Poppy Crum

Expert in Technology-Driven Innovation & Human Evolution, Stanford University Adjunct Professor, Chief Technology Officer at Trimble Navigation, 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 an Adjunct Professor in Computer Research at Stanford University, the Chief Technology Officer at Trimble Navigation, and former 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. 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.

Dr. Crum is a U.S. 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. Previously, Dr. Crum 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, a 2021 recipient of the Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment and Technology, and a 2018 recipient of the Advanced Imaging Society’s Distinguished Leadership Award. She is also 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

Leading Authorities Speakers Bureau's Future Trends Speakers

Restoring Our Sense of Safety and Social Freedom: The Role of Technology in the Modern World. Life has changed and will be changed forever on. Our sense of safety in public space – planes, movie theaters, work environments...  is broken. However, in this talk, Poppy will discuss how the consumer technology we surround ourselves with every day paired with AI and machine learning have been used, and are accelerating to play a new role in helping us re-establish safety in the spaces and environments we share, as well as informing our own sense of health.

Ironically, she reveals that the technologies that may give us the most pause in our sense of personal freedom are, in fact, the technologies that can most help restore our sense of safety and social freedom with each other in our new normal. The ubiquity of sensors in our environments, in our consumer devices, and on our bodies as wearable technologies, all paired with AI, is becoming one of the most powerful indicators of our mental and physical wellness. This network is gathering and learning the signatures of the biological digital footprints we each share – our breath, heart rate, vocal patterns, and more. And Poppy will share how it will become an intimate partner in helping us come back together with a new sense of freedom in our own personal wellness and confidence to re-establish social safety in how we work and play. 

AI for Medical Insight: Caring for Our Health Without Leaving Our Homes. In this talk, Poppy will discuss the transformative role consumer technology paired with AI can play from our homes in supporting our health diagnostics and remote medicine. How the ubiquity of sensors in our environments, in our consumer devices, and on our bodies as wearable technologies, all paired with AI, is becoming one of the most powerful indicators of our mental and physical wellness – gathering and learning the signatures of the biological digital footprints we share from our breath, heart rate, vocal patterns, and more.

Even the ear buds we wear to listen to music can provide health insights to indicate if we should contact a doctor or are safe to go into the office or get on a plane. This presents an unprecedented opportunity to gather rich personal data to empower health professionals to a provide truly personalized medical assessment and treatment plan through remote diagnostics. All from our own living rooms. By using the same devices we use to listen to music or watch a movie, Poppy will share how we can be part of improving our own safety, the safety of the frontline healthcare workers, and increase our own quality of care.

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, a member of the Recording Academy’s Innovation Committee, looks at the future of storytelling, how people engage with their technology and the emotional connections it forms, and shares what audiences concerned with better communicating and resonating with their target market ought to be paying attention to now. 

Inside Tech Legislation: How to Get Technology Into the World & Protect Its Users. As Chief Scientist at Dolby Laboratories, Dr. Crum is aware that, oftentimes, regulatory legislation is not written to necessarily optimize technology. And as a member of the Consumer Technology Association’s board of trustees, she is working on regulatory and legislative ideas to fix just that. Here, Dr. Crum shares her insider perspective on the current state of tech legislation, policies needed to protect privacy, and the future technologies that can make a lasting impact (such as using voice technology as a digital signature to identify people and diagnose medical conditions). She can also help businesses with innovative technologies and models think through how to overcome hurdles and get new ideas out into the marketplace.

The Future of Work. As our workplace and workforce continue to evolve, Poppy Crum outlines the ways in which tech will impact our work environment and what to expect for the future ahead. Sharing cutting edge applications and examples from her research, Poppy will discuss smart spaces and how ubiquitous sensing in our environments paired with AI will transform the ways we interact with our spaces and how they interact with us. That by becoming extensions of ourselves, such intelligent workspaces will help us to be more effective and successful in our goals. Particularly in a virtual environment where we rely on digital communications more than ever before, Poppy will explore the changing sense of how we will interact with our coworkers and customers, how solutions can improve, and empathetic technology’s role in better understanding ourselves and each other to connect in entirely new ways.

Optimizing the Customer Experience with AI. In this talk, Poppy Crum looks at the customer experience from a neuroscience lens and shares how companies are using AI, machine learning, and other emerging technologies to provide higher levels of customer service and more personalized experiences. From how we use technology to better interact with customers to incorporating personalized data to enhance the human experience, she’ll dive into the ways the technologies of today and the innovations of tomorrow can optimize user experiences to be more custom and meaningful.

The Power of Gamification in Changing Behaviors & Sparking Innovation – A professor of a game theory course at Stanford University, Poppy Crum talks about the neuroscience behind gaming and how to use gamification strategies to influence behaviors, spark innovation, and create change. Combining the way our brain works to learn information with technology’s role in shaping how we think, she will reveal how technology can be used to augment human capability and gamify our brains to impact who we are and how we operate. 

Poppy can also follow up this talk with a custom workshop where she works through your organization’s central problems and helps you think through ways to gamify the desired result. 

The Neuroscience of Human Behavior. Data is all around us. Every time we interact with another person or environment, our brain collects information and uses it to make split-second, qualitative decisions. From walking into a grocery store and finding the items we need to sitting across a table sharing ideas with our colleagues during a meeting, our brains take in data about every single detail, glance, and unspoken exchange to form opinions about people, places, and things that impact our future interactions with them. 

In this talk, neuroscientist Poppy Crum challenges audiences to think about data differently, and uses compelling examples to highlight how the brain is essentially machine learning to solve problems every day. She’ll demonstrate that through every experience, we are learning over time – consciously or subconsciously – how certain actions, sounds, traits, and cues can produce multiple outcomes, causing us to form our own internal algorithms, that in turn, impact our decision making.  This will be a thought-provoking experience that your audience won’t get anywhere else. 

The Role of AI & Tech in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Every individual is different. And in a world where a lot of technology has frankly been built for white men, Poppy explains that we have reached an important turning point: Personalization is the ultimate acknowledgement of diversity and a powerful way to reveal and reduce bias. As our physiological signature increasingly becomes linked to our devices, she shares how highly personalized data can be used to push back bias, build trust, and improve the lives and health of people in all walks of life. Using captivating examples and use cases, Poppy will cover what tech hasn’t gotten right yet, the advancements on the horizon, and share how personalized, empathetic technology can be implemented to support inclusion and equity in the many different landscapes of society.

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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