|17 October, 2018

GITEX Technology Week and GITEX Future Stars News Highlights - Day 4

Wave goodbye to pedals, the dashboard and even steering wheels! The car of the future is going to be very, very different

GITEX Technology Week and GITEX Future Starsnbsp;News Highlights - Day 4

Transport is changing - and it won’t be too long until we all move around in pedal-free pods.

That’s the prediction Matthew Griffin, CEO and Founder of 311 Institute, made during an enlightening talk on the future of urban mobility today at GITEX.

He believes that by 2030 we will have the first battery-less cars, likening the future concept of mobility vehicles to blank canvases that can be used for a myriad of activity in different industries.


Matthew said: “We already have the emerging technologies that we need in order to change the materials and composites that we use to make the vehicles of today into energy generation devices that also store electricity. I can change everything in this room into an energy generating device.”

He then questioned: “If I take the steering wheels away, the pedals away and the dashboard away, are you still getting into a car, or are you getting into a pod? Audi and Toyota, for example, know now that the concept of a car is dying. As we start looking at reinventing mobility, now that we have a pod we can start impacting other industries. Can we bring the shop to you? Can we bring the hospital to you? What else can we start doing with these things?

“The potential to transform your industries and your businesses even with the concept of these basic pods is staggering.”

African Investment Forum at GITEX Technology Week highlights scale-able continental opportunities for global investors

Leading voices from the African innovation system came together at GITEX Technology Week today as part of the tech event’s African Investment Forum (AIF). Discussing investment opportunities across the African continent were Dr. Dotun Olowoporoku, Partner, Ventures Platform; Waleed Khalil, Partner, Endure Capital; Suki Fuller, Co-founder and CEO, Salaam Ventures; and Arif Saiyad, Founder and CEO, Arif Saiyad & Associados Ventures.

Arif Saiyad detailed how he looks not only to invest in businesses, but to provide operational experience and aid people on the ground to help scale growth. He reiterated that his firm are committed to taking risks with entrepreneurs, and are looking to partner with local startups who understand local culture and the people.

Recognising the opportunities in Africa, the panelists called for governments to play an active role in enabling the infrastructure for growth, the right regulatory frameworks, and education to upskill local talent.

Dr. Dotun Olowoporoku said: “There is a big opportunity in Africa, Nigeria in particular, to invest in startups that are solving real problems. However, investors should look beyond the big picture and macroeconomic numbers. We need to look into the addressable market of the business you’re looking to invest in.  Governments in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda are doing great things investors should look at engaging with them and educating them about how to build an enabling infrastructure in Africa.” 

Maersk and Everledger execs push to get the global supply chain on blockchain

At GITEX’s Future Mobility vertical session, panelists Lars Kastrup, Head of Global Trade Digitization, Maersk and Scott Austin, Senior Executive VP of North America, Everledger discussed how the global supply chain could be digitised using blockchain.

In his current role, Lars is heading the joint venture between Maersk and IBM to enable new blockchain shipping solutions designed to promote more efficient and secure global trade. He strongly believes that being in 2018, the system following shipments have to be digitalised to support client’s better.

During his session, he said: “What we are doing with this new startup is trying to take away some of the barriers to trade by building a platform that’s useable and beneficial to shipments, tanks, customs, and governments.”

Scott Austin explained that his company tries not to disrupt industry, instead it tries to work with the older and more mature industries because if they don’t they will likely be shut out. “A small startup like us has to be very accommodating and understanding of the industry and work with them to implement the new blockchain infrastructure. This is a skill set that we have developed,” he said.

“We work with governments around the world to create an easier regulatory process of trade. The beautiful thing about blockchain is the ability to automate a new standard of compliance and that’s one of the big things to highlight about this technology.”

Scott concluded optimistically with a belief that in the next three or four years’ time, instead of having a conference on the topic of blockchain, the industry would have already completely adopted blockchain.

Digital marketers urge AI adoption as a means of personalising your push

Day Two of the Digital Marketing vertical at GITEX 2018 got underway today with an engaging discussion on how AI can shape the future of digital marketing. The panel attracted leaders from different industries with a common purpose: demystifying the potential of the much-hyped technology.

Its panelists were Welington Fonseca, SVP Global Customer Marketing, Shiseido Group; Jonathan Lacoste, Co-Founder, President, Jebbit; and Steve Lok, Global Head Martech, The Economist.

Lacoste insisted that AI can help big players like Google, eBay and Expedia personalise their marketing approach to not only their customers, but stakeholders too. He added that companies that are succeeding in personalisation are still falling short with context. Welington Fonseca added that the one-size-fits-all approach is no longer appreciated by customers and that it is imperative that companies know their customers individually and cater to their specific needs.

Continuing the discussion on using technologies like AI and Machine Learning for personalisation, Steve Lok explained: “AI is the blend of science and art. As human beings, we are logistical and emotional creatures. The logistics part is easy as we have data that can be captured. But the emotional pieces are a lot more difficult. The irony here is that AI allows human beings to make more human decisions.”

Jonathan Lacoste said, “We’ve seen a transition from AI being used as an input to personalisation just within the marketing realm, to overarching product engineering across the entire organisation. However, we are never going to be in a world where we will let machine run things – we have a long way to go before algorithms will pick up on emotional intuitions.”

The panel concluded with the speakers agreeing that AI is definitely the future of marketing, but that organisations still have a long way to go in terms of leveraging unstructured and raw data to creating long term marketing strategies.


© Press Release 2018

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