Event Recap: Silicon Valley Forum

“That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think. Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, is developing advanced robots that can gallop like a cheetah, negotiate 10 inches of snow, walk upright on two legs and even open doors and deliver packages.”- Ted Talk

AI, robots, and blockchains… what do these things have in common? Hottest buzz words for 2018. We recently attended Silicon Valley Forum to meet with other industry leaders in the field of robotics and IoT.

Silicon Valley Forum

Courtesy of sponsorship by IBM, Speakers gathered from some of the largest and most prestigious companies around the valley to debate the future of IoT, specifically as it relates to the Fourth Revolution, or Industry 4.0: In its own words, the event description defines this as “When robotics, cognitive computing, the Internet of Things, and digital fabrication are connected, they integrate both the physical and digital worlds. We’re already starting to see significant impact across industries — we’re likely on the brink of a world that’s completely connected, fully automated, and unlike anything else in human history.”

Date: Wednesday March 7th, 2018
Time: 6:00 pm


6:00–6:45 pm — Registration and refreshments
6:45–6:50 pm — Opening Remarks by Silicon Valley Forum and IBM
6:50–7:05 pm — Keynote Address
7:05–7:45 pm — Panel Discussion
7:45–8:00 pm — Audience Q&A
8:00–8:30 pm — Networking

Opening seating and networking
Denyse, the CEO of the Silicon Valley FOrum, opening up the conversation to the audience in attendance.

“We have a wonderfully diverse crowd in attendance and I would like to thank all of you for being here.” — The CEO of the Silicon Valley forum, was excited for the second annual meetup of the month.

Deborah Magid, doing an introduction of IBM’s Venture group. Deborah covered the software strategies and approaches IBM is taking to explore the worlds of Blockchain, IOT, and AI.

Kevin O’Brien, the Chief Business Officer at Orbital Insights and a seasoned serial entrepreneur, discussed how machine learning was gradually being integrated and tested in the satellites that control geospatial analytics for an interconnected world. Slated for release in the coming years, at their offices, satellites and drone cameras are gradually being refined and tested to measure photos with detail up to 3cm. While currently the drone cameras at work within FAA regulations only allow for a closeness of 256 cm.

Exploring the concrete applications and real life use cases for IoT through field research, I learned about some of the robotic technologies currently in development and the advancement of cameras & the software that they operate upon.

Board discussion where Andra Keay spoke, sharing her thoughts on Silicon Valley Robotics.

Andra Kaey from Silicon Valley Robotics, a non-profit coalition of robotics companies and startups launched in 2010, spoke about how the infrastructure and security of Robots is being built out and secured, all while the robots themselves are being brainstormed, designed, and manufactured within each of these companies. IBM has poured extensive funding and research resources into both non profits like her company and also manufacturers.

She was particularly keen on defining “robots”. Could it be a Roomba vacuum cleaner? Does it have to be a walking humanoid apparatus? If your refrigerator talks to you and tells you when the milk is low, and then automatically order you a new carton from amazon, does that make it a Robot? She feels that this definition is important to define as we work towards developing products for the public and consumers. Presenting an appropriate definition of a robot is necessary for successful marketing to the the public.

At the end of the day, “when all of the funding dust clears behind blockchain and AI and Machine learning,” there need to be real use cases for the tech. What problem is the robotics company solving and how is it useful to society on the whole. “We need to avoid Juicero situations,” referencing the 200 million dollar failed Startup.

Valery Komissarova, Business Development Director of Grishin Robotics, engaged in the conversation echoing these sentiments, revealing that overfunding and “key words” in pitches have led to an overabundance and influx of funding in certain fields: mainly AI, Blockchain, Crypto, and machine learning. She was very bullish also on the concepts of application and real life use case scenarios.

Some say we’re already living in it: the Fourth Revolution, or Industry 4.0. When robotics, cognitive computing, the Internet of Things, and digital fabrication are connected, they integrate both the physical and digital worlds. We’re already starting to see significant impact across industries — we’re likely on the brink of a world that’s completely connected, fully automated, and unlike anything else in human history. Learn more.

Blockchain Becoming Mainstream

A general consensus amongst the speakers and the attendees was that Blockchain, AI, and Machine learning have become “hot words” for funding in the space right now. They feel there is an overabundance of funding and a lack of direction when it comes down to product development and applicable use cases for the technology.

Without a question, we have gotten to the point where blockchain has gone mainstream.There is without a doubt a bubble in the funding and inflation of the market. What most experts expect, and the investors and leaders at the conference expressed, is that at least 2/3 of the market will be all hype, and that these companies will fail. A realistic stance is that those that perfect the applications of blockchain will succeed.

Small but Mighty

Small companies have the advantage of being able to pivot due to the lack of bureaucracy. They may not have the funding and benefits that large companies have, but in the field of innovation higher risk tends to lead to higher reward.

Large companies are increasingly looking to buy out smaller companies who have created improvements to the technology, software, and hardware in the space. They, like investors, are looking for the next big thing.

Our goal is to be at the forefront of the blockchain innovation. With a world class team and powerful investors, IoTeX is developing the infrastructure security and speed within blockchain technology.

About IoTeX

IoTeX is dedicated to create the next generation of the IoT-oriented blockchain platform. The cutting edge blockchain-in-blockchain architecture will address the scalability, privacy, isolatability, and developability issues relating to the IoT DApps and ecosystem growth. By combining token incentives with our vibrant global community, we believe we can crowdsource top industry and community talents to push the frontier of blockchain 3.0.

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