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An Insiders Guide to SXSW

Unfortunately nobody at Generator was lucky enough to make SXSW this year but our good friends at TheTin were! They have produced a series of blogs detailing their experiences. We have rounded up some of the highlights below:

9th March The Power of Vertical AI in a Monolithic AI World

This was without a doubt my favourite talk of the day, an excellent start to the day! The panelists were very strong, and there was a lot of food for thought in this talk. The session filled up quite slowly, not as popular as some other talks I attended later in the day, so I’d like to think this one was a hidden gem! The talk explained the importance and power of vertical AI and what smaller companies can do to make AI a success for them.

“Almost every success you see now, is AI that effectively perceives stuff (seeing text, hear a sound and transcribe, respond to prompt, etc) this is just the beginning of the AI ecosystem. Observation, decision, simulation to action = your AI eco-system. It needs to reflect real actions in the real world, from a real observation. How do you start to reason & build a case for action to use AI? How to enable the action and make it explainable to the client or company? How the big 5 apply AI, is not the only way.”

10th March Changing the World with Open, Long-Range IoT

This was an amazing workshop, which was definitely the highlight of my day. It was a hands-on workshop learning how to build your own dust particle monitor using specific tools and libraries of code that we adapted. The interesting thing is the possibilities of using these tools, later on I added a temperature and humidity monitor and had to combine the code, quite difficult for a non-developer! But with some help I managed to get that done. It’s interesting to think about in what other ways this tech and these tools can be applied to create IoT for communities but also for brands. We used Multi-Tech xDot hardware, a specific dust monitor and temperature monitor. The best thing was we got to keep everything, except the temperature monitor. A very useful and engaging experience which also shows the accessibility of IoT for all.

11th March Can We Create Consciousness In A Machine?

This talk was very philosophical, and offered different points of views from the panelists, some that contracted each other.

“Can machines be conscious? Yes probably, us humans are also complicated machines who are conscious. It is about connectivity & information – which gives you consciousness. How do you create something that is conscious? There is no current research (Deepmind) on this specifically. It’s not directly measurable. If a machine is puzzled by its own consciousness, have you created a conscious machine?”

12th March AI: Ready to Disrupt Experience Design?

There were a few talks today which were absolutely excellent. But one that stood out to me a lot was the talk “AI: Ready to disrupt experience design?” which focused on Ford and the the journey to incorporate technology to their showrooms to get more and meaningful customer data that cannot be collated through standard methods. The speaker went through what didn’t work and how they improved on that and learned from that. Incredibly valuable insights!


13th March A Hearable Future: Sound & Sensory Interface

A really in-depth session on hearables. From the way that the technology can be used augment your life to the range of perception each individual has, Poppy Crum took us through the key principles that companies like Dolby are researching.

“In ear devices can predict psychosis just from anaylising changes in the sentiment and tone.”


14th March Chatbots & Robots Give Rise to the “Human” Brand

Chatbot session with Adam that went into how most branding processes now aren’t going deep enough. Super insightful and we are going to work with Adam on some tools and questions we can put together. Put simply:

“If you can describe your brand in the same way you would yourself – it’s not detailed enough.”

15th March Chatbots & Pixiedust: Extraordinary Service Sells

Today was TheTin’s final day at SXSW 2018! Tim, Laura and Juliette arrived back in the UK today, and Jamie had one final day to explore Austin and attend panels & sessions. The week flew by and the team will now process and refine all the information they have gained from the team. Here are our final findings for the Daily Digests, stay tuned as we publish more of our insights & learnings from SXSW soon. Read about Jamie’s favourite session of the day below:

This session was a looking specifically at the intersection between Client Service and Chat-bots and used a lot of reference to Disney where some of the panel had worked. Some great insight in there and detail in how this new frontier can provide personal 1:1 communication at scale.

“It’s the little things, details are everything”

You can see all highlights over on TheTin blog.

TheTin is also running a Tinnovation Live: SXSW Special taking place in London for those who can attend, but it will also be livestreamed for everyone else to enjoy.

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