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World Summit AI 2017

by Ian Richardson | November 8, 2017 | General News & Events | 0 Comments

A vast abandoned cylindrical gas storage facility with moody lighting, loud and impressive audio and visuals, a famous BBC TV presenter as the anchor with a top Los Angeles VJ providing banging video interludes between the packed session agenda on the main stage.

My colleague who attended the WSAI17 summit with me leads our AIVRLabs business which brings these new technologies to ICE’s core vertical markets – Travel, Cruise, and Ferry. He had many appointments lined up with the exhibitors, our partners and people he knows within the industry. I attended some meetings but was quite content browsing the circus sampling the technological displays on offer and attending my core track sessions on the main stage.

My interest was piqued hearing how Ronny Fehling the head of Cognitive computing at Airbus is using machine learning to improve quality and safety in their build and delivery process.  He has an interesting challenge in that his massive quantity of data only contains positive results and no negative results. This presents a problem with machine learning because a computer needs to see right and wrong to learn correctly but there is zero percent room for error when building a jumbo jet, you just can’t get anything wrong, so he only has good outcome data which is only half of what he needs.

I enjoy the video interview with Tony Jabara, Head of machine learning at Netflix explaining how far they are taking AI in providing personalized viewing for their subscribers.  Two viewers may have the same suggested film title but an entirely different image for the title depending on which actors or actress they like or the genre of films they tend to watch.

However, I was really engaged by some of the more ethical and philosophical debates on stage discussing how we as a human race are going to control AI once it surpasses human intelligence.  There is no doubt that this will happen, and possibly sooner than we think, and as specific government states are weaponising AI and using AI for cyber-attacks, there is an arms race going on right now which may not end well.   Dame Wendy Hall who is part of a UK government think tank set up to suggest how AI can most benefit the economy talked much common sense in her panel debate. She believes that multi-disciplinary teams are essential to writing the rules of AI so that a cross-section of beliefs and viewpoints are considered instead of those from a small group of male-dominated data scientists.

From the sessions, I also took away the belief that there are currently many enterprise businesses spending millions on AI projects that will eventually fail because they are using AI for the sake of using AI and not thinking about the core problem they are trying to address.  Parry Malm of  Phrasee quoted it best on stage by saying “If you are thinking of using AI in your business and imagine 1 hour of time, spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem you are trying to fix and 5 minutes using AI to fix it!”

All in all, it was a very successful and enjoyable two days catching up with our partners and exploring some new excellent startup products that we hope to bring to our travel and maritime clients. In conjunction, AIVRLabs is ensuring that our partners understand entirely the problem that they are trying to address so that we can implement AI into their business in a cost-effective and valuable way.

We will definitely be going next year and will hopefully be teaming up with the organisers to run some events in our AIVRLabs’ hometown of Tallinn, Estonia in 2018, so watch this space.

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