The Next Web Conference

The Next Web Conference

The Next Web Conference

Highly recommended: The Next Web Conference  (TNW) at the Westergasfabriek Amsterdam. An excited tech-event filled with interesting presentations, good panel discussions, delicious food and an energetic vibe. During these two days, we have attended various interesting talks. Get inspired by 5 surprising insights from our visit to The Next Web Conference.

Innovation in Silicon Valley

Kathryn Myronuk, American scientist from Silicon Valley, explained that the world does not change because of the latest technologies but of how people will utilize this technology. Silicon Valley uses technology that already exists for many years and applies it in different contexts. That strives innovation. Myronuk calls this ‘the thinking of the 21st century’: not seeking solutions with the usual suspects, but raising issues and challenging multidisciplinary teams to solve it. As an example, Myronuk mentioned the deployment of drones technology in Africa. By sending a text message to the central health facility, blood and other emergency medical supplies can be delivered by a drone within 30 minutes.

Let’s decide that the 21st Century attitude is that since we can ask everybody involved, at least for that initial discussion, let´s assume that we need to do that. – Kathryn Myronuk, Silicon Valley

Sex or internet access?

9GAG’s Ryan Chan tried to answer the following question during his session: What are Millennials thinking? He shared interesting insights from a 9GAG survey in which they have interviewed 150 million millennials. The most remarkable thing is the different outcome between the various countries. Asking questions like “sex or internet access”  shows Singapore’s (with 55% percent) willingness to give up sex in order to be online. With a convincing 68%, only one country chooses sex over online access. That this country was Italy, came as no surprise to the audience. On the question whether we prefer to vote politically or lose our voice online, German Millennials convincingly (with 80% percent) prefer to vote politically. A different result can be seen in China. There, the Millennials chose massively for their online voice. Ryan Chan blames this to the corrupt image of the political elections, making people prefer to keep their voice on social media.

Buy your ride

One of the most interesting presentations of The Next Web Conference discussed the future of our mobility. Brad Templeton outlined the impact of the self driving car, which is expected to dominate the street scene by 2020. Not a futuristic picture, since Google already has an automated vehicle driving on public roads. The self driving car will completely change the way we think about our mobility. It’s no longer a matter of buying cars, as it has been for 100 years, but about buying car rides. In order to demonstrate the rapid advancement of technology, Brad refers to Tesla, who introduced the car automated pilot of their cars as a “simple” update.

AI in customer service

IBM Watson’s Marc Teerlink showed us how customer service benefits from artificial intelligence. Customer services apply the technology to get rid of dull and repetitive work. The discussion is too often about the fear that AI will result in people losing their jobs. Marc Teerlink offered a refreshing perspective on this. He showed us the nice example of the chatbot IVY. Hotel visitors can ask IVY frequently asked questions. For example, questions like: what is the hotel’s wifi code? When IVY detects that a question is too difficult, it will be forwarded to one of the hotel employees. Thanks to IVY, hotel staff have more time to focus on important issues, and hotels are seeing an overall rise in their customer satisfaction.

When Your Bank Knows More About You Than You Do

According to Chris Skinner, banking will be done completely different in future. Banks will use much more automation and personalization. The banking system becomes invisible, because the bank already knows what you want and will get it done for you. This also means that 1/3 of current bank employees will not have a job in 2025. People ultimately want “the invisible bank” and do no longer need to think about the financial administration and transactions.

The semantic bank becomes something that is not a bank. It is just looking after you, making it easy to consume, travel, trade. Whenever you want too, wherever you want too. We move from these people who advice to these machine that advice. – Chris Skinner

The Next Web Conference

The Next Web Conference is a 2-day technology festival that brings together international technology executives, top-tier investors and promising startups for two days of business, knowledge sharing and having a great time. Over the past 11 editions The Next Web Conference has grown from a 200-person event to one of the leading technology events, bringing together 15,000 attendees a day and 3,500 companies from all over the world.