In January, Amazon revealed that MARS, an annual private gathering hosted by CEO Jeff Bezos with a focus on machine learning, automation, robotics, and space technology, would get a public counterpart this year in re:MARS. But although Amazon detailed the date and venue — June 4-7 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas — it chose to keep the agenda under wraps.
If you’re among the prospective attendees who were waiting with bated breath, good news: It’s no longer a mystery. Rohit Prasad, head scientist and VP of Amazon’s Alexa division, laid out the star-studded list of featured speakers in a blog post this morning.
Bezos is the predictable headliner, and he’ll be joined by Patrick Zeitouni, who heads up advanced development at Bezos’ Blue Origin space exploration company, along with Amazon worldwide consumer CEO Jeff Wilke and Amazon devices and services SVP Dave Limp. According to Prasad, they’ll discuss the latest with respect to Amazon’s various AI initiatives and its “continued investment in innovation,” including the practical applications of machine learning underpinning Alexa, AWS services like Amazon Polly and Rekognition, Amazon’s cashierless Go stores, its Prime Air delivery drones, autonomous warehouse machines developed by Amazon Robotics, and more. (Personally, we’re hoping to learn more about Amazon’s rumored Vesta home robot.)
But while the Seattle company’s C Suite will be front and center at re:MARS, there will be plenty more to see. Invited guests include luminaries like Colin Angle, CEO, founder, and chair of robotics company iRobot; Aicha Evans, Intel’s former chief strategy officer and the newly appointed CEO of self-driving car startup Zoox, which as of July had a $4.3 billion valuation; Naveen Rao, CVP and general manager of Intel’s AI product group; and Andrew Ng, former VP and chief scientist at Baidu, a cofounder of Coursera, and an adjunct professor at Stanford’s Computer Science department.
Another inspired choice is Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr., who last year announced that he and his wife, Susan Downey, would produce an eight-episode AI documentary series for Google’s membership-based YouTube Red platform through their production company, Team Downey. Mum’s the word on the project’s status, but the pair previously said it would host experts in science, philosophy, technology, engineering, medicine, futurism, and entertainment.
Here’s who else will be in attendance:
- Kate Darling, researcher at MIT’s Media Lab and affiliate at the Harvard Berkman Center
- Ken Goldberg, William S. Floyd Jr. distinguished chair in engineering at the University of California, Berkeley
- Daphne Koller, founder of Insitro
- Rajeev Motwani, professor in the computer science department at Stanford
- Andrew Lo, the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and director of MIT’s Laboratory for Financial Engineering
- Tom Soderstrom, IT chief technology officer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
According to Prasad, re:MARS will feature over 100 sessions, innovation spotlights, deep dives, interactive workshops, “cutting-edge” automation and robotics demos, and a chance to experience Blue Origin’s New Shepard capsule. Registration starts Thursday, March 28 at 6 a.m. Pacific, and passes — which include access to keynotes, an event party, and event hubs — will cost $1,999. Astronauts attend for free.