Blog 19th Jun 2019
London Tech Week cover image from the AI Summit

Last week was London Tech Week, a week that aims to unite tech and talent in a world-class hub of innovation. There were lots of emerging themes for conversation throughout the week, including Connecting Global Markets, Cybersecurity and Digital Transformation. Although all topics provided lots of excitement amongst the Speechmatics team, I had a particular interest in Digital Transformation and how AI fits into that.

We attended several events across London to discuss and discover all things AI. Some notable conferences that we attended were the AI Summit and Cog X. Read on to find out my thoughts and key takeaways.

AI Summit

The AI Summit is the world’s leading conference that looks at the practical implications of AI for enterprise organisations, the actual solutions that are transforming business productivity.

Companies exhibiting at the AI Summit for London Tech Week

At this event, the team heard from some leading speakers about their AI strategies and digital transformations. Some notable talks were from Microsoft and Facebook who were discussing their AI business strategies. Both talks were interesting, with Microsoft showcasing their live captioning whilst Facebook demonstrated their tech for good specifically designed for the visually impaired.

Cog X

Cog X brought together some of the brightest minds in the world to discuss all things AI and emerging technologies. Some headline speakers included delegates from HSBC, Accenture, IBM and Google, to name a few. It was interesting to see how AI and machine learning were being applied across a huge range of industries and use cases.

Presentation at Cog X for the festival of AI for London Tech Week

Whilst there were lots of interesting discussions throughout the week, some of my favourites covered the challenges of deploying new technology and unresolved ethical conflicts around machine autonomy and AI. On the latter topic, a talk on the Ethics stage for Responsible AI stood out. The talk was from Kathy Baxter who analysed the state of AI and discussed some ethical concerns. Key takeaways from the talk were that AI should be:

  1. Responsible: Safeguard human rights and protect the data it is entrusted with.
  2. Accountable: Seek and leverage feedback for continuous improvement.
  3. Transparent: Explainable and transparent user experience to guide users through machine-driven recommendations.
  4. Empowering: Promote economic growth and employment for all.
  5. Inclusive: Respect the societal values of all those impacted.

I had a great time in London for London Tech Week discussing all things AI and how it is helping to shape the future of many industries. Working at a machine learning company specialising in speech recognition, it was really interesting to hear from other leaders in AI about their own strategies and how they are harnessing the technology and using it for good. It is important to understand that AI is used to support humans, enabling real-world applications to support faster results. It enables the progression of our understanding by automating repeatable functions, allowing us to focus on new learnings, innovation and growth.

Interested to learn how speech recognition technology can work for your business? Get in touch!

Ian Firth, Speechmatics