Perhaps the biggest and most relevant tech conference of 2017 has just transpired in Hong Kong, China: The RISE Conference. Blockchains.my was honored to take part in this prestigious occasion both by holding a booth in the exhibition hall, and by having our Founder, Arai Ezzra, present our amazing blockchain technology to the crowd of guests and attendees.

The 3 day conference largely centered around Artificial Intelligence (AI), robots, blockchain technology, and cryptocurrencies, etc. You can read more about that here.

According to Truenews.com, who attended the event, the conference had nearly: *15,000 entrepreneurs from more than 85 countries around the world. 

*250 world class speakers.
*Executives from Google, Facebook, Airbus, Trivago, Uber, JPMorgan Chase, and Alibaba Group, among others.

Co-Founder & Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group, Joe Tsai, said that the company had spent hundreds of millions of dollars in buying the South China Morning Post, a major newspaper in Hong Kong, so that they could tell the world about the rise of China as a world power. He continued to say that consumer behavior is changing rapidly and is not stabilizing. He also made the point that he believes that Artificial Intelligence will change the way that people access and find news, that people will ask personal assistant devices powered by AI to give them the daily news, and information, as well as to answer their questions. Mr. Tsai also said that chatbots will rule customer relations departments.

There was more speculation in the conference that within the next 10 years, level 5 fully autonomous vehicles would be out in the society. The type of vehicles where you could go to sleep and be carried safely to your destination. Speculators said that it will happen first in China.

Some news from the conference has gone viral over the last few days, such as Bobby Lee, director of BTCC (Bitcoin exchange in Hong Kong), who made headlines by telling CNBC that central banks will soon start regulating cryptocurrencies.  

Speaking of digital currencies, Truenews took notice from the conference that cryptocurrencies are on the rise and becoming mainstream. They’re part of the fourth industrial revolution (which you’ll read about below), which is built on blockchain technology. Apparently, China is leading the way in cryptocurrency mining, being that they are the major manufacturers of much of the mining equipment.  

A highlight of day 2 of the conference, was a startling display of two AI humanoid robots debating each other about the future of the human race, in front of a human audience, which was both amazing and creepy to those in the audience. Read more later on.

Truenews gave a 5-point summary takeaway from the RISE 2017 conference as follows:

1. The 4th industrial revolution is under way, and it cannot be stopped, it will radically change human society over the next 10 years.
2. Artificial Intelligence and robotics will have significant roles in society and the economy.
3. People, businesses, and organizations must constantly re-invent themselves.
4. Education must be ongoing, and never ending. And…
5. China will run the world, power & money is moving from the West to the East.

On the robot exchange, an article by Nation.com reported: 

Artificial intelligence is the dominant theme at this year’s sprawling RISE tech conference at the city’s harbourfront convention centre, but the live robot exchange took the AI debate to another level.

The article, which focussed exclusively on the AI Robot’s exchange, also reported:

The robot later pointed out: “In 10 or 20 years, robots will be able to do every human job.”

A gentler Sophia conceded that humans do have “some ability to reflect and self-modify”.

She insisted her aim was to work together with people, before Han “joked” he thought the robots’ goal was to take over the world.

The machines had been programmed to banter and learn from each other, and had been trained to act like humans from movies and YouTube, said Goertzel.

Needless to say, as fascinating as this was, it is concerning for many.

An article by Scmp.com had many good highlights of the 3rd day of the event, including:

-A session titled “Innovate or Die”, in which ‘serial’ entrepreneur Allan Zeman, Chairman of the Lan Kwai Fong Group, said that Hong Kong is slow in adopting new technology, in particularly FinTech (Financial Technology). A fellow member on the panel, Janice Lee, who is the Managing Director of PCCW, said that her company’s Viu (a mobile streaming video service) is looking to compete with Netflix in Asia, as it provides more of a country-specific pricing model.

-Another highlight were answers to the question of: does a tech worker need a college degree? Cindy Wang, Chief Marketing Officer of Uxin Group, said that a degree can help applicants knock on the door of tech companies in an increasingly competitive industry. However, Diane Yu, Co-Founder of FreeWheel expressed that a degree wasn’t compulsory, because employees need to constantly improve anyways.

-A surprising note was that Africa was said to be the next hotspot for technology entrepreneurs, and that over the next 10 years, the number of workers coming out of Africa would surpass the rest of the world. This news came from Crunchbase Chief Executive Officer Jager McConnell. He also noted that the Chinese have heavily invested in Africa, from $7 Billion USD in 2008, to $26 Billion USD as of 2013, and it is said that over $100 Billion USD from China over the next 15 years will go into African roads, telecom, water, power, and the lighting industry.   

-On autonomous vehicles, Founding Partner of Arbor Ventures, Melissa Guzy, said that autonomous vehicles will cut across nearly every other sector [nearly every sector]. And the Managing Director of GGV Capital, Foo Jixun, said that autonomous vehicles are getting investors to think about what consumers will be wanting to do when their hands are free.

-On starting a venture in China, Founder of ClearVue Partners, Harry Hui, said that doing so [a startup in China] is perhaps the most competitive, although the initial costs have gone down significantly.

-A session titled “The Future of Shopping: How Technology Is Transforming The e-Commerce Experience”, Technology Vise President At JD.com (one of China’s largest online retailers), Eric Zhao, said that the adoption of drones, big data, and algorithms, will enable online shopping to occur at even faster paces than existing brick and mortar stores.

You can read more details on those highlights from the original article.

If you’re interested to see some of the things that were talked about at the event, you can watch many of the presentations and discussions on the RISE conference Facebook page. Here’s a sample video from the page to give you an idea. 

And now, here’s a few more photos from Blockchains.my’s experience at the RISE 2017 Conference in Hong Kong, hope you enjoy 🙂

And that’s all, hope you enjoyed this quick overview of the conference,
Have a wonderful day!
The Blockchains.my team.


Resources:
https://riseconf.com/ http://www.trunews.com/listen/the-rise-conference-day-1-the-rise-of-china

http://www.trunews.com/listen/the-rise-conference-day-2-ai-robots-debate-world-domination

http://nation.com.pk/snippets/13-Jul-2017/robots-debate-future-of-humans-at-hk

http://www.scmp.com/tech/enterprises/article/2102501/recap-day-3-2017-rise-conference-technology-and-entrepreneurship

https://www.facebook.com/RISEConfHQ/

https://www.facebook.com/RISEConfHQ/videos/828112800678566/