8 November 2019

5 things we learned at #WebSummit

A lot went down in Lisbon this week: coding DJ’s, an AI making cocktails out of people’s faces, and digitally painted graffiti. Here are a few things we learned as the mega week in tech innovation comes to an end:

1. People love unicorns

Even the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa wants a unicorn!

No. Seriously. People really, really love unicorns

The queue for the unicorn game averaged at a wait time between 40 minutes to an hour and yet people still kept on coming. We managed to collect 2000 contacts while handing out 800 petrol-coloured fluffy moments of joy. It was by faaaaar our most successful social talking point, racking up countless mentions. People like gamification and cute things, who knew?!

2. Young innovation is the future

Pedro Miranda, CEO, Siemens Portugal, whose team helped judge the pitch competition hands over a unicorn to Maria Hahn, CEO & Founder, Nutrix, PITCH Winnner. Photo by Sam Barnes/Web Summit

Well done Nutrix for winning the PITCH competition. Labeled the most disruptive tech of the week, Nutrix pioneered a nano sensor that is placed on the tooth, which detects glucose level in the saliva and transfers information to an external app. Positively revolutionary tech for diabetics and beyond.

3. Robot dogs are really cool

4. The future of mobility will be shared

5. Let’s get ethical!

Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition, Photo by Sam Barnes/Web Summit via Sportsfile

“We do have new technology, but we should have the same old morals,” Commissioner Vestager said on the main stage. She was not the only one championing how we need to mindful of the ethical use of new technologies. Data protection was the biggest buzz of the conference – even our own Natalia Oropeza was into it. But there were debates about ethics in tech all round, as things even got quite heated on the topic of robot rights. Hanson Robotics chief scientist, Ben Goertzel insulted a couple of philosophers who posed the question of who should be deciding when robots earn the rights, let alone get a say over whether they deserve them. This is the start of an age of much bigger questions.

BONUS: Team work is the only thing that makes the dream work!

Literally, nothing would have been possible without this incredible team
And of course #teamsocial <3 <3 <3

Thanks, Web Summit, it’s been fun!

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