The WebSummit 2017 begins

The WebSummit 2017 opened last night with inspiring stories of innovation as well as some stark warnings of the power of AI.

Head of WebSummit, Paddy Cosgrave, opened proceedings in front 60,000 attendees at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. He told delegates that the summit, first held in 2010, was designed to ‘connect industries of old with technology of the new world.’

Amongst a host of highly influential speakers, Professor Stephen Hawking spoke of the ‘precarious but exciting’ future. Warning computers namely AI, in theory, could ‘exceed human intelligence’, Hawking urged caution in its development and use. ‘AI could be the best or the worst thing for human kind – we just don’t know.’ Promoting collaborative management and the sharing of beat practice amongst developers, Hawking said, ‘we must ensure AI does what we want to benefit humanity.’

He continued, ‘we stand on the threshold of a whole new world which is both precarious and exciting.’

The WebSummit takes place from 6-9 November.