At Netpremacy we’re committed to enabling the continual learning and development of our team. This week we attended the annual Women of Silicon Roundabout event with the intention to gain insight on emerging technology trends such as Machine Learning, AI and much more.
Ashley, Bryonie and Francesca from the Netpremacy team joined the 6,000 strong community of Women in Tech at ExCel, London to attend workshops, keynotes, seminars and networking events. This was to explore the cutting edge of technology and what it means for the future and in particular, what it means for women in the industry. It was fantastic to see so many like minded women in technology coming together under one roof.
The morning of keynotes was introduced by Shephali Silitoe. There was a definite buzz in the busy keynote session as Shephali spoke about new roles that are actively changing the future and how we are now working towards “empowerment, action and change”.
The team thoroughly enjoyed the conference, below are just a few of the many highlights and inspiration that we took from the 2 days.
The first speaker of the day was the inspirational Karren Brady, who is well known for becoming the Managing Director of Birmingham City football club at the age of just 23 and embarking on a successful career in sport, media and politics. She is now seen on popular TV programme The Apprentice. Karren broke the rules and became one of the first female football bosses in history.
Karren went on to describe how she transformed the club from insolvency to financially robust in just a few short years without the assistance of day-to-day technologies that we all benefit from today. She spoke about how to run an effective business and said that “nothing is achieved alone, you have to work together”.
Karren gave the audience 6 key ingredients to focus on to get the career that you want, these were; leadership, ambition, determination, attitude, direction, and to be positive.
This seminar brought to light how many businesses are developing machine learning processes into their infrastructure. Milly Leadley, a data scientist at Ravelin explained the two different ways that Machine Learning is commonly used.
Machine Learning is used in many B2C businesses for personalisation and usability for consumers, specifically in the health and wellbeing sector. A fantastic example of ML being used for health is Flo, an AI-powered health app for women, that “learns” to become more accurate day by day, providing personalised daily health insights.
This is a great example of how ML is used to help improve the quality of life but is by no means relied on 100% for results or accuracy.
However Machine Learning in B2B businesses is different, people are paying for a service, and rely on the service to deliver security and accuracy. Machine Learning can be used to predict possible spammers on sites such as Deliveroo. This functionality is becoming more advanced and accurate with each use, trusted and more advanced, and is therefore sold as a business-critical service to businesses such as Deliveroo.
This seminar was a great opportunity to see the two very different sides to Machine Learning, focusing on the consumer and the business.
Dayne Turbitt spoke about how collaborative AI is allowing us to move at a faster scale, and as a result businesses are adapting and changing so fast, that we need to make sure that we keep up. An example of this is AI chatbots, taking away the menial jobs from the humans so that we can focus more on being creative.
We now have “the internet of things” which is allowing us to use data in ways that we have never used it before. 5G is an exciting technology that can be combined with innovations suc
h as autonomous cars which will change the future of transportation for humans, goods and more.
One question was raised. “Are we ready for Gen Z?” Young adults of today have grown up as digital natives from birth, living with technology as a touch point throughout their entire lives. They expect technology to be a seamless experience in every aspect. An interesting thought to consider…
Jo Hannaford from Goldman Sachs discussed how she was given the task to push digital transformation in her workplace over the short space of 9 months.
She spoke about how she did this successfully and how technology has evolved massively over the 25 years that she has been working for the business.
She described the agile processes they took up to make the digital transformation successful, and had to completely change the company’s mindset about working. She spoke about what digital transformation looks like when working at a bank and how they have to think about the data and processes in depth before beginning.
This was not an easy project and took a lot of engineering and collaboration. But that is has created a place that has flexible and a more collaborative way of working. Jo mentioned that she does not focus on when people come and go, or if they work from home, and that the quality of the work matters more. This has become possible since moving to the cloud and undergoing a massive digital transformation.
A great insight into how moving into the cloud is helping businesses from all over the globe to work in a more collaborative and successful environment.
This was an eye opening and inspiring keynote that took place at the beginning of day 2.
BP’s global footprint is vast, supplying energy and fuel to over 72 countries around the world. This means that the company is working on a massive scale, and therefore needs to use powerful tools such as Machine Learning and Big Data to learn and develop in such a fast paced industry.
Claire Dickinson explained how BP are working towards one of the worlds biggest problems, climate change. She spoke around the enormous transformation our planet is going under. Dickinson said “You don’t get a bigger challenge than climate change” and went on to explain how BP are incorporating Big Data into locating the optimum areas for charging points for electric cars. This helps with reducing global warming.
This session was a fantastic opportunity to see how AI and Big Data are helping to make the world a better place on such a large scale.
In this incredibly personal and engaging keynote, Alison Clark spoke about wanting to deliver a positive human future – for everyone. She explained that “digital will make the world of work more democratic”
She mentioned all of the fantastic advancing technologies that are being built and used in today’s society, but how we now need to start looking at making these more accessible to everyone. This means people who may have visual or physical impairments.
This was a great point, and is something that the industry should look towards next, making technology accessible to everyone. The inspiration for some of this drive, came directly from Alison’s personal life, as she has a young daughter with cerebral palsy.
This seminar was one that really opened our eyes to the massive impact for good that data can be used for.
The seminar began with an introduction into Machine Learning, how it works and how it is used to determine which plane you will be booked onto when you are booking a flight online.
The seminar then took a more serious turn and began explaining money laundering, and how we are trying to track it today. There is usually always crime associated with money laundering to ‘clean’ the money and get it back into the banks. One of these ways is through human trafficking.
We now have systems that when people are signing up for a bank that can check peoples records, see their connections and make the assumption on whether they should be allowed to bank. This does not completely stop the crimes taking place, but is a beginning to helping towards fighting money laundering and the crimes taking place because of it.
At Netpremacy, we can’t put enough emphasis on the value of sharing insights and learning from our peers in such a fast-paced, competitive industry as technology is. We hope that our highlights of the incredible event ‘Women of Silicon Roundabout’ has provided valuable insight into the changing world of technology and the exciting opportunities it’s presenting for not only women, but everyone who is exploring the exciting world of technology. There’s no better time than now.