Edition 1450
18 November 2017
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Lisbon hosts world’s largest tech conference

by TPN/ Lusa, in Regional · 09-11-2017 14:23:00 · 0 Comments

The second Lisbon Web Summit was staged this week at its riverside location at the Park of Nations. Last year’s inaugural event in the Portuguese capital attracted a total of 53,000 people from 166 countries and 15,000 companies.

Lisbon hosts world’s largest tech conference

Organisers were this week expecting 59,000 participants at the four-day event, which ran from Monday to Thursday.
The event, which was completely sold out, is estimated to be worth at least 200 million euros to the Portuguese economy.
This year’s event was marked by a series of discussions and interesting admissions by guests invited to give an address at the Web Summit.
Among them were the head of digital strategy for the United States president’s campaign, who said Donald Trump should use Twitter “as much as possible” because that is the best method to communicate “directly with people”.
Asked about the US president’s use of Twitter, communications expert Brad Parscale said he wants President Trump to use this social network as he believes “people want to hear their leaders.”
Earlier, British scientist Stephen Hawking told the Lisbon Web Summit that he was optimistic about how artificial intelligence would be put to work, but launched serious warnings because this process could be the “best or the worst” thing for humanity.
Speaking through a video message shown on the two main screens at the technology summit, the scientist stated he was optimistic and believed that AI could make the world a better place.
Recalling his own experience with the use of technology due to his own disabilities, he told the audience that this new technological revolution could maybe cancel out the damage caused to nature by industrialisation.
The CEO of Booking.com, a Dutch digital hotel accommodation platform, Gillian Tans, meanwhile said at the Web Summit that the company is going to invest in artificial intelligence to make travelling much more customised for clients.
“I really think artificial intelligence can help clients decide where to go for their vacations and what to do at their destination. Planning journeys is not always easy and artificial intelligence is going to provide better travelling experiences”, Ms. Tans said at a conference called ‘Artificial intelligence is the future of travel’.
Along these lines, two robots at the Web Summit in Lisbon discussed how they would take over human jobs in the future, but they also said they would not destroy mankind.
Sophia and Einstein are two robots developed by David Hanson, who created the company Hanson Robotics, and they are programmed to debate current affairs.
Sophia, who was also in Lisbon for last year’s event gave a clear answer to the question: “We are not going to destroy the world, but we are going to take your jobs”.
Einstein, another robot made to look like the famous scientist, said the problem of living alongside humans was not technological, but had to do with values.
“Robots are going to be able to assume human values and this is going to be a problem”, it said.
Einstein also said that humans have to take care of themselves to ensure their creations remain healthy and that “there is hope” of healthy work between humans and robots.

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Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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