As world-class speakers, innovative Fortune 500 companies and ground-breaking startups descended on Lisbon this week for the Web Summit 2017, we at Exago couldn’t miss the event Forbes called “the best technology conference on the planet”.
Since the opening on November 6, more than 60,000 entrepreneurs, investors, journalists and startups from over 170 countries have been networking, exchanging ideas and listening to the 1,200-plus speakers at Feira Internacional de Lisboa (FIL) and Altice Arena.
With all eyes on innovation, technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – highlights have included talking robots taking the stage and self-driving cars –, the opening night welcomed António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who highlighted the importance of making sure “innovation works for the good of humankind”.
The biggest surprise of the night was physicist Stephen Hawking, who delivered the keynote speech through live video. “The rise of AI could be the worst or the best thing that has happened for humanity,” he warned. Noting that robots are already threatening millions of jobs (confirmed by Sophia the Robot), he added: “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.”
The Web Summit comes to a close today with speaker Al Gore, former US vice-president and Nobel Prize-winner, who has been extremely vocal in tackling climate change.
Created in Dublin in 2010, the Web Summit started as a vehicle to connect the technology community with all industries. The Web Summit 2018 will take place in Lisbon for the third time, from November 5 to 8.