Our Highlights From The Web Summit 2018

We are thrilled to share with you our best moments of the largest tech conference - Lisbon 5 - 9 November 2018.

Our Highlights From The Web Summit 2018

Our Highlights From The Web Summit 2018 560 560 Sebastien FELIX

We just came back from the latest Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon and we are thrilled to share with you our best moments of the conference. For those who missed the event, the Web Summit is the largest tech conference in the world with more than 70,000 attendees this year. The event occurs at the Altice Arena of Lisbon and the President of Portugal himself announced this year that the city will host this amazing event for the next 10 years!

A quick introduction

Every year the Web Summit brings together all the top speakers and tech start-ups of the world. This year we had the chance to see some big names live such as Gillian Tans (CEO of Booking.com),  Stephen Kaufer (founder of TripAdvisor), Tim Berners-Lee (the guy who literally invented the World Wide Web),  Lisa Jackson (Vice President of Environment at Apple) and even Ev Williams (co-founder of Twitter).

In parallel, it was a unique occasion for us to see or try the latest technologies that will come out in the next years for the public. We also met some incredible start-ups that promise to revolutionize the way we use or interact with the Internet. At last, it was also interesting to think that WTM (World Travel Market) was occurring exactly at the same moment in London when the most influential actors of our travel industry were giving a speech at the Web Summit. Booking.com CEO was here to speak (and also sponsor) the Women in Tech movement when TripAdvisor founder gave a great speech about the future of the travel platform. Do you still think it is a coincidence?

After this short Web Summit 2018 recap video, we are bringing you our selection of the best moments of the show. Have fun!

Booking.com meets East and also empowers Women in Tech

It was inevitable for us to go to see Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com. After a really stunning speech about artificial intelligence last year, she came back this year to speak about the development of Booking.com in Asia. She detailed what was the strategy to launch the platform there, what did they need to adapt to fit the Chinese consumers and how crucial was the role of mobile.

“If you think about China, 95% of customers is using the digital space through a mobile device”

Like each year, it was also the occasion for Booking.com to sponsor the “Women in Tech” where they offered free mentoring sessions and many other services to help women entrepreneurs in the world of tech.

The founder of Trip Advisor shared his vision of the future of travel

Beyond TripAdvisor itself, Stephen Kaufer presented how the traveler journey changed during the last years and how the platform had become an entry point to this journey. Unfortunately, the official video is still not live so we are doing a recap here of the key takeaways of his talk:

  • Fake news is one of the crucial topics among all the 2018 social networks scandals.  Both travelers and hoteliers need to build trust to fight this problem. As a direct consequence, the traditional TripAdvisor rating system will soon evolve by a new system that places the reviews made by real customers at the heart of the system. Maybe we will soon see something that looks like the Google Maps Local Guides program?
  • In term of content, M. Kaufer didn’t compare TripAdvisor to any other social media platforms as it creates its own unique travel content.  He said they are developing many tools to make tour operators and travel guides to get more involved. We believe it’s a direct attempt to try to stop the Airbnb Experiences system where travelers can direct book an extra experience during their trip.
  • Short term travels such as weekends trips are growing the most and so the platform is actually developing solutions to help travelers book the day before and also the same day of booking.
  • Finally, he also mentioned machine learning and artificial intelligence as TripAdvisor will more and more try to customize and offer a personalized trip to each traveler according to his history, reviews, likes, and so on.

“Can we save the media industry by itself?” by the co-founder of Twitter

After his great analysis about why “Internet is broken“, Ev Williams speech was about the entire media industry and why we should all give more attention to what type of society we want.

“We’ve created a world in which attention is rewarded. In quantity. Meaning it’s not the quality of the attention and it’s not how you make people feel. We have optimized this system where only what can be measured is rewarded: social media likes, page views… but we can’t measure how people feel, if people get smarter of if society is getting better.”

Geeks rule the World

These last 3 videos don’t directly mention the travel industry, but we really wanted to share them to make you immerse in the future of interactive experience and how technology is (not so) slowly reshaping our human life.

First one is about robotic of course. If you didn’t hear about Sophia the robot yet, let me explain: it is the first robot that got an official citizenship (read more about it in this article). Every year, Hanson Robotics (the company behind this project) is showing the progress of this human-like artificial intelligence. Sophia is now fully connected to the project called www.singularitynet.io that aims to provide the first world’s decentralized AI network and she is learning faster than ever.

The second video is about a startup that definitely impressed us the most: its name is Furhat Robotics. They are providing a robotic system that can be used for almost any type of scenarios: recruitment, personal assistant, concierge,… We had been lucky to see the first live demo during this Web Summit and it was really really impressive! To make you better understand this video shows how it could be easily implemented in an airport as a concierge. It is truly the next step of the chatbot industry.

As we are entering a new age with more and more virtual assistants, artificial intelligence and robots we kept this last video to show you that even the art industry is at the verge of its biggest disruption too! We assisted to a live painting performance where the artist where painting… virtually! By using a virtual reality headset she was drawing and painting in real time on a digital canvas. Quite impressive, right?

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