Berners-Lee lecture sells out in six minutes

The lecture by the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, at Griffith University on Saturday, ‘sold out’ in six minutes.

Although a free lecture, tickets had to be obtained via online registration and the 360-seat theatre hit capacity in minutes.

It is an indication of the high level of interest that the imminent arrival of Sir Tim on the Gold Coast has stirred up in the local community and IT industry.

michael blumenstein
Associate Professor Michael Blumenstein

Griffith Associate Professor Michael Blumenstein, School of Information and Communication Technolog,y is brimming with admiration and enthusiasm about the man, his ideas and the event to come. He sees the event as a real coup for the Gold Coast, Queensland and Griffith University as its host.

“For us to be able to attract the leading authority on the World Wide Web, to provide a ‘free’ public lecture, is a great achievement for all of those involved in his visit,” he said.

VIDEO: Associate Professor Michael Blumenstein on Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s visit

Sir Tim, will speak openly and passionately on February 2, as he so often does, about his years spent developing and designing one of the most important technologies in the world, as well as offer a vision for the future of the Web.

Associate Professor Blumenstein, believes that Sir Tim’s visit will inspire local businesses, economic growth and innovation on the Gold Coast.

“Having someone of the calibre of Sir Tim Berners-Lee speaking at Griffith University on the Gold Coast, will open doors to new research ideas, promote collaborations and inspire industry. In particular it should inspire the blossoming information technology industry, here on the Gold Coast to look for new methods of innovation and areas of prosperity in terms of business and economic growth,” he said.

“My own research interests are in artificial intelligence and its application in areas such as environmental science, flood prediction and bridge engineering, where we investigate ways to predict failures. One of the key difficulties we as researchers face is that data is spread around all over the place and in many cases is inaccessible, costs a lot of money or just can’t be found.

“The ideas that Sir Tim Berners-Lee offer us for the future of the Internet, often defined as the semantic web, is a Web where all data across the world can be linked and accessed for the benefit of all.

“For social and research purposes this is a very exciting prospect.

“Imagine if you were looking for a cure for a disease and you didn’t have all of the information that you need to actually come up with a cure. Then imagine that all of the available data could be accessed from across the World Wide Web and you could use that to formulate a solution.

“Imagine also, if before the Global Financial Crisis they had in fact had all the available data that could have been used to predict it before it even happened and could possibly have been avoided.

“Open data is a very contentious topic, because when we think of open data we often think of open sourcing and open source software. We wonder about the safety of information. Especially our personal information.

“There is of course data that should be made available and accessible to everyone for the enhancement of society. Yet, there is also sensitive data that people and industry may not wish to release publicly and for good reason.

“So we have to find a balance between what data is required to be open, available and useful for humanity and the data that is both private and required to remain secure.

“I believe that people here on the Gold Coast and across Australia are excited about the new advances in technology. So there is great interest and understanding how we can begin to use the Web to collate and share information between sources throughout the digital world,” Associate Professor Blumenstein said.

If you are interested to know more about Sir Tim Berners-Lee and his ideas, check out some of his previous presentations online at TED Talks –
Tim Berners-Lee on the next Web
Tim Berners-Lee: The year open data went worldwide