Poppy Crum

Expert in Technology-Driven Innovation & Human Evolution, Stanford University Adjunct Professor, Chief Scientist at Dolby Laboratories, Neuroscientist, and Technologist
Poppy Crum Headshot
  • Builds innovative technologies that leverage human physiology to improve the ways we interact with the world
  • Dr. Crum's TED Talk on using advancing technology to empower our collective future has been watched over 1 million times
  • Fascinating, fast-paced presentations unlock the ways new technologies will rapidly change how we live—impacting everything from healthcare to retail, defense, and relationships

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Dr. Poppy Crum is a visionary futurist and neuroscientist whose work sits at the intersection of technology advancement and human evolution. Highly regarded in both the technology sector and academic circles, she is an Adjunct Professor in Computer Research at Stanford University and the Chief Scientist at Dolby Laboratories, a leading global innovator and developer of audio, imaging, and voice technologies. An advocate for the kind of technology that learns more about us as we use it, Dr. Crum works to bridge the gap between rapidly evolving technology and insightful, more effective human interaction. At Dolby, she builds technologies that best leverage human physiology to enhance our experiences and the ways we interact with our world, using a deep understanding of human behavior, personalized data, and technologies including wearable technology, immersive technology, AI and machine-learning, facial and voice recognition software, and AR and VR to power industry innovation. Dr. Crum’s presentations focus on how personalized technology will continue to shape us as humans, what a future world where we use technology to make ourselves more human, and not less, might look like, and the ways industries and organizations should be thinking about using technology to enhance human performance and communication. A 2018 TED and SXSW speaker, Dr. Crum is exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau.

In fast-paced and thought-provoking presentations that encourage audiences to embrace new technology rather than fear it, Dr. Crum dives deep into the advancements that will change the world in coming years. Whether exploring how technology will be able to predict the future onset of a life-altering medical conditions just by picking up on changes in speech patterns, or how we will eventually be able to “retrain” our brains as we sleep to improve daily function, Dr. Crum helps organizations embrace change while reframing the ways they think about everything from talking to consumers and understanding demographic patterns to amplifying personalization in products and marketing strategy. Noting that many behaviors today wouldn’t be possible without the advent of new technology and data collection, and that everyone experiences the world in a unique way, Crum’s presentation encourages audiences to consider how technology can improve the collective human experience as well as products and services offered by specific industries. She believes the power of intelligent technologies is only realized with dynamic optimization and learning of as much of our personal and contextual data as possible.

At Dolby, Dr. Crum directs the growth of internal science. She is responsible for integrating neuroscience and sensory data science into algorithm design, technological development, and technology strategy. At Stanford, her work focuses on the impact and feedback potential of new technologies including gaming and immersive environments such as Augmented and Virtual Reality on neuroplasticity and learning.

Dr. Crum is a US representative and vice-chair to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and a member of the Stanford Research Institute Technical Council. She is also a member of the Board of Industry Leaders for the Consumer Technology Association. Prior to joining Dolby Laboratories, she was Research Faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where her neurophysiological research focused on understanding the neural correlates of how we hear in a complex acoustic environment and the functional circuitry of the auditory cortex.

She is a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society, and a 2018 recipient of the Advanced Imaging Society’s Distinguished Leadership Award. She is a 2017 recipient of the Consumer Technology Association’s Technology and Standards Achievement Award for work towards the introduction of over-the-counter hearing-aid devices. She was named to Billboard magazine’s 100 most influential female executives in the music industry. Prior to academic study as a neuroscientist and work in industry, she was a performance violinist.

Dr. Crum is a frequent speaker on topics related to the intersection of human experience, artificial intelligence, sensory data-science, and immersive technologies.

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Dr. Poppy Crum: How Humans Will Evolve with Technology

Poppy Crum: Technology Knows What You're Feeling | TED

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Optimizing Human Performance Through Technology. In a stunning presentation packed with visuals and interactive exercises, Dr. Poppy Crum explores the human and consumer applications of rapidly-advancing technology. Ticking through the many ways smart technology will improve our lives in years to come, Dr. Crum paints a picture of a future society where companies better understand how customers experience their individual worlds to provide them with products that match their specific needs, where doctors more quickly diagnose and treat patients, where our brains evolve to see at the same resolution as computers, and where the  human capacity for knowledge is expanded exponentially. An optimistic and inspiring overview of a technology-enabled future where human capacity and performance is turbo-charged, as well as the ways organizations can embrace this change now, Dr. Crum argues that technology will not replace human interactions and experiences—but rather make them better than we could ever imagine.

Democratizing Technology To Better Our Collective Future. Here, Dr. Crum explores the impact of democratized technology to enhance and elevate society. As Dr. Crum explains, human beings have essentially been in the “Dark Ages” when it comes to understanding how our environment affects us personally. But, in a future world where technology is proliferated and utilized more efficiently globally, human beings will not be destined by the conditions they grow up in or by their past experiences. An uplifting look forward, this speech explores the ways technology will affect society and relationships to create a more unified and productive world.

How Personalized Data Will Change The Way We Experience The World—And Why Not To Fear It. Each day, consumers and organizations hear new stories about the ways data can and has been misused. But personalized data is an empowering tool that will change human experiences in profound and positive ways. In this high-level presentation, suited for decision-making audiences, Dr. Poppy Crum explores why we should care about personalized technology, shares examples of personalized data and ubiquitous sensing working well now, and looks at the ways it will allow us to experience the world differently moving forward.

The Future of Storytelling. New technology has not only allowed for new products and human experiences, but also new ways of storytelling. As changing forms of media grow in popularity and scope, businesses are also able to connect with audiences in previously unimaginable ways. Here, Dr. Crum looks at the future of storytelling and what audiences concerned with changing media ought to be paying attention to now.

How To Get New Technology Into The World. As Chief Scientist at Dolby Laboratories, Dr. Crum is aware that, oftentimes, regulatory legislation is not written to necessarily optimize technology. Here, Dr. Crum helps businesses with innovative or new technologies and models think through how to overcome hurdles and get new ideas out into the marketplace rapidly.

Additionally, Dr. Crum can specialize her speeches to include:

  • Hearable and wearable technology
  • Immersive technology and sensory experience
  • New dimensions of human experience and interaction through intelligent technology, facial and voice recognition software, sensors, and computational advancements
  • Successful futures for Human / AI collaboration
  • Neurophysiological and neuroplasticity insights towards consumer technology innovation 
  • The probabilistic nature of human experience and what that means for technology

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