One of the science world’s most successful and influential CEOs, Tan Le started her incredible life journey as a refugee facing a high probability of death on a treacherous trip across the pirate infested China South Sea. Today, Ms. Le is the founder and CEO of the bioinformatics firm, EMOTIV, where her groundbreaking work in technology and artificial intelligence is making it possible to control electronic devices with something as simple as a single thought.
At age 4, she fled war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded tugboat with only her family and a vial of poison, kept on-hand to commit suicide in the case of a pirate attack. After reaching the shores of Australia, her family built a life from scratch amidst racism and poverty. Ms. Le applied herself intensely in her studies, opening the door to an education at one of the nation’s finest colleges, Monash University and a reputation that quickly earned her the prestigious “Young Australian of the Year” award.
Having grown up in an immigrant community stricken with mental illness, drug abuse, and domestic violence, Ms. Le began her career as a social advocate and became a bridge between Australia’s educated class and the community she’d grown up in. She simultaneously jumpstarted entrepreneurial ventures in neural-engineering technology, driven by her desire to better understand the brain and its effect on how we experience life.
Her company, EMOTIV, is best known for its affordable EEG headset, which collects data from brainwaves as the wearer goes about his daily life. The data can then be uploaded to an online platform created by Ms. Le’s company that makes the information accessible to scientists and analysts around the world as part of an effort to accelerate research on neurological impairments such as depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, autism, and ADHD, among other conditions.
Tan Le Suggested Speaking Topics
My Immigration Story In this captivating and inspirational keynote, Tan Le recalls her early childhood fleeing war torn Vietnam – boarding a tugboat in search of a new life, four-year-old Tan Le’s mother was clutching one precious possession: a vial of poison. In the highly possible circumstance of a pirate boarding the vessel, she would feed it to her two daughters and her mother, before taking it herself. Against all odds, Tan Le and her family washed ashore Australia’s coast to begin a new life in a foreign country. She worked hard, and it became clear from an early age that she had immense potential. At just 16, after intense studying, she was accepted to college. Just a couple of years later she was named ‘Young Australian Of The Year.’ Le goes on to humbly discuss her accomplishments, and how she became a spokesperson, activist, and eventually moves to the US to become CEO of Emotiv- a leading neuroscience technology company that helps individuals all over the world with groundbreaking innovations.
The Future is Closer Than You Think: A Headset that Reads Your Brainwaves Tan Le’s astonishing new computer interface reads its user’s brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-reaching applications.
Other suggested topics:
You Think, Therefore You Can
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