DC daily roundup: Humanities for tech innovation; NATO and a Silicon Valley VC come to town; AI for special military operations

Plus, Boeing's set to plead guilty and pay $243.6 million.


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Bringing arts into tech leadership

Led by the founder and tech executive Rishi Jaitly, Virginia Tech’s Institute for Leadership in Technology seeks to make the arts, history, religion, philosophy and associated disciplines approachable to more people working in technology. Jaitly ascribed his career success to integrating these fields — for example, through storytelling — into his own work, and wants to help others do the same.

“I think a world in which the humanities are more accessible and available is a world that’s more curious, more compassionate,” Jaitly told me.

The fellowship is set to accept another class this year, and applications for the next cohort are due at the end of this month.

➡️ Read more about the program in my latest report.

Bringing VR to doctors’ offices

Dr. Linda Ciavarelli, the cofounder of HouseCall VR, has created a virtual/augmented reality platform to help teach patients about their health.

As most of her patients are in their 80s, she’s tailored the experience to help this specific age group: The first thing you see is the room you’re in, and you’re slowly eased into animations that virtually take you inside the body to see how treatments work.

Right now, Ciavarelli is trying to get this technology into the hands of more doctors and patients. The startup recently announced a collaboration with the U.S. Veterans Health Administration Innovator’s Network.

➡️ Learn more about the platform, HouseCall VR and its goals here.

News Incubator: What else to know

• DC is hosting the NATO summit this week. Here’s what you need to know about closed Metro stations, detours and changed bus routes. [Washington Post]

• The Arlington County-based aerospace firm Boeing is set to plead guilty to fraud and pay a $243.6 million fine in the probe of the two fatal 737 MAX crashes. [Reuters]

• The Westly Group, a leading VC firm out of Silicon Valley, is opening an office in downtown DC. This follows another California VC firm, Andreessen Horowitz, setting up an office near the White House. [Washington Biz Journal]

• The US military is looking into developing an AI assistant for special operations forces, dubbed a “hyper enabled operator.” It’s meant to give a “cognitive overmatch” in the field. [Wired]

🗓️ On the Calendar

• The news organization Semafor will bring together policymakers and industry leaders for an event about fintech on July 10. [Details here]

• There’s a biotech-focused networking event at the Germantown Innovation Center on the morning of July 11. [Details here]

• Improve your pitch skills at the NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers virtual workshop PitchMasters on July 17.  [Details here]

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