Cambridge Wireless conference hears how artificial intelligence ‘will help drive world economy by 2025’

PUBLISHED: 05:00 18 May 2017

The Cambridge Wireless conference on AI at Granta Park

The Cambridge Wireless conference on AI at Granta Park

Iliffe Media Ltd

But we’re still in the ‘Wild West’ stage of the industry, says Samsung Cambridge MD

At the CW conference are, from left, Ian Simmons from Magna International, James Chapman from Qualcomm Technologies International, Peter Whale of Iotic Labs, Phil Claridge from Mandrel Systems, Raj Gawera from Samsung Cambridge, and Bob Driver, of CW. Picture: Keith HeppellAt the CW conference are, from left, Ian Simmons from Magna International, James Chapman from Qualcomm Technologies International, Peter Whale of Iotic Labs, Phil Claridge from Mandrel Systems, Raj Gawera from Samsung Cambridge, and Bob Driver, of CW. Picture: Keith Heppell

By 2025, the world economy will be driven by principled decision-making that uses artificial intelligence.

That was the prediction from Vishal Chatrath, CEO of start-up Prowler.io, when he spoke at the Cambridge Wireless (CW) conference on AI at Granta Park last Thursday.

The company, based at the Barclays Eagle Lab in Chesterton Road, Cambridge, is growing fast as it develops autonomous decision- making systems that have near limitless applications – from games to smart city infrastructure to agriculture to drones.

The diversity within AI was much in evidence at the CW event.

The Cambridge Wireless conference on AI at Granta ParkThe Cambridge Wireless conference on AI at Granta Park

Bob Driver, CEO of CW, said: “We have 300 people here and the event is looking at what AI is, what AI isn’t, looking at the major building blocks of AI, looking at how artificial intelligence is affecting every sector and also what it’s like to start an AI business.”

The University of Cambridge, along with four other universities and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, created the Alan Turing Institute, the national institute for data science, headquartered at the British Library, in 2015.

Professor Andrew Blake, director of the institute, told the conference: “Of course, there are these huge commercial opportunities but the thing that really gets me excited is we are understanding what intelligence is.

“I think in some ways it is perhaps an even more effective route than neuroscience. We try to make intelligence through computing.”

Cable and Wireless Conference Ai Conference at TWI Granta Centre, Granta Park, Cambridge . Picture: Keith HeppellCable and Wireless Conference Ai Conference at TWI Granta Centre, Granta Park, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell

In a discussion of the impact of AI on its industry, automotive manufacturer Magna International suggested that in the medium term, intelligent sensors that complement responsible driving will be more important than completely autonomous vehicles.

Ian Simmons, from Magna, said: “A rapid increase in innovation is affecting all of Magna’s products. It’s forcing us to engage with start-up companies and research organisations really to make sure we can respond to those challenges, not only of the technology but also of our customers.”

Kumi Thiruchelvam, MD of London-based Artagnan Tech, predicted: “The next paradigm that will occur in AI is in voice and voice-related AI. Voice is the new data, if you like. I think there will be a lot of applications and companies growing out of the success of things like Google Home and Alexa.”

CW confirmed after the event that it intends to establish a pilot special interest group for AI companies, to include machine learning and big data, which will help support deeper understanding of the subject within its network.

The Cambridge Wireless conference on AI at Granta ParkThe Cambridge Wireless conference on AI at Granta Park

CW chairman Raj Gawera, VP and MD of Samsung Cambridge and Samsung Aalborg, said: “The interesting thing for me was the real diversity in terms of the different opinions as to how AI is going to develop.

“It really is the Wild West stage of the industry at the moment because there’s so much that is not defined, which is still open, so there’s a lot of interesting start-ups out there who could make a land-grab for interesting areas with novel approaches of applying the technology to specific applications.”

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