Jaron Lanier

Jaron is a Renaissance Man for the 21st century.  He is a computer scientist, composer, artist and author who writes on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the social impact of technology, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism.  He offers a critical and insightful perspective in his talks on big data: who owns the data, what it all means for our society, and the quest for a sustainable digital economy.  
Jaron Lanier has been on the cusp of technological innovation from its infancy to the present.  A pioneer in virtual reality (a term he coined), Lanier founded VPL Research, the first company to sell VR products, and led teams creating VR applications for medicine, design, and numerous other fields.  He currently serves as Interdisciplinary Scientist at Microsoft Research. 
Jaron was a founder or principal of startups that were acquired by Google, Adobe, Oracle and Pfizer.  In 2010, Lanier was names one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine.  In recent years he has also been named one of the top one hundred public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy magazine, one of the top 50 World Thinkers by Prospect Magazine, and one of history’s 300 or so greatest inventors in the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Lanier’s writing appears in Discover, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Harper’s Magazine, Atlantic, Wired Magazine, and Scientific American. He has appeared on TV shows such as PBS NewsHour, The Colbert Report, Nightline and Charlie Rose, and has been profiled on the front pages of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times multiple times.