1. Lessons from The Future Our Past
Taking her lead from the theme of BIMA’s first conference, the CEO of Microsoft UK chose to examine the future through the lens of Microsoft’s past.
- By 2012, Microsoft had lost its way: “We viewed the world through the success of our past and we failed to notice the world changing around us”
- Rejuvenation came by focusing on culture and capability as the key to unlocking opportunity
- If you’re not in martech you’re limiting your growth potential
- ‘Tech intensity’ offers an opportunity to deliver better value by enabling agencies to insert themselves into the flow of a client’s digital transformation
1. Skill up
2. Make diversity and inclusion real
3, Embrace partnership
2. Tech, Democracy & The Battle for Humanity
So what’s going on with tech, society and politics? Jamie Bartlett met journalist, writer, activist and film-maker Paul Mason to explore the uneasy relationship between tech and humanity.
- Tech gives us unparalleled capability. But it is driving some of the chaos
- Observability is a real problem for AI. When machines design machines, we lose transparency
- If we’re not prepared to regulate AI then we have problems. When rational people say ‘I’m not sure I know enough to take these decisions’ you get the cyborg on one side and the zombie on the other
- Machines have to accept that all humans have power over them
- We need to pull politicians and regulators into the ethical discussion about the products we’re designing
3. Climate Crisis: Can Digital Save the World?
“We are at a moment in time. If we act now, we can make a difference. If we don’t, I’m fearful.” So said Dan Burgess, founder of The Spaceship Earth who, together with Chris Gorell Barnes, co-founder of Blue Marine Foundation; Gail Callie, co-founder of Project Everyone and Will Skeaping of Extinction Rebellion urged digital to make a difference.
- Since Blue Marine Foundation was founded 10 years ago, the NGO has protected an area of ocean twice the size of continental Europe
- We need to overcome our collective denial. Everything is going to change. If it doesn’t, the food runs out
- Our world operates on a completely different operating system to the natural world. We need to stop being destructive passengers and contribute to the earth in a positive way
- When Sustainable Development Goals launched in 2015 they reached 2.2 billion people in two days. How much could the collected digital abilities and networks at BIMA Conference achieve?
- “If we don’t act, we really are all f****d. Give a shit and do shit. You have digital tools. use them”
4. Up in the Air: The New Commute
Science fiction has always been an influence on Dr Anita Sengupta. “We can build the future we imagine,” announced the screen at the outset of her presentation. So now, she’s building a future imagined by The Jetsons…
- Conventional transportation means congestion
- Urban air mobility (UAM) reduces congestion, protects the environment, supports efficiency and improves the passenger experience
- According to McKinsey and Morgan Stanley, UAM will be a trillion dollar industry within the next two decades
- ASX’s VTOL tilt-wing and electric motor combine to create an aircraft that’s quieter than the typical car, and little larger than a single engine Cessna
- The innovation required by UAM is achieved by working in the tech entrepreneurial space, tapping into the startup mindset
5. Overcoming Tomorrow’s Business Challenges Through Organisational Agility
Head of Slack UK, Stuart Templeton explained why, if agility is an organisational imperative, co-ordination is key to achieving it.
- We are in the age of the knowledge worker. It’s creative. It requires problem solving. It requires empathy and cross-functional working
- We need to connect people cross-functionally to data and applications to an extent we haven’t seen before
- Agile organisations have a 70% chance of being in the top quartile of organizational health, the best indicator of long-term performance. Agility comes from coordinating:
1. Team identity
2. Real time communication
3. Vision & strategy
- If we can create transparency across organisations we can create alignment, and that creates organisational velocity
6. The Way We Watch: AR, VR and the Content of the Future
What developments in AR and VR are set to have the biggest impact over the next few years? Richard Nockles, founder of Surround Vision and Creative Director of Sky VR, looked into the near future.
- VR/AR is still in its infancy, yet many of the elements required to progress are already with us, including compositing, zipwires, drones and volumetric capture (to create 360° holograms)
- Next gen immersive, now:
1. The National Theatre has already experimented with tetherless VR
2. Sky took a mobile capture studio to the Open to scan golfers and create 360° holograms
3. Skin tone is impressive and getting better all the time (e.g. AR tool for Anthony Joshua)
4. VR can be used for good (e.g. using photogrammetry to walk through documentaries rather than passively watch them)
7. Alexa, give me five
Have you embraced Amazon’s Alexa or do you clam up when you see those glowing blue rings – suspicious of her omnipotence? Max Amordeluso urged BIMA Conference to look again.
- Alexa provides valuable connection and a ‘community’ for the lonely
- Kids’ Skills lets children safely and effectively benefit from Alexa
- Try describing a photo to Alexa and ask her to remember it
- Alexa really isn’t invading your privacy and recording all you say
- Machine learning means Alexa will become increasingly useful
8. Lessons For the Future
If the Industrial Revolution was an augmentation of the human muscle and the information age has been an augmentation of the human mind, what comes next? Nell Watson explored the augmentation of the human heart and soul.
- About 50% of traffic on the internet is created by humans and 50% by bots, some benign, some not. So we need new rules for this new world
- Machine ethics, or value alignment teaches machines to interact with us in positive ways, giving them the same basic framework of social acceptability as everyone else
- We lack good governance, and in particular the management and accounting of externalities, but we can combat this through data and the creation of environmental ‘personhoods’
- We’ve had the Industrial Revolution and the information age. What’s next is the augmentation of the human heart and soul, a reformation driven by machine economics (blockchain etc), machine intelligence and machine ethics
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