GOTO Copenhagen 2019 — Conference report

Tomislav Skokovic
Dec 24, 2019 · 4 min read

A few weeks ago, my colleagues and I from Comsysto Reply went to the GOTO Copenhagen 2019 conference. It was long-planned and very exciting because this year they had invited brilliant people like Steve Wozniak and also, it was our first time in Denmark. We were there for the three days of conference talks, trying to take it all in.

First impressions of Copenhagen were great. Self-driving Metro gets you where you need to go very fast and you have the option to take the train, bike, electric scooter as well. A lot of people use bikes in Copenhagen, there are bikes everywhere, as well as electric scooters from 4 different companies to rent from. People there are really kind and communicative, as we picked up a few pleasant conversations from just enjoying the ride on the Metro. We had time to visit the canal of Nyhavn from the 17th century with an amazing view of colorful houses lined up and to The Little Mermaid statue based on the fairy tale of the same name by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.

Denmark is all about Hygge. They use the word as frequently as they can and we took the liberty to include it in our speech as well. Hygge roughly translates to ‘a cozy atmosphere’, warmth, and peacefulness. It is the Danish way to live well as Danes are allegedly the happiest people in the world and although the word doesn’t really have an English synonym, it is really nicely described in The little book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. How do they do it? According to the book, by lighting a lot of candles, eating a lot of sweets, sipping warm beverages and enjoying the company of their closest friends.

There were a lot of great talks and speakers, but I’d point out that the keynote presentations were amazing. Each keynote talk was backed up by an artist drawing a mental map of the whole talk on a piece of canvas.

In the opening keynote, Stephen Carver speaks of the importance of communication and risk assessment, describing the events of NASA’s 1986 Challenger and 2003 Colombia space shuttle disasters.

Feynman Liang talked about composing new Bach chorales with his BachBot using deep learning (long short-term memory recurrent neural networks) which was very interesting to see and amazing to hear.

Award-winning quantum computing researcher Jessica Pointing gave an intro to quantum computing and presented the new era of quantum computing as Google claims they’ve demonstrated quantum supremacy.

Christina Boutrup, a leading China analyst and former correspondent, made an eye-opening presentation of the extreme digitalization going on in China.

One of the closing keynotes was held by Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple and an icon, talking about his love for electronics, the very start of Apple and how he designed and built the first Apple computers.

Other talks that haven’t been mentioned are available on the GOTO website and their Youtube channel.

To conclude, GOTO Copenhagen 2019 was a lot of fun, a lot of eye-opening information about new and upcoming technologies as well as brave war stories and presentations of the current state of cutting-edge software. Many thanks to all the organizers, speakers and attendees. And to anyone wondering ‘Should I attend the next GOTO conference?’, I’d say GO for it! 🙂

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This blog post is published by Comsysto Reply GmbH

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