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28 May 2021

An Interview with Lynn Riley, #Tapia2021 Industry/Government Panels & Workshops Chair

Lynn Riley Photo

Lynn Riley is the 2021 Tapia Industry/Government Panels & Workshops Chair and Chief Information Officer of Kilroy Blockchain.  We caught up with Lynn to talk about this year’s Tapia Conference and what it has been like working on a project about Covid-19. 

What new projects are you working on this year?

We’re working on a piece of software for contact tracing that has a blockchain component to it.  It has been our focus for the last year and it is about to be released. Creating a piece of software from scratch is a big endeavor.

How have you been dealing with working remotely this year?  

 I love working remotely. I don’t have to worry about driving into town anymore.   I live in North Austin, about 15-mile drive into downtown, and it’s a hassle to go and find parking. I just don’t deal with it anymore.  I am able to schedule meetings back-to-back and not drive to any of them. And we don’t have to wait until everyone is free to drive somewhere.  Everybody is available all the time.  

What did you learn last year doing Tapia virtually?

I was really impressed the way CMD-IT did the virtual lobby and the virtual rooms.  Really liked the User Interface.  It solved the problem of being in-person and while multiple people that were part of the industry/government track were doing presentations at the same time, I was trying to get to all of them – walking from room to room to make sure they were all running smoothly.  Luckily people showed up on time – only way to do it was splitting yourself up.  The virtual environment made that easy.  It was tough for presenters who would have done exercises in person – workshops just weren’t as effective. Polls were great.  

This year is the 20th anniversary of Tapia.  What are you looking forward to and what are your favorite memories?

I always love the plenary and keynote speakers; those were my favorite part of 2019 in San Diego.  I also liked the VIP reception and of course the networking.

What are you looking forward to in the next 20 years of Diversity in Computing?

I hope that all the technology we’re creating becomes more equitable. You’ve  probably heard that AI has a lot of biases built into it – gender, racial biases, due to underdeveloped facial recognition for people of color.  I hope this is being adequately worked on, and that the next big leap is that we can get rid of the biases inherent in AI because of who programmed them.

I also hope AI will lead to more transparency in a lot of industry verticals within business processes, particularly the exchange of currency.  We know these are things people want to keep private but backing nefarious projects is not being on the right side of history.