. The winning team came from Wilson High School.