Esteemed guests, including Lords, Ladies, CIOs of FTSE100 companies and leaders of some of the most innovative start ups, came together to discuss the multi-dimensional world of Smart Systems and the revolutionary impact they are having on our world.
In a high-energy, fast paced format based on the recent BBC leaders’ debate, 35 speakers took to the stage to address some of the biggest issues facing us today: ‘What is the impact of connecting everything on the planet to the cloud?’ ‘Will robots eat our jobs?’ ‘What are the new business models?’ ‘How will we live?’ and ultimately ‘How will we make a dent in universe?’, as positioned by the late Steve Jobs.
The Summit began with a keynote from Independent Policy Advisor Simon Anholt on arguably the most poignant topic of all – the moral imperative. This thread continued into the first of four, fast paced debates when, during the Internet of Things session, Darren Thomson, CTO & VP of Technology Services at Symantec suggested that the question technologists should asking themselves is not ‘could we connect this to the internet?’ but ‘should we’? He suggested that perhaps technologists aren’t the best placed to answer this question and should draw on social scientists for direction.
The need for technology firms to use data ethically around the Internet of Things was a theme that led seamlessly into the next session: Artificial Intelligence. Baroness Susan Greenfield opened with an insightful keynote on neuroscience before revered AI experts took to the stage to discuss, not least, how the Hollywood portrayal of killer robots is creating false fears.
The afternoon sessions, on Smart Industry and Smart Cities explored the opportunities for Smart Systems to change the way we live and work, and the new business models we need to build to drive value. The latter was introduced by a keynote from Mark Prisk MP, now Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Smart Cities Group, who urged smart city advocates to consider what citizens wanted and needed the most, rather than rushing in headlong with the latest technology.
This extraordinary, inspiring and thought provoking day engaged not just those present, with the audience challenging the speakers hard, but media and Twitter alike; by the afternoon #HyperCat15 was trending high in the UK.
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