March 11, 2023 | 5 min read
AI, immersive virtual experiences and the ethical use of data have been major themes at this year’s conference in downtown Austin.
SXSW 2023 runs from March 10-19. / Adobe Stock
Tens of thousands of people have descended upon downtown Austin, amid temperatures which on Saturday reached into the high eighties Fahrenheit, for SXSW 2023. Each year, the conference draws experts hailing from a wide variety of fields, as well as entrepreneurs, artists and other professionals who are eager to learn more about the latest trends that are transforming their respective industries and popular culture as a whole.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has, unsurprisingly, been a primary focus at this year’s conference. A quick search for the words “artificial intelligence” on the SXSW website yields information about 20 separate events. One speaker this morning quipped onstage: “Having ‘AI’ in your panel title is always a good idea.”
Immersive technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) – you can check out this glossary to learn more about the differences between those three – have also been heavily emphasized at this year’s SXSW., This echoed the IAB PlayFronts (a conference focused on the intersection between advertising and gaming) in Manhattan earlier this week.
Here are some notable quotes about AI, immersive virtual technologies, data management and other tech-related subjects that have been overheard at this year’s SXSW conference.
“AI is the most transformative technology of our lifetime. The conversation we need to have is … what is the intentional way we can build and deploy AI systems? And what are the principles that we should use to do that?
I wish it was called ‘augmented intelligence’ instead of ‘artificial intelligence’ … we want these tools to help us. Let’s not have AI be done to us … we are in charge here. Let’s not forget that.”
-Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Global Head of Product, Grammarly
“We need to think equitably about the data that’s going into these [AI] models and get all types of people involved … and we need to think about: ‘Should we be doing this?’
Be really intentional about how you approach the development of AI … make sure you’re not excluding anyone unintentionally.”
-Ellie Kemery, Principal Research Expert (Product Inclusion, Equitable AI, Sustainability), SAP
“Data management is still relatively sloppy across our customer base … it’s a difficult thing to do.”
-Roger Hill, Principal, Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory
“We have to be able to augment human capacity and creativity to the maximum extent [using AI and machine learning].”
-Rachel Grunspan, AI Lead, Intelligence Community, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
“A day in my life is like wrestling with a fiery tiger … virtual reality has helped me feel empowered to know that I can deal with the stresses of life … Through VR I’ve learned breathing … and attention diversion … to help me manage my pain.”
-Tom Norris, retired Air Force service member who has been living with chronic pain for more than 20 years
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March 11, 2023 | 5 min read