Cannes Lions 2015: Sir Tim Berners Lee on AI, data and ‘an intelligent life’

This story was first published on Campaign India.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, was part of  a session with Mike Cooper, CEO, PHD Worldwide, on the theme ‘The AI Revolutions’.

Mike went first in the talk on day three of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. He began by quoting British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, Stephen Hawking: ‘Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history’.

Mike then said, “Over 27 billion dollars have been invested in Artificial Intelligence. That’s a number which is growing by 60 per cent every year. This is happening because of three reasons; Unstructured data, increasing sophistication of algorithms and improving computerisation speed. Big corporations are taking AI seriously. Deep Blue for IBM was the first example when the AI beat Gary Kasparov in a chess game. Now, there’s Watson who is pursuing a career in medical. Facebook, Google and Microsoft are also investing in this. So, AI is really big. It’s getting really big, getting big investments and attracting the biggest talent.”

He added, “It will be everyone’s VPA (virtual personal assistant) soon. Imagine missing your flight back (and that’s possible considering the activities out here). Your VPA will reschedule your flight back, book you a hotel and change your cab booking. This will change marketing. It’ll be a radical reorganisation of marketing. This marketing change will see a vast creative potential.”

He surmised, “Change is upon us”, before handing over to Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee foretold a future where Artificial Intelligence would drive the decisions in all major corporations. “Earlier, it was said if you don’t have a website, you can’t sell. Now, it’s about putting data out there. Early big deals were concluded on the golf course. Then, came the website. Now, it’s through data,” he noted.

Talking about privacy, he said, “I feel my data is more important to me, rather that the companies. My data is about how long I can live. Seeing my data, I can tell doctors what to check, etc. We’re going to see a revolution of people wanting to see data of themselves.”

Sir Tim Berners-Lee surmised, submitting that data is key for humans to lead ‘an intelligent life’.

Click here to view the full article.