How many times have we heard human being only uses 10% of his Brain? Even when this is more myth than reality for various theories, it is true that there is still a long way to understand what its potential is and how we can train it to adapt us and grow in an ecosystem where technology and the changes it promotes, are advancing at an inexorable pace, where new generations already touch the last letters of the alphabet, where artificial intelligence is no longer fiction but a reality.
2 days, 8th and 9th October and an idyllic location in Innsbruck, Austria, at the headquarters of Swarovski, a company that integrates technology and talent to embrace innovation and collective intelligence, was the scenario chosen to build this year the NTT New Tomorrow Together Summit 2018. A disruptive adventure we organise from NTT with a main topic this time, the BRAIN, and where we shared with many of our clients, amazing speakers and colleagues from the NTT group, a journey that we consider a new M-US-T for Business Leadership.
A M-US-T truly based in the 'ME', where we travelled within our brain to discover abilities in order to achieve our goals and dreams. Amazing speakers like Jill Bolte, an energetic Neuroanatomist who shared with us that 90 seconds is all we have to allow ourselves to observe the emotions surrounding our actions, to take afterwards responsibility for our energy and capacity to make decisions; or Carl Schoonover, a French-born, NYC-based 35 years old research Scientists at Columbia University, who took us from the Old times to the 21st Century drawing a portrait of the mind.
Since this is not only about ME or you but ‘US’ that was the next step on this journey where we had the chance to explore how to be interconnected and how by applying a ‘working together’ approach we as a company promote, and joining our brains, companies, our clients and employees, will allow us to unlock new levels of competitive advantage. Here, Nick Bostrom joined the stage, Professor at Oxford University and founder of the Future of Humanity Institute, who has been referred to as one of the most amazing thinkers of our age. He delighted us with a speech about the use of AI and shed some light on crucial considerations that might shape our collective future, considering a more fictional approach of the human vulnerability in relation to Artificial Intelligence and machines, built primarily by us to cover our gaps, get us rid of mundane tasks and extend our abilities to reach new experiences we didn’t even imagine we could have years ago.
“A few hundred thousand years ago, in early human (or hominid) prehistory, growth was so slow that it took on the order of one million years for human productive capacity to increase sufficiently to sustain an additional one million individuals living at subsistence level. By 5000 BC, following the Agricultural Revolution, the rate of growth had increased to the point where the same amount of growth took just two centuries. Today, following the Industrial Revolution, the world economy grows on average by that amount every ninety minutes.” - Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.
That took us smoothly to the next step, where we explored if the intelligence of the machines (‘THEM’) is in harmony or in conflict with US. Bo Ewald, president of D-Wave, talked about quantum computing and how we could use physics to build machines (normally works on the other way around) being this a reality these days, helping to come up with faster, cheaper and more predictably answers based on the reaction of how physical particles behave. We had on the stage Ben Hammersley, British journalist, internet technologist and futuristic sharing a pragmatic view and taking us through lessons on how to work, live and innovate during an age where technology continues moving forward every single day.
We were as well truly inspired by Neil Harbisson, the young man officially recognised as the world's first cyborg artist, who decided to proactively change his life due to a colour blindness disease, getting an implant on his head connected to his Brain that allows him to recognise colours by capture audible vibrations. The inspiration comes from his ability to ‘hear colours’ and ‘paint sounds’, and how the organisation of which he is co-founder, the Cyborg Foundation, runs initiatives not so much to change the environment for the human being to adapt, but adapting the human being to the environment.
Marc Alba, Chief Innovation Office at NTT and the ‘brain’ behind the New Tomorrow Together Summit, closed the speakers session talking about Brainomics, and how this discipline is the new M-US-T to enable business leaders to achieve new advantages in an area where change and disruption have become inevitable topics.
That in the end was without any doubt, an amazing experience I hope our customers and everyone we shared this with, really enjoyed it.
Stephen Hawkins said once: ‘Perhaps we should all stop for a moment and focus not only on making our AI better and more successful but also on the benefit of humanity’. From everis and NTT we are modelling the future of AI in collaboration with our clients and partners, deploying people’s talent from our teams of highly specialised professionals to help our clients leverage the latest technologies in their business challenges. We are looking forward to putting the digital world closer to global citizens and global enterprises.