The Web Summit, with its network HQ in Lisbon, held its conference online this year, between December 2 to 4, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Web Summit is recognized as one of the pre-eminent meet ups in the industry; as Forbes has said, it is "the best technology conference on the planet" and is once again making global impact on the future tech and business ecosystem.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people's work conditions and lives have changed for the worse. The purpose of this year's Web Summit was to rebuild confidence in society and explore future trends in the tech industry. Global companies ranging from major tech brands to rapidly growing start-ups listed on the Fortune 500 are all part of the community.
Victor Ai, the founder and CEO of Terminus Group - the world-leading smart services provider - was a featured speaker on the first day of this "Tech Davos", and gave an insightful speech on the topic of "Building the Future AI CITY," along with more than 800 speakers during nearly 100 hours of continuous discussions, interviews and keynotes. Other speakers who participated in the conference include Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn, Dan Doctoroff, CEO at Sidewalk Labs, Liang Hua, Chairman of Huawei, Xiang Wang, President of Xiaomi, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of European Commission.
Redefining the tech industry in times of uncertainty
Believing in the idea of "people working together," the technology conference drew even more online visitors this year.
As the only AI entrepreneur from Asia invited to the summit, Victor Ai delivered an inspiring speech on how the AI CITY will enhance people's life in the future, and how this momentum can translate into empowering cities around the globe. He shared his personal stories and his own reflections as to why he believes it's now the time for the digital economy to become a vital part of the social fabric. He also highlighted the unique perspective on future urban life, where sustainability, data, aesthetics, and technology are integrated within the AI CITY – and he highlighted how Terminus Group is developing the world's first pilot AI City project.
Multiple tech giants and start-ups also shared their product lines and research results in a variety of field of related topics, including digital infrastructure, AI solutions fighting COVID-19, future cities, and the development of IoT (Internet of Things). As the pandemic has proven how global interconnectedness is important for the world's well-being, the tech leaders again pointed out that we need to work together to build up and deploy digital solutions to deepen our cooperation in the new economy.
Explore the next-generation AI CITY
Victor Ai, during the fireside chat with Terminus Group AI CITY designer Bjarke Ingels (Danish architect, founder and creative partner of Bjarke Ingels Group), mostly focused during his speech on how the AI CITY project leverages the potential of people, nature and society as a whole, and how it can improve our future life. He also mentioned that Terminus' AI CITY project is 90% digitized. For instance, residents will be served by robots functioning on the basis of hardware and software designed by the company.
"It's going to be a very exciting experience for the residents of those cities, the city's governing institutions, and last but not least - for the businesses, as they will have to adjust and adapt to the digital transformation," Victor said.
Victor also highlighted the new user experience the AI CITY will bring. Whilst the idea of a "smart city" has been mentioned many times due to its relevance to 5G and AI technologies, the idea of the AI CITY begs further explanation. "By integrating the smart hardware and Terminus Group's digital ecosystem, the AI CITY will take advantage of all the IoT (Internet of Things) sensors to connect the whole city. Our future city-level operating system will work just like Apple's iOS, it will connect everybody, every app, and the entire data analysis system together," Victor explained.
"We are the first company to build the prototype AI CITY and provide the on-the-ground systems to coordinate all the different vertical applications, such as smart parking, smart energy management systems, autonomous driving, smart retail, and more. The platform - TACOS (Terminus Group AI CITY Operating System) - is just like a smart car or a smartphone – a lot of different technologies coming together, which will make the AI City alive and thrive."
While smart technologies were among the key topics at the summit, many companies shared their views on how AI-related technologies help to make the world a better place, especially amid this year's global health crisis. Siemens AI Lab scientists talked about the role of AI in creating a sustainable world in the future, focusing on keeping the balance between technologies and the potential risks they involve.
Huawei attended the conference and focused on the fifth generation of wireless telecommunication technology, giving a speech entitled "5G and beyond: The next steps in digital infrastructure." Huawei senior vice president Catherine Chen Lifang spoke about the importance of building a diverse and inclusive digital economy in the future to come.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in her speech that the potential lying in the next wave of the digital transformation is enormous, stressing that the digitization and connectivity can change our reliance on geographical locations. She pointed out that digital technologies can give us the opportunity to make the location less relevant in determining the success of people and entire geographical regions.
Technology is a major driving force and a decisive factor in where the world is heading in the foreseeable future. This year's pandemic accelerated the global innovation and digitization, which as a result can help keep businesses sustainable. As Victor said in his chat, the digital transformation emerges as a result of rapid technological progress, and it is the starting point for building a better future in the post-pandemic world.