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What's next in Tech?

2019, 07, 01

Marre Oorthuis

That’s the question what it’s all about during Emerce Next. The event for young professionals to learn more about the future of digital and the newest technological developments. With a wide variety of over 50 speakers, and subject such as AI, VR and blockchain on the program, we thought it definitely would be worth a visit!

So, last week we hopped in a car and went to Amsterdam to attend this new event. It turned out to be worth it: with a full program and per round a selection of 6 different speakers and subjects, it was hard to choose what to attend. Splitting up proved to be the best option to gain as much knowledge and inspiration as possible.

And we were certainly inspired! For example by the session of Jip Samhoud. He said that we should not be afraid of new technologies such as artificial intelligence. According to him, we should really embrace this, in order to optimally connect the qualities of man and machine. By experimenting and searching for the optimum combination between man and machine, new applications can be created in which all qualities are shown to their full advantage.

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The RTL session also provided innovative insights. The fact that an enormous amount of data is stored and analyzed at this large media and entertainment company, partly in order to be able to personalize the media offering, was not very surprising. What was surprising, is

what kind of data they analyse. For example, RTL uses image recognition with TV programs such as GTST. Through the use of AI, facial expressions of actors can be read, and the associated emotion can be recorded. This data is being analyzed together with other sources, such as the responses to social media, to see how the viewer reacts to certain scenes and content. Based on these insights, RTL can optimize content in order to better meet the needs of the viewer.

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Daniel Gabler spoke about the success of his company Picnic, the fastest growing online supermarket in the world. This online supermarket has changed the way of grocery shopping in a disruptive way, by doing it completely differently. Learnings he shared with the audience included: "Dream big, act small", "mission first, data as support", "data science first, AI second" and "launch first, scale second" These principles have been decisive for the enormous growth that this successful start-up has experienced.

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Other inspiring sessions included the session of the Military Intelligence and Security Service, about how important data analysis is for them to be able to make the right decisions and the Tikkie session, which gave a glimpse into the world of this fast-growing payment app. And of course, the subject of deep learning could not be skipped. The Media Distillery presentation discussed how they use deep learning to search into thousands of videos for a specific person or logo in a matter of seconds.

Besides these developments, which have become increasingly common in our daily lives, there are also ongoing developments that sound a bit futuristic. But the future suddenly seemed a lot less far away because of Anne Wubbels, who wants to bring artificial intelligence extremely close into our daily lives. The development of the first Dutch-language sex robot brings people and technology closer and closer together.

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You can question whether everyone will find this normal in short term. But it is certain that technological developments follow at lightning speed. This fact was clearly emphasized during this event. Because it does not matter whether you are open to these developments or not: the future won’t wait.

So are you ready for what's next?

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