CogX 2018: The round-up

CogX Expo is the event that celebrates all things artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and emerging technologies, with sessions that look into the impact these factors have across industry verticals. The event took place in London in early June, welcoming 6,500 attendees and 370 speakers who presented across seven main stages. The two-day event was packed with keynote sessions, panels, fireside chats, debates, and workshops. Having attended the event, there some key session highlights which stood out for me:

Ethical & responsible AI - What do we need to think about?

Joanna Bryson, Associate Professor, Department of Computing, University of Bath

Joanna's speech focused on the responsibility of humans in technology. As with any technological development, humans play the dual role of creator and user, and so should be the ones to carry the ethical responsibility that come with new technologies, and consider any potential impact. Her talk also touched on the topic of job losses, highlighting how the industry should provide people with skills that'll be in demand in the future.

Marketing & advertising redefined in the age of AI

Panel (Tracey Follows - Head of Strategy Wired UK, Jessica Rusu - Senior Director EU Analytics & Research eBay, Anastasia Leng - Picasso Labs, Ben Livshit - Chief Scientist Brave Software)

Anastasia Leng highlighted how AI and data can now be used to influence and inform creatives more than ever before. She also underlined the benefits of automated procurement, such as using AI to run a creative campaign to brand guidelines, allowing creatives to spend more time doing what they do best. Anastasia then illustrated how the use of AI at Picasso Labs enabled the cost per acquisition (CPA) on its app installs decrease from £10 to £1, and the cost per click (CPC) decrease, in some cases, by 25-30%. The panel continued with eBay's Jessica Rusu discussing the importance of hyper-personalisation in marketing and how AI can help translate and adapt campaigns across different markets.

The economic singularity

Calum Chace, Author

During his talk, Calum discussed the impact of AI on today's workforce. Although in the short-term AI will create more jobs, in the long-term its exponential growth and development will lead to extended unemployment. Calum's advice for political and tech leaders is to stop being in denial and address this issue, by planning for the future now. He also touched on the concept of universal basic income as a solution to unemployment, highlighting how it isn't a sustainable option to resolve the problem and noting that "we need a society of abundance where machines do the jobs and we are free to learn, socialise and have fun".

Using AI to tackle fake news

Lianna Brinded - Quartz

Dhruv Ghulati - CEO and Founder, Factmata

Mevan Babakar - Head of Automated Factchecking, Full Fact

The panel discussed the ethics of tackling fake news, as well as the practical ways in which AI can help address the matter. They started by discussing what fake news is and how it's permeated our social feeds recently. Examples included some more humorous fake news, as well as news with an aggressive tone or incorrect information. The panel then moved on to discuss the distribution of fake news and the motivations behind it, as well as the negative impact it can have, such as election interference, disengagement, distrust, and radicalisation.

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