News Masters&Robots


Masters&Robots is an event full of captivating stories and inspiring discussions. It brings a variety of issues from different fields, pointing out important trends, directions and areas that are worth looking closely at. What were the most interesting conclusions of last year’s conference? How technologies promote health and mutual understanding Each person perceives the world in only his or her own way. He sees it, hears it, feels it, interprets it and understands it differently. On the one hand, this is a key element that constitutes a person’s individuality and uniqueness, but on the other hand it is a source of differences, misunderstandings and certain limitations. According to Poppy Crum – a neurobiologist and expert in technology-based innovation and human evolution – there is a risk that this individual’s reading of reality is often distorted. The reason for this phenomenon is the various limitations and dysfunctions that people face in varying degrees and intensities. Crum sees technology as a phenomenon that can facilitate overcoming barriers and obstacles. By taking advantage of the brain’s neuroplasticity, it can be programmed, so to speak, to communicate more easily and allow others’ vision of the world, as well as to function better in the context of disability and disease. Moreover – technology could make it possible to predict the onset of diseases and diagnose them much faster. The neurobiologist also emphasized the role of conscious and responsible creation of technology. Regular use of its creations changes the human brain, modifying its capabilities and behavior. Therefore, technology designers should anticipate what they will cause, how they will change people and in what direction they will push them. Especially since devices often know more about a person than he or she does – an example is empathic technology, which allows analysis of phenotype based on changes in voice over the years. The power of exponential growth Change is constantly accelerating, forcing people and businesses to be open-minded, flexible and brave enough to pursue activities in a completely different way. In the past, the world developed in a linear fashion, giving minds and companies time to adapt to the rather slow changes that were taking place in the world of business and science. While it used to be that change was talked about in terms of months and years, today change happens the very moment words are spoken about it. Development has shifted from linear to exponential, and this is the kind of thinking it requires. This leap is implied primarily by new technologies and the opportunities that come with them. If companies want to survive-and people want to keep up with the pace of change-they must go with the flow of artificial intelligence, new business models and various emerging ecosystems. It will be necessary to react quickly and nimbly adapt business activities to the changes that the future constantly brings and will bring. The key here is to create new thinking and management in leaders, who should give employees the space to make bold decisions and experiment. Their role is to shake teams out of established patterns and familiar paths in favor of exploration, innovation and maximum broad perspective. Don’t be afraid of the development of technology, just get used to it, learn a new model of operation and make the best use of new solutions. The companies that will survive will be those that understand this and who follow this path. The others will be left with a memory. Marketing story of brand authenticity In order for a company to count on the loyalty of its customers and – thus – stable profits, it must achieve a key goal: to inspire trust in the brand. Research shows that 85% of people consider buying a company’s products or services only if they trust it. If this trust is let down, 63% of customers will stop shopping, and 69% will never give a brand a second chance. Therefore, the role of effective modern marketing is, first and foremost, to build trust and maintain it at all times, and to take care of the relationship with customers. The key to this is authenticity. MJ DePalma – head of global multicultural and inclusive marketing at Microsoft Advertising – talked about tools that help increase trust in a company. According to her, every brand should lean into setting a clear direction for development and communication. It is necessary to clearly define the company’s mission and what distinguishes itself and its products (or services), as well as to act sustainably and meet the diversity of consumers. When a company is aware of its value and knows how to show it to the customer, it allows it to create a relationship with them. Talking about the purpose of a particular company is also important. When it is spoken about honestly and convincingly, people find it easier to identify with it. DePalma referred to a statement by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft: “The world is at a turning point. It’s time for us to get to the heart of the purpose of the modern corporation and what that means for the future world. That’s what our world demands of us.” And it’s what customers demand. Smart development of empathetic assistants David Hanson and Sophie (Hanson Robotics), Magdalena Kasiewicz (Microsoft) and Diana Deibel (Grand Studio) held an interesting discussion on the opportunities and risks of implementing artificial intelligence, and the conversation was moderated by Leesa Soulodre of Singapore Management University (SMU). It might seem that artificial intelligence is generally used for uncomplicated and repetitive activities that do not require higher instincts. Meanwhile, it turns out that the phenomenon is much more developed, and empathetic assistants have already appeared in the world. One of them is Sophie, a humanoid robot that has had Saudi Arabian citizenship since 2017. Assistants like him appeal to higher “phenomena” in their work. – feelings, views or motivations – so they can support people who need help. Their empathic intelligence makes them able to help the elderly, the sick, the lonely and those struggling with mental problems. The challenge ahead is to keep only high instincts in assistants and develop artificial intelligence so that robots are not susceptible to things like manipulation, violence or sexualization. Will robots replace humans? Will there still be room for the capabilities of the human mind in a future dominated by ever-smarter robots? Prof. Andrew McAfee – co-founder of MIT’s digital economics initiative – spun a thought on the subject. It seems that the crux will be the arrangement of cooperation between humans and machines and such a division of responsibilities that will optimally exploit the potential of both groups. An interesting field to watch is games with computers. A computer programmed to play “tic-tac-toe” was unbeatable from the first round. However, it took decades to learn how to win at chess. He did it so successfully, however, that today the gap between the best human and digital player is massive. Machines have also developed enormously in areas where they could not previously excel. They have learned to cope perfectly with transcription, for example – they can no longer not only recognize text, but also understand it. Even though the human mind harbors more than 200 cognitive errors, and automation will take place on a massive scale, according to the professor, human abilities and competence will still be indispensable in the world.