Q: Why does Web Summit attract technology companies?
A: We should understand that it is no wonder that Forbes calls Web Summit the best technology conference on the planet. It is estimated that this year the event should have gathered over 70,000 participants. This is a very impressive figure, and according to my observations, it was very close to reality. As for technology companies, they come to Lisbon to exchange experiences and take part in discussions that define the vector of the industry development. For example, this year, on the sidelines of the summit, technology companies were actively discussing the responsibility and ethical principles when using AI in various fields, ways to best defend brands in the competitive digital sphere, commercial applications of AI, AR, VR, and much more.
Q: Is AI becoming a trend even for information projects?
A: Today even small companies and startups are looking for opportunities to use AI. But it doesn’t mean that AI is really so necessary for solving problems in the information sphere. Rather, we can observe following a fashion trend when the popularity of the AI technology makes it a part of any project by default, whether it is necessary or not.
Q: In Lisbon, were global topics discussed that related to the development and future of the Internet and freedom of information?
A: Of course, all major conferences today discuss important topics related to the Internet development. Web Summit was no exception, so the issue of combining technology companies to make the Internet more responsible was raised. It is difficult to make the global network better or worse, but to bring a share of responsibility for the actions is what, according to the speakers, we should strive for. The Internet should be an open platform that serves humanity. That is what Tim Berners-Lee spoke about at the opening of the summit with his welcome speech. This process is lengthy, but it is important to understand that today the Internet is not limited only to information resources, service and technology companies. The world wide web covers all areas of human lives, from medical care to culture. Among the headliners of the event were not only well-known developers, politicians and leading media workers, but also artists.
Q: Were the issues of the development of IT companies addressed?
A: The environment in which technology companies operate is inherently very dynamic, therefore, quite many sessions and reports were devoted to successful business cases in digital. The topic of “diversity” and, of course, women in IT was also considered. But don’t take the issue of women’s leadership in IT unequivocally. It may seem that the struggle for the rights of women in IT makes them feel victims and men to blame, although men cannot be even aware of the problem of gender inequality in IT. This is also understood by the movement organizers, who say that they enthusiastically inspire not only women, but men as well. After all, the main goal is not to establish someone’s leadership or equality, but to learn how to cooperate. For technology companies, there was a separate innovators’ lecture track conducted where not only trends and positioning were discussed, but also how the technological world map would change. Web Summit is a whole set of small internal conferences, starting with discussions of industry domains: vehicles, robotics, media, and ending with discussions on marketing and technology. These events attract the special attention of IT companies, because there you can meet famous players in the market – from Tripadvisor to Elle magazine.
Q: What questions and needs did private companies and business representatives bring to Web Summit in Lisbon?
A: I have already mentioned that there is a great demand for solutions using artificial intelligence. But the main question that businesses solve today is the availability of resources for software development. Digital is an ever expanding space. Demand does not keep pace with the proposal, and where there is a high concentration of technology companies, products and services, there is a great demand for those who can fulfill their assigned tasks. For companies that come to the summit for networking, what happens outside of lecture sessions is similar to “speed dating”.
Q: Can Web Summit be seen as a driver of technology innovation?
A: Such events are a reason for representatives of different companies and directions to meet and discuss important industry issues. Such meetings help develop the market, form an international technology community and, of course, provide an opportunity for businesses to meet, which can later turn into fruitful joint work. Of course, such conferences are held regularly in different countries. But Web Summit in Lisbon still stands out, being the largest technology conference in Europe today. In a conversation with the summit organizers, the figure of 100,000 people was mentioned. It sounds great. This means that even more spheres, businesses and directions will have the opportunity to meet and somehow influence on the environment in which we all live and work.