Can*Con 2019: Part 3

As usual, this is taking me longer than intended!

So, now on to the content-related panels I went to.

On Friday morning, I went to the workshop “Medical Mistakes 101” with Melissa Yuan-Innes. I have been reading Melissa’s medical mysteries (the Hope Sze series, written as Melissa Yi) for a while and I really like them a lot. (I wrote about the first book in the series elsewhere on this site.)

Melissa had crowdsourced common errors and misrepresentations that other doctors notice in books and television. This proved to be a really useful approach and I appreciated breadth of detail, ranging from general problems to those specific to particular branches of medicine.

Most useful for my current work were her comments on CPR and resuscitation and current methods.

Geology of the Solar System, moderated by Dylan Blacquiere with Michael Reid and Shirley Meier

This was an interesting discussion not only about the geology of our (and potentially other) solar system, but more broadly about habitability, the problem of single ecosystem planets in fiction, and the importance of being internally consistent within your story.

As with all the best panels, this one gave me various story ideas.

Designing a Planet Live, also moderated by Dylan Blacquiere, this time with Serena Tristen, Geoffrey Hart, Mark Robinson, and Anatoly Belilovsky

This panel was a free for all in the best way. It fit in well with the Geology of the Solar System one, in so far as they both considered the livability boundaries and range of planetary possibilities.

However, in this panel, Dylan took the panelists through the steps of collaboratively designing a planet, starting with the geology and water cycle and how to make choices that would result in an interesting planet.

I particularly liked how well all the panelists considered the implications of the different choices at each step, for example about energy inputs and what kind of life might develop as the result of different options.

Is big data in an arms race? moderated by Kim-Mei Kirtland, with Jason M Harley, Ada Hoffmann, Sarah Parkinson, and NRM Roshak

This panel discussed a broad range of areas including what data is being collected and where does it come from, how are things measured (eg the assumptions about facial display of emotion), and privacy law and consent.

There was a really good bit about facial recognition and its constraints (racial and gender limitations, also health-related facial variations like paralysis) and problems with AI applications like predictive policing.

I went to two other panels, both part of the scientific literacy track, that covered similar issues, Data is the New Gold Rush and Technology-Driven Labor Market Disruption: The New Industrial Revolution. I’ll talk about them, and the other panels on that track I attended later (probably Friday).

See you then!

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