IP Expo prepares to deliver double thinkburger

IP Expo prepares to deliver double thinkburger, with artificial intelligence salad

The IP Expo organisers, Imago Techmedia, are busy preparing a feast of brain food at two separate two-day events — one in Stockholm, Sweden followed by another in London, UK. 

The Stockholm event, officially called IP Expo Nordic, is scheduled for September 27 to 28, and will feature a high-powered line-up of speakers, including:

  • James Staten, general manager of cloud strategy, Microsoft;
  • Ann Hellenius, CIO, Stockholms Stad;
  • Ric Ferguson, global VP security research, Trend Micro; and
  • Rashik Parmar, lead IBM cloud advisor, IBM Watson.

The organisers are billing it as “six events under one roof”, referring to the agenda, which features close examination of:

  • cloud;
  • cyber security;
  • networks and infrastructure;
  • devops;
  • data analytics; and
  • open source.

More than 100 exhibitors are expected to take part, and will put on more than 100 free seminars. More than 3,000 visitors are expected at the Stockholm IP Expo over the course of two day event.

Less than a month later, on October 5 and 6, the IP Expo roadshow will move to London, where it will follow the same format and similar subjects — only on a larger scale.

Officially called IP Expo Europe, the London event is expected to showcase more than 300 exhibitors, who will be offering a combined total of more than 300 free seminars.

More than 15,000 visitors are expected at the London event over the two days, and they will be offered more than 300 exclusive product launches.

Among the speakers will be:

  • Gavin Jackson, managing director, UK&I, Amazon Web Services;
  • James Lyne, global head of research, Sophos;
  • Joshua Corman, CTO, Sonatype; and
  • Eugene Kaspersky, CEO, Kaspersky.

The opening keynote at the London event will be delivered by Nick Bostrom, author and founding director of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute.

Sweden-born Bostrom, a futurist who many might already have seen giving speeches on TED.com, will be talking about the hottest subject of the moment — artificial intelligence.

Much is made of what AI will do for, and to, humanity over the next few years. Bostrom is one of those AI enthusiasts who emphasises the need to examine the implications of the profound changes the new technology promises, or threatens, to bring about.

Bostrom often speaks about the philosophical and ethical dimension when considering AI, and warns that overlooking any significant areas could undermine all the hard work done while leading up to the point where things might, possibly, go wrong.

The AI robot takeover of the world is inevitable, according to some, and imminent according to others. Either way, they’re here, and they’re here to stay.

Bostrom envisions a possible future where super-intelligent AI surpasses human intelligence, at which point humans may come to rely on the AI robots for their survival.

Should be an interesting talk as usual with Bostrom, whose book, Superintelligence, is an international bestseller.

Many might think of these ideas as flights of fancy which, while fascinating in and of themselves, will not have any bearing on their own life and work for a long time to come.

But the billions being invested in AI research and development, as well as the mergers and acquisitions, would suggest that there is an acceleration to come.

Google, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and all the other companies you’ve heard of and many you haven’t, are openly racing each other to build applications which incorporate AI, and its branches of machine learning and deep learning.

One particular challenge is building virtual assistants, like in the film Her — computer software which can speak like a human and carry out instructions spoken to it, just like a human would. Think of Apple Siri, or Microsoft Cortana, or IBM Watson — only immeasurably more human-like.

Many applications have already been developed and are already commercially available.

In the security world, for example, AI can analyse someone’s online behaviour and decide whether that someone is who they claim to be and if they’re using the credit and debit cards they’re using legally or fraudulently.

Google claims the AI developer it bought for $500 million in 2014 — DeepMind — can now manage a data centre better than humans can, and save 40 per cent on energy costs while doing so.

Increasing number of buildings, not just data centres, are being given over to AI systems to manage their security, heating and lighting and other features. These intelligent building management platforms can analyse information from millions of data points simultaneously and manage the site and structures in microscopic detail, and provide realtime displays of what it’s doing.

And even before fully driverless cars hit the road, many new cars today feature what’s called “advanced driver assistance systems” — for example, autonomous emergency braking, autonomous parking, and so on — which is de facto driverless car technology.

These advanced cars are being connected to the internet in their millions, and are processing ever-increasing amounts of data.

All of which makes for a very interesting future, and makes you realise that what Bostrom is talking about — regarding how humans will come to rely on AI for our very survival — is already a reality.