Contxto – Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) captivated over 1,000 visitors at the first annual Inteligencia Mexico Conference (IMC) from June 19 to June 20 at Centro Citibanamex in Mexico City.
The two-day networking event shined a light on Mexican startups capitalizing on these technologies as the country transitions into the “fourth industrial revolution.”
More than 40 speakers presented at the IMC to discuss the importance of today’s digital transformation. Whether in the banking or automobile industries, enterprises from various sectors are digitizing procedures to retain their competitive edge.
There were also over 60 exhibitors in the 6,000 square meter space. Many came prepared to strategize over the issues Mexico faces in terms of adopting as well as optimizing new technology.
All in all, the conference was an opportunity for techies to interact, mingle, as well as learn about AI, Big Data and IoT. That’s to say, these mechanisms yield untapped potential across various areas. Based on what I observed, everyone seemed eager to implement or expand these innovations into business operations.
“This is a great opportunity to network, to learn what other companies are doing, and to see what we can do to collaborate,” said Valeria Menindez, the community and talent manager of Intelimétrica. Her company supports partners in utilizing data, algorithms and intelligence platforms to make better business decisions.
“If a company has a team or a strategy or process that are useful, we can grow our businesses together.”
Eight industry experts provided keynote speeches at the IMC. One included Antonio Rallo, CEO, and co-founder of ID345 Tech, who shared some inspiring stories about his startup incubator. There was also Rahul Vijay, Head of Global Connectivity at Uber, who talked about how the transportation company is seeking to develop IoT software.
Others included Hugo Nájera, Business Development General Director of BBVA; Kira Radinsky, the Director of Data Science and Chief Scientist of eBay; Dag Kittlaus, Co-founder and CEO of Siri; Arturo Campos, creator of LiFi technology and Chief Scientist of GiGaLiFi; and Aldo Luevano Ibarra, MIT Innovator under 35 LATAM and Roombiebot Chief Architect.
Since Vijay was the first to present at the IMC, his speech stood out the most for me. Entitled “How Uber is making IoT and connectivity its competitive advantage,” the presentation represented how Uber is more than just a ride-hailing app but a software company in the making.
Besides explaining his company’s development of autonomous vehicles, the executive shared Uber projects that I have never heard about. These include food delivery drones, IoT-powered bicycles, and scooters, as well as tracking cars used to collect data via images.
From my perspective, all of these efforts show Uber’s commitment to creating new functional interconnected systems. He also spoke about how Uber launches in other countries by providing modems to ensure strong internet connections.
“WiFi is still in the works in developing countries,” said Vijay. “No WiFi means no business.”
Another memorable presentation was Rallo’s keynote speech, “AI in Mexico: new opportunities.” Not only is he the CEO of ID345.TECH, an incubator for tech-related startups, but also the co-founder of Kio Networks, a Mexican IT software management company. According to him, every economic sector should invest in artificial intelligence.
“AI is as essential as electricity,” said Rallo. “In Silicon Valley, if your company isn’t working with AI, then you’re nobody.”
Rallo delved into the diverse uses of AI that could potentially benefit Mexico, such as car theft prevention. With this, police departments could potentially scan license plates to automatically detect whether or not a vehicle has been stolen. He also provided more dystopian cases, such as China using facial recognition technology to know a person’s credit score, for example.
Additionally, Rallo provided relevant successful startup case studies from Mexico that his accelerator firm has supported. One of these included Eva Tech that designed a bra used to detect early-stage breast cancer. Another example was AtHum.co, a website using AI to allow homebuyers to visualize and design customized living spaces.