On October 14th weXelerate welcomed executives from various Austrian companies to the first Executive Bash. More than 60 people followed the invitation. After a warm welcome by Awi Lifshitz, managing director at weXelerate, participants listened to two interesting keynotes held by Bruce Horn and Alex Wright. Alex Wright, UX Research Director at Instagram, talked about new, socially-oriented business models in social networks. Although social networks such as Instagram make money from commercial activities, a growing number of people have started to focus on how to change social matters. As an example he mentioned a New York based initiative called Drive Change. This initiative helps young offenders to reintegrate into society by working in mobile food trucks. He emphasised that all developers and designers will have to rethink their strategies as well as the use and the long-term impact of their products.
Bruce Horn, who is known as one of the developers of the Macintosh computers, asked in his keynote “What is intelligence?”. He explained that lots of resources are needed for training artificial intelligence (AI). Furthermore, he emphasised that AI can only show patterns, but is unable to understand social structures. In the usage of AI, data is often thrown together, hoping that something will come out of it, which has not been proofed right. Horn also outlined the difference between learning and intelligence as well as the difference between learning and memory. According to him, intelligent systems deal with a massive amount of data whereas learning systems focus on smaller, more personal data. He further explained that learning is basically gaining knowledge while memory is a recollection or a recalling of already experienced matters.
After a short break, the two keynote speakers invited participants to two roundtables for a deeper learning experience as well as discussions and questions. Alex Wright asked “How to take your UX/UI to the next level” and Bruce Horn focussed on “How AI will shape the future of human work”. In small groups of 10 to 15 people, everyone introduced themselves before diving into discussions on the above-mentioned topics.
Photo Credits: Jacqueline Godany