Self-driving car expert and Project Cars exec to speak at GamesBeat Summit

Project CARS

Our newest speakers for our upcoming GamesBeat Summit event are Ted Chong, chief commercial officer at Project Cars maker Slightly Mad Studios, and Laszlo Kishonti, CEO of self-driving car software maker AImotive. You could call them the odd couple at our GamesBeat Summit 2017: How games, sci-fi, and tech create real-world magic.

GamesBeat Summit 2017 will take place on May 1 and May 2, 2017, at the historic Claremont resort hotel in Berkeley, Calif., just a short distance from San Francisco. You can secure your seat here. Register today and receive 20 percent off current ticket prices. Use the code Deantak.

Laszlo Kishonti, CEO of AImotive, shows off the company's test car in Mountain View, Calif.

Above: Laszlo Kishonti, CEO of AImotive, shows off the company’s test car in Mountain View, Calif.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Chong has been at Slightly Mad Studios since 2015, where he has worked on the Project Cars franchise and brand. Before that, he was creative director at Electronic Arts on the Need for Speed, Real Racking, and Speed Hunters franchises.

Kishonti is founder and CEO of AImotive, which he founded in 2015 with the aim of revolutionizing the auto industry by humanizing the concept of self-driving cars. He has run a $3 billion hedge fund at K&H Fund Management, and he started his first company in 2003.

Rod Chong of Slightly Mad Studios.

Above: Rod Chong of Slightly Mad Studios.

Image Credit: Slightly Mad Studios

It so happens that they share a common thread in cars. Kishonti’s company used Project Cars to test the self-driving car software that AImotive developed. By running the software with the Project Cars simulation, AImotive was able to test to see how well its software did in tasks inside the game, such as recognizing pedestrians or traffic conditions. We think they’ll have an interesting conversation on stage about the interplay between technology in the real world and the virtual world.

Chong and Kishonti join a cast of speakers who are among the who’s who of games, as well as the related industries that are inspiring game makers. Other speakers include Ted Price, CEO of Insomniac Games; Mike Gallagher, CEO of the Entertainment Software Association; John Underkoffler, CEO of Oblong Industries and science advisor for Minority Report; Gary Whitta, the screenwriter for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Richard Marks of Sony PlayStation; Akshay Khanna of the Philadelphia 76ers; Greg Richardson of Team Dignitas; Megan Gaiser, CEO of Spiral Media; Guy Bendov, CEO of Side-Kick Games; Rami Ismail, cofounder of Vlambeer; Asra Rasheed, executive producer at Disney; Asi Burak, founder of Power Play; Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games; Owen Mahoney, the CEO of Nexon; Rich Hilleman of Amazon Game Studios; Chris Roberts, CEO of Roberts Space Industries; and Jamil Moledina of Google Play.

Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon.

Above: Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon.

Image Credit: Nexon

Inspiring moments lead to disrupting the worlds of gaming, tech, and entertainment. Who hasn’t been influenced by great novels like Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, which gave us virtual worlds, or Tom Cruise’s data gloves and gesture-controlled computer in Minority Report? Now those things have become real, and we want to see what’s coming next.

Our theme is about what inspires game developers, executives, and investors to be creative. Part of the event will focus on the inspiration cycle that is accelerating as the walls between science fiction, video games, and real-world technology come down. We don’t think there’s another conference that focuses on the seams between these industries.

This event will focus on inspiration and creativity. So much of what used to be science fiction is coming true, and it is inspiring even more accelerated visions of the future in games and other entertainment. We hope to inspire you by taking you to the moments that led to great ideas across multiple industries. You’ll leave refreshed and ready to change the worlds of gaming, technology, and more.

We think this conference will offer a rare chance for cross-pollination and networking between high-level people in different industries, and we believe that insights in one place can lead to inspirations in another.

This conference is for high-end gaming executives, startup CEOs, developers, investors, publishers, marketers, tech experts, entertainment industry professionals, sci-fi experts, AR and VR executives, and other professionals. I should also point out that this is where we try to create an actual GamesBeat community with our supporters, readers, and attendees. We gather the right people in the room and encourage everyone to get to know each other. Join us.

If you’re interested in sponsoring, message andie.rhyins@venturebeat.com. Thanks to our initial sponsor Samsung.

Breakout sessions

Intersection of sci-fi, games, and tech
Monetization: How to acquire and retain your user base
Deals: Follow the money
Esports and community
Emerging markets for games
Platforms: Where to place your bets? VR, AR, and more
Creativity and diversity

Advisory board

  • Sam Barlow, game developer of Her Story and creative director at Interlude
  • Michael Chang, senior vice president at NCSoft
  • Daniel Cho, chairman at Innospark
  • Jay Eum, managing director, Translink Capital
  • Clinton Foy, chairman of the Immortals and managing director at Crosscut Ventures
  • Megan Gaiser, co-CEO at Spiral Media
  • Lee Jones, global business lead Google Ads
  • Perrin Kaplan, principal at Zebra Partners
  • Roy Liu, general manager at Linekong USA
  • Wanda Meloni, executive director of the Open Gaming Alliance
  • Jamil Moledina, game strategic lead at Google Play
  • Adam Orth, founder at Three One Zero
  • Mihai Pohontu, vice president of emerging technologies at Samsung
  • Mike Sepso, cofounder of MLG and senior vice president at Activision Blizzard
  • Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors
  • Margaret Wallace, CEO of Playmatics
  • Marco DeMiroz, cofounder, The Venture Reality Fund

I’ve been writing about our theme for a while. I’ve written about the accelerating cycle of inspiration between tech, games, and science fiction. I interviewed Shane Wall, HP’s chief technology officer, about the connection between sci-fi and tech. The Westworld TV show also explored the seams between artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and video games.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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