High-tech Pioneer Jim Marggraff to Speak on Artificial Intelligence

(Contributed Photo)
Tech entrepreneur Jim Marggraff will speak about potential intersections between artificial intelligence and virtual reality at the Forum March 1.

    First Friday Forum (FFF) presents a cutting-edge topic this month: “Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality.”  If you’ve wondered what these terms are about, Jim Marggraff is the person to explain.
    Marggraff worked as a director in Google’s Virtual and Augmented Reality division, following the sale of Eyefluence, a company founded by him, to Google in 2016.
    “Reality. We can augment it. We can make it virtual. What happens when we slam these alternate realities together with a new form of intelligence that is artificial? How do we reimagine ourselves as hyper-connected, enhanced individuals and communities?” he says. “In a stimulating, interactive presentation and discussion, we’ll consider how humanity may evolve when AR meets VR meets AI.”
    Marggraff can bring up other companies he has founded using these skills. Many may be familiar with his company, LeapFrog, which has impacted the lives of more than 100 million children and adults in reading, math and language skills, and has sales of more than $1 billion.
    Before LeapFrog, Marggraff was involved in inventing technologies and products, co-founding companies, assembling and inspiring teams, and pursuing world-changing ideas. He was an engineer on the founding team of StrataCom in 1984 (acquired by Cisco), and co-founded Explore Technologies in 1996 (acquired by LeapFrog), which develops technology to reframe people’s perception of geography with the world’s first Atlasphere, an interactive globe.
    Another company he founded, Lifescribe, developed the first smartpen.  
    Marggraff’s entrepreneurialism and innovations have been covered by numerous publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly and Business Week. Among his awards are Toy of the Year for LeapFrog and Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for the Northern California region. In addition, his LeapPad invention was listed in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as one of the top 150 inventions and contributions from MIT graduates.
    On the local front, Marggraff is active with the Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary Club and supports public schools with technology innovations. He lives in Lafayette with his wife, M.J., and two children. He wrote How to Raise a Founder with a Heart, a book of stories, science and suggestions for parents who want to instill a founder’s mindset and skills in their children.  In addition to Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Marrgraff holds 36 patents.
    The event takes place March 1 at 1:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary of Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, 49 Knox Drive, Lafayette. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

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