Macworld/iWorld to feature Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad of 'jOBS,' panel with

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While Apple won't be in attendance at the upcoming Macworld/iWorld conference in San Francisco, organizers have booked Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad, stars of the Steve Jobs biopic jOBS, to kick off proceedings next week.

The talk with Kutcher and Gad is more in line with Macworld events of old, when a keynote presentation usually handled by late Apple cofounder Jobs would start the conference dedicated to all things Apple.

Kutcher and Gad are scheduled to take the stage at 9 a.m. on Jan. 31, the first day of Macworld, in a panel aptly titled, "Playing Steve & Woz." Their appearance will come less than one week following the premiere of jOBS at the Sundance Film Festival, where the movie will be a "closing night film."

In addition to the jOBS appearance, pop star will be giving a talk on the future of technology with Intel futurist Brian David Johnson. The discussion is scheduled for Jan. 31 at 11 a.m. Also in attendence during the conference will be Fred Armisen of Portlandia and Saturday Night Live fame.

“In our 29th year of hosting the event, we have never been more excited about presenting all the ways that Apple and the world of innovative Apple-related products are changing the creative landscape,” said Paul Kent, vice president and general manager of Macworld/iWorld.

After Apple officially announced it would no longer be attending the expo starting in 2009, some questioned whether the conference would continue, but five years later the event is still going strong. In 2012, the expo was renamed Macworld/iWorld to better reflect the importance of the iPhone and iPad to Apple's brand name.

Macworld/iWorld will run from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at Moscone Center West and is expected to feature a collection of about 300 exhibitors and developers, as well as over 100 new products as part of the "First Looks" program.


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