After having a great time learning with, and from many of Vancouver’s leading business leaders, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on some of our favourite moments from Vancouver’s Gen-AI (GPT) Summit.
Before diving in, credit and thanks are due to Walter Pela, and the team at KPMG Canada, who organized this event and united the Vancouver business community in discussing AI, and its impact on business, creativity, healthcare, and beyond. Another big thank you to Frontier Collective for your major role in bringing everyone, and the event itself, together, and to all sponsors who made the evening possible; AInBC, Vancouver Tech Journal, Innovate BC, Vancouver Women in Technology, Digital Technology Supercluster, and Unity Technologies.
As we found our seats and settled into the energetic setting of the Paradox Hotel, it was already clear that we were in for an insightful evening. Walter Pela, KPMG’s Regional Managing Partner, set the tone perfectly with one important question; as we progress technologically, how can we develop frameworks that are trusted, secured, safe?
The answer isn’t simple, or even an answer, it is more of an understanding that we must continue to ask these questions at every turn and make informed decisions with these guardrails in mind. During her panel, Sarah Dickinson, Co-Founder of Matter, addressed this within the context of human impact, adding that “It’s also about understanding the impact of this technology, for example, what is the impact on our teams when they’re seeing ‘is AI going to take my job’ everywhere?” The roles of identity and work, as she put it, are important to consider, and address, as we look to AI for the completion of a growing task list.
But, we’re skipping ahead. While themes of trust, safety, security, and privacy were echoed by all presenters, so was the excitement around innovation and the possibilities that await.
Shawn Kanungo, Author of The Bold Ones, was hyper-fueled by this excitement as he outlined the potential that AI technologies have wrapped with a bow and presented us all. As Kanungo sees it, AI’s big gift to us is infinite leverage. In his words, the big questions are – “what will we create with [this] infinite leverage?” What companies will we build with it? (We know our answer; what’s yours?)
Slightly more sobering, Geordie Rose, Founder and CEO of Sanctuary.ai, focused on the important facts, realities, and yes – potential, behind the curtain of AI buzz. Will AI be everything everyone is forecasting? No, of course not. Will it still amount to something extremely important? Probably – and you should definitely be paying attention. The dramatic acceleration in AI investment, Rose pointed out, has led to a huge decline in the amount of time required to train AI models. This means that we will be faced with the development of more intelligent AI, at a quicker rate. The applications and implications here are endless.
During the first panel portion, speakers including Vivian Chan (ServiceNow, Red Threads Strategy Consulting Group), Elham Allpour (Charli AI), Handoi Kim (Variational AI), Sarah Dickinson (Matter) and Jeff Booth (EgoDeath.capital) further elaborated on this looming reality of models that will take months, not years, to build, and the importance of businesses being informed, and ready to adopt forms of strategic automation for digital evolution. In other words, borrowed from Unity Technologies GM and VP, Ryan Peterson, we must adopt to adapt.
Peterson took the audience on a journey from the core of AI technology (more specifically the NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU) to the overlying challenge facing us all – thinking bigger. “Do more with less,” Peterson advised, “think bigger than just tech, productivity drives prosperity.”
Two very distinctive panels brought the evening to a close, before attendees and presenters got to chat and explore the KPMG playground of emerging tech solutions.
One featured KPGM’s own team, sharing exciting news of in-house advancements and new technological breakthroughs. We loved hearing more about the focus on the benefits that AI can bring to cyber and physical security, as well as other creative applications being explored by the team.
The next, and final panel, brought together many of Vancouver’s tech thought leaders and community builders, moderated by Phillip Duffy and including Kate Wilson (Vancouver Tech Journal), Dan Burgar (Frontier Collective), Steve Lowry (AInBC), Pocket Sun (SoGal Ventures), and Sylvain Moreno (Circle Innovation, Associate Prof. SFU). This lively and informative discussion definitely made us proud to be local to, and operating from Vancouver.
As Gerri Sinclair, BC’s Innovation Commissioner, shared closing remarks, we were certainly filled with new knowledge, ideas, and of course, gratitude for the environment cultivated by our local talent.
There you have it; our key moments from Vancouver’s Gen-AI (GPT) Summit 2023!
Whether you were in attendance or just finished our Secur3Dnotes version of the event, let us know what you thought. Our team is always open and happy to connect with likeminded builders, passionate about the tech of today, and tomorrow. Say hello to the team at [email protected].
Full list of speakers and acknowledgements: