How can we use technology for exponential growth? Can IoT and AI help in decision making? How can we automate business processes using AI? What to do and how to process large quantities of data business, governments, and organizations have? All of these questions, and more were addressed at our latest event.
On Thursday, December 6th, Impact City, AI LAB and Be a Riot Media hosted an evening full of laughs, learning, and community building. An event discussing applications of exponential technologies on business and how they help in creating value for business and citizens.
What is exponential technology?
By definition exponential technology, or in other words a technology allowing exponential growth, goes through six phases. The first phase is Digitization which moves the transfer and storage of data from the physical to the digital domain. Next is the Deceptive stage called like this because the growth might be misleading – it starts slowly and no one takes it seriously until it is too late and it is able to Disrupt whole industries. Which is the third step of the exponential growth. Following are the Dematerialization and Demonetization phases which make the technology cheaper and more compact. Finally, we reach the Democratization step which allows more and more people to gain access to it and use it. During the event, we discussed two of the most popular examples of today’s Exponential Technology – Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things.
Hal24K and how to make strategic decisions by using data
One of the speakers and partners of the event was Hal24K, a startup based in Amsterdam. Simply put, they analyze data from past events and identify patterns which then they use on current data to make predictions of the future as accurate as possible. This is possible through with an artificial intelligence that learns and discovers these patterns. The data is collected from a big number of sensors and other various sources, and then it is run through deep neural networks.
The applications of their product vary from traffic management in key intersections, to optimizing and increasing the efficiency of logistics, to predicting water floods and air pollution. At our event, the Co-founder of Hal24K, Peter den Hartog, took the audience through a journey of interesting case studies and examples of how the combination of Ai and IoT can add value to citizens and businesses.
In his talk, he identified two key trends that inspired the foundation of their startup. The first one being the hyper-urbanization, overpopulation, and pollution of big cities. Did you know that 216 people move every day to London? We didn’t! Imagine how this affects the city and how increasingly difficult it would be to tackle the aforementioned problems. The second trend is Hyperconnectivity or the tremendously large amounts of data that is and will be generated in the next years from all the connected devices, vehicles, and us, the citizens. The challenge here is the difficulties of processing this huge amounts of data. Which brings us to the next topic.
Kx Systems and how to process huge datasets
The other two speakers at the event were Esperanza Aguilera and Sean Lang from Kx Systems. They came from France and the UK specifically for our event. Kx has a long history of processing and analyzing huge datasets – since being the leader in high-frequency trading in the early nineties! Nowadays, their leading time-series database is finding new next-generation use cases in other industries including Formula1, Space, Manufacturing, Utilities, and Telecommunications. Espe is part of their Machine Learning team and deep-dived on their most recent use case with NASA where they helped detect for solar storms and exoplanets.
Kx’s integrated platform consisting of an in-memory engine, a historical database, and an analytical platform ensures it can run 300-400 times faster than a Hadoop infrastructure at a fraction of the cost and it can even run on a Raspberry Pi.
This is the reason why it is being increasingly used for IoT and AI across various sectors! They also have a Technology Fund for investing in innovative startups as well as free Academic Licencing for any awesome university/research project. Check out their latest one with MIT or contact Sean directly.
At one point we asked all the attendees to introduce themselves by name, background, and interests. In our experience with events, this exercise influences the connection of the audience and allows them to identify who they may want to approach later during the networking, based on their interests or expertise. It was incredible to discover we had over 27 different nationalities in the room! Throughout the event and after the talks everyone had the chance to network and mingle. We shook hands, exchanged business cards, shared knowledge and ideas. Serendipity at its best!
The event touched upon critical issues and challenges related to technology, business, and everyday life in cities. The speakers were inspiring, the audience was curious, the atmosphere was cozy, and the pizza was delicious. Ultimately, the meetup had a positive impact on the ecosystem of the city. We raised the awareness of the benefits of exponential technology like IoT and AI. All this in addition to connecting local and international people sharing ideas in hopes of innovation for a better world.