Moderator: Jeff Klaben

Jeff Klaben

Jeff Klaben is a Professor and Faculty Advisor to Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, where he teaches interdisciplinary collaboration between graduate engineering, law, and business students.
Klaben is also a cybersecurity and innovation practitioner and strategist, co-inventor of three AI related patents, coauthor of the top rated books Mobile Medicine and The Computer Incident Response Planning Handbook. He has been  recognized twice by the US Department of Justice with awards for Exceptional Service in the Public Interest. Jeff is also the nephew of Irish playwright, novelist, and essayist John B. Keane.

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Panelist 1: Maya Ackerman

Dr. Maya Ackerman is a pioneer in generative AI, serving as the CEO and co-founder of WaveAI, a startup revolutionizing music creation, and Associate Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at Santa Clara University. Ackerman has been researching generative AI models for text, music and art since 2014. She was an early advocate for human-centered generative AI, bringing awareness to the power of AI to profoundly elevate human creativity. Under her leadership as co-founder and CEO, WaveAI has emerged as a leader in musical AI, benefiting millions of artists and creators with their products LyricStudio and MelodyStudio. 

Dr. Ackerman's expertise and innovative vision have earned her numerous accolades, including being named a "Woman of Influence" by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. She is a regular feature in prestigious media outlets and has spoken on notable stages around the world, such as the United Nations, IBM Research, and Stanford University. A University of Waterloo PhD and Caltech Postdoc, her unique blend of scholarly rigor and entrepreneurial acumen makes her a sought-after voice in discussions about the practical and ethical implications of AI in our rapidly evolving digital world.

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Panelist 1: Maya Ackerman

Panelist 2: Ryan XU

Ryan XU

Ryan is an applied AI and machine learning researcher and engineer with eBay. He is interested in building neural nets that are able to think and reason in the ways that humans can. He enjoys spending most of his daytime migrating around Palo Alto coffeeshops, working on various projects that he enjoys and spends nights with people whom he cares about. He has a tendency to get way too invested in hobbies for a month before quickly dropping them.

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Panelist 3: Jess Miers

Jess Miers, Senior Counsel at Chamber of Progress, is a prominent figure in the intersection of law and the internet. With extensive experience in U.S. intermediary liability law, she is recognized for her expertise in areas such as speech and Section 230, content moderation, intellectual property, and cybercrime. Previously serving as a Senior Government Affairs & Public Policy Analyst at Google, Jess influenced state and federal content policy portfolios and collaborated with litigation teams on key online speech issues.

With a background in computer science from George Mason University, Jess's journey into internet law was marked by internships at major tech companies and organizations. Based in Silicon Valley, California, she dedicates her time to advocating for online speech while balancing her love for outdoor adventures, often exploring the picturesque coastal trails with her husband and dog.

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Jess Miers

Panelist 4: Halfdan Hussey

CEO Halfdan Hussey

Halfdan (hallf' dun) Hussey is a trailblazing entrepreneur, acclaimed writer, and visionary film producer, renowned for his transformative impact in the realms of art and technology. As the Co-Founder and CEO of Creatics Enterprises, Maverick Studio, and Cinequest, Halfdan has spearheaded innovative platforms that empower creativity and engage global communities.

At the helm of Cinequest, situated in the heart of Silicon Valley, Halfdan merges innovation with the arts to foster creativity and connect audiences, youth, artists, and innovators. Recognized as one of the 25 individuals who significantly shaped Silicon Valley over the past 25 years, Halfdan is celebrated for his leadership in art and technology. His visionary leadership has propelled Cinequest to be named Best Film Festival by USA Today Readers, earning acclaim as the beacon for the future of film.

With a background in mathematics, Halfdan defied expectations by venturing into the creative world, showcasing his determination and versatility. From writing his first screenplay while driving a cab in New York City to directing and co-producing independent films like "He's Still There" and "Still Waters Burn," Halfdan has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to translate ideas into captivating narratives. His literary endeavors, including the novel "To The Dogs" and the motivational book "7 Powers of Creating," reflect his unwavering commitment to storytelling and empowerment.

Halfdan's latest endeavor, Creatics, embodies his vision for forging new opportunities for youth, artists, and innovators to create and engage with a global community. Through his leadership, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit, Halfdan continues to inspire individuals and catalyze positive change through creative expression and narrative storytelling.

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