A mind boggling event: NTT’s New Tomorrow Together Summit 2018


Earlier this month the NTT New Tomorrow Together Summit 2018 was held at the Swarovski headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria. The main topic of the event was our baffling brain.

Guests of the summit were taken on a journey that we called M-US-T for Business Leadership – where the M stands for ‘Me’, the US, well, for Us (you and me) and the T for ‘Them’ (machines).

M. Firstly, we travelled into our own brains to discover how we can achieve our own goals. Jill Bolte, Neuroanatomist, shared that we only have 90 seconds in which to observe the emotions following our actions and that we take responsibility for our decision-making after we made the decision. Carl Schoonover, a Research Scientist at Columbia University, visualised the human brain by drawing a portrait of the mind from ‘the old times’ to the 21st Century.

US. Secondly, we had the chance to explore how our brains are interconnected. How we can work together by joining the brains of our colleagues and clients to unlock new levels of competitive advantage. Nick Bostrom, Professor and Philosopher at Oxford University and founder of the Future of Humanity Institute, made us think about the vulnerability of humans in relation to AI and machines. Machines that have been built by humans to cover our gaps and get rid of mundane tasks, so that we can reach experiences we never thought possible.

“A few hundred thousand years ago, in early human (or hominid) prehistory, growth was so slow that it took on the order of one million years for human productive capacity to increase sufficiently to sustain an additional one million individuals living at subsistence level. By 5000 BC, following the Agricultural Revolution, the rate of growth had increased to the point where the same amount of growth took just two centuries. Today, following the Industrial Revolution, the world economy grows on average by that amount every ninety minutes.”  - Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.

THEM. Finally, we looked at the intelligent machines and whether they are in harmony or in conflict with us. Bo Ewald, the President of D-Wave, The Quantum Computing Company, talked about how we could use physics to build machines (rather than the other way around). This approach would help to come up with faster, cheaper and more predictable answers, based on the reaction and behaviour of physical particles.

It was a truly inspirational event. Added to by Neil Harbisson, the world’s first officially recognised cyborg artist (someone who has restored function or enhanced abilities due to the integration of some artificial component or technology that relies on feedback). Neil was colour blind and got an implant on his head connected to his brain which allows him to recognise colours by capturing audible vibrations. His foundation, the Cyborg Foundation, now runs initiatives that helps humans adapt to their environment. Amazing!

The event was closed by NTT’s Chief Innovation Officer, Marc Alba. Marc talked about Brainomics and how this discipline is the new M-US-T to enable business leaders to get ahead in an area where change and disruption are inevitable.

We had the most stimulating two days. The mind truly boggles.

At everis and NTT, we continue to shape the future of AI, together with our clients and partners – leveraging the latest technologies to deliver on business challenges.