Thursday, May 4, 2017
How many years has it been going?
First ever ConverCon
What was the inspiration to start it?
Organiser, Paul Sweeney from artificial intelligence experts, Webio, is anxious to get the tech and business communities together so that everyone can understand and maximise the potential offered by artificial intelligence and conversational interfaces and be ready for a very different communications environment in the not too distant future.
What exciting things can people look forward to for the 2017 version?
The world’s leading software technology companies, designers and business executives will get together to figure out the best way of making ‘conversational interfaces’ work in real life for businesses, brands and customers.
It includes a practical, pragmatic focus on why conversational interaction is a problem worth solving. They will look at achieving the right messaging; why companies need conversational interfaces and will get advice from experts on what to avoid and how to deliver amazing experiences in a real world.
Practical guidelines for digital strategy leaders will be shared and delegates will be catapulted into the future with a look at the world beyond mobile and into the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) conversation. All the conversations will focus around building brand loyalty and awareness, winning and retaining customers and ultimately, going where we’ve never gone before in terms of harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence, AI.Read More»
Collaborative expertise in IoT for businesses of all sizes
The A-IoT (applied Internet of Things) Technology Gateway Cluster has reams of expertise in all thinks IoT, and will work with entrepreneurs, startups and established businesses.
The A-IoT Cluster is a consortium of five Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways, providing a single point of contact for companies looking to access technical capabilities for ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) research and development. Via the cluster, industry can avail of 300 engineering professionals who work extensively with companies who have requirements for technology innovation.
Whether you are an entrepreneur with an idea, a startup or an established business, the A-IoT Cluster makes it possible to rapidly move from product concept to commercialisation stage. It maintains the highest standards of support and provides world-class collaboration with industries in all sectors who are moving securely into the future of IoT. The A-IoT Group is open to all companies of any size, nationally and internationally.
The A-IoT Cluster has a support office based in Dublin and consists of:
TEC Technology Gateway (Cork Institute of Technology)
IMaR Technology Gateway (Institute of Technology Tralee)
WiSAR Technology Gateway (Letterkenny Institute of Technology)
MSTG Technology Gateway (Waterford Institute of Technology)
COMAND Technology Gateway (Athlone Institute of Technology)
The A-IoT Cluster is a registered knowledge provider of Enterprise Ireland’s €5,000 Innovation Voucher funding initiative. The Innovation Voucher programme is open to all small and medium-sized limited companies registered in Ireland.
In the 21st century, it will be the innovators that generate the jobs and wealth. They need to be encouraged, writes John Kennedy.
On a sun-showery spring day in 1999, I had a conversation with an academic at UCD Business School in Blackrock. It started pleasantly enough, but set alarm bells off in my mind. He said that “tech transfer” – the conversion of academic research into industry and, ultimately, businesses that create jobs – at that time in Ireland was virtually non-existent and that most research projects just gathered dust on professors’ shelves.
This contrasted with the US where tech giants such as Cisco had emerged as campus companies, only to become industry giants laying the plumbing of the internet. Around this time, people were starting to use Google for the first time. The company was founded on the campus at Stanford University in California by two PhD students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, just a year previously in 1998.
‘The world is changing and higher education is facing a disruptive revolution, and we need to make sure that we are ready by pushing the boundaries and creating an integrated ecosystem, where civil society, industry and academia collectively participate in the process of economic development’
– PROF WILLIE DONNELLY
It was a surprise revelation by the professor because at that very time, Iona Technologies – a company founded on the campus of Trinity College Dublin that bootstrapped itself most of the way –was the darling of Nasdaq, and inspired other tech founders to pursue the IPO dream.
Remember, this was four years before Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) was created and given a war chest of around €1bn to correct the anomaly, whereby the Irish academic landscape was a cosy, sleepy career path for lecturers, and PhDs pushing boundaries were in the minority.
In 2003, SFI came onto the scene and laid the foundations for a turnaround that can only described as miraculous, if such a word can be used in the scientific community. In the intervening years, thousands of PhDs have been created in Ireland. Proof of the pudding, if there were such metrics, can be seen in the continuous cycle of breakthroughs from various research centres around Ireland.
To read more on this article by John Kennedy, Editor please visit Silicon Republic website HERE
This event was hosted by the European Commission, with the support of the EC-funded projects CARTRE and SCOUT, and its first European conference on connected and automated driving. Major road transport stakeholders that are automotive and telecom industry, users, road operators, public transport operators, regulators, research centres, universities and representatives of both the EC and EU Member States were present. The four main themes at the conference were transport policy issues, technological challenges, legal and regulatory frameworks and digital transformation. The conference focuses on the significant progress made in developing automated road transport technologies, such as advanced vehicle control, vehicle localization systems, data processing, artificial intelligence or user interfaces, fostered by Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.Read More»
TSSG is changing the game with a VR approach to rewire the brain.
Researchers at TSSG in Waterford are on the cusp of a major breakthrough where virtual reality (VR) could be used to help rewire human brains and tackle Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and depression.
TSSG researcher Ian Mills is exploring how VR games can battle major brain diseases and disorders.
‘The system learns the brain and the person learns the experience, and we gradually see more improvements’
– IAN MILLS
Focusing on the connectome, Mills is looking at the brain in the same way technologists would look at a topological map of a network.
“It can be thought of as a wiring map of the brain. In real-world network terms, this is the full network graph of the functional brain network and can be thought of on a micro scale as individual neurons as nodes, and synapses as edges. On the macro scale, nodes can be considered regions of interest, and the exons between these regions considered as the network edges.”
Training the brain to battle disease
Mills said that the key is to look for the outliers of brain diseases in an neurological sense and, in a virtual context, feed VR experiences to the brain.
“We are looking at how we can adopt those contexts to the users themselves, and allow them to change their brain function neural network to a common pattern and thus, alleviate the conditions that would be caused by a neurological disorder or disease such as depression, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.”
So does this mean we can create VR games that could help people mitigate the effects of depression, for example?
“Yes. You are looking at VR-adapted content that is very immersive to a person but if you learn their brain functional networks and start to change the context, it will allow you to change their neural state.
“So, not only are they feeling more immersed and getting a better experience out of the game, they are also learning to fix their mental state and alleviating the conditions of depression or anxiety. So you are gradually curing the person of their ailments.”