News and Insights

VivaTechnology Paris 2019: artificial intelligence takes centre stage

June 5, 2019

For the fourth consecutive year, Viva Technology, which took place on 16-18 May, went big. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, attended the event for the second time, along with acting members of the French government as well as international politicians including Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, and Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.

Among the speakers, we saw the world’s top innovation leaders, entrepreneurs, leading business figures, investors and academics, like Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma, Stéphane Richard (Orange), Ginni Rometty (IBM) and Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia). Not forgetting startups and big brands such as Google, Facebook, L’Oréal, LVMH and Thales among the long list of attendees.

This year’s rendezvous was an opportunity to put forward innovation and major trends shaping the world of tomorrow with artificial intelligence (AI) again one of the hottest topics. AI is now everywhere, aiming to make our daily lives easier and more efficient. Talking about this trend, I had the opportunity to meet Garry Kasparov Russian chess grandmaster and Avast’s Security Ambassador, at the event. Kasparov was attending to talk about AI and the connected world.

Kasparov is famously renowned for his impressive career, being one of the most significant chess players in history, former world champion, but also known for his loss against IBM’s ‘Deep Blue’ computer in 1997.

He was actually the first human being to take on a challenge against a machine. When you ask him how he felt after this game, he answers that he was upset because it was the first defeat of his life at an event!

However, he saw this match as a milestone in the future and evolution of computers. Since, he has been convinced that AI is a powerful tool; a blessing to humanity. Garry Kasparov explains we have to find the best way to collaborate with machines rather than fear them, because it generates many opportunities, including enlarging the job pool: “Humanity wins with AI”.

Beyond chess and AI, Garry Kasparov has a rich history, being a symbol of opposition to Putin, subject of his book entitled Winter is coming. He is also currently chairman for the Human Rights Foundation.

When you ask what is important to him today, he puts forward human rights, the introduction of chess in education and last, but not least, his contribution to the future of humanity, before adding “If you want to make the difference, be passionate”. Garry Kasparov is definitely fascinated by artificial intelligence but remains clear: “Technology is not good or bad, it’s about people behind it”.

Technology progresses, so let’s make the most of it to make our lives better.


TAGS: Technology