Mobile World Congress 2017 Was Also About Artificial Intelligence

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A couple of weeks ago, I was at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The event this year was the largest in its history with more than 108,000 visitors from over 208 countries and covered by approximately 3,500 members of the international press and media. As you can imagine, with all this expectation, many companies took the opportunity to unveil their latest innovations.

This year, the main topics covered at MWC were VR/AR, 5G, robotics, drones, IoT, Smart Cities, Smart Homes, Autonomous Cars and the one that I was particularly interested in, Artificial Intelligence and, of course, Natural Language.

AI was very visible all around the pavilions in different forms, such as the hosting robots welcoming visitors. I especially liked Pepper, who is able to detect your mood while having a natural conversation and can even shake hands with you.

Telefónica presented AURA, a cognitive system that knows about the services customers are using and allows them to interact with it through natural language to get information, solve issues or even upgrade services. This project is very strategic for the company and it was Telefonica’s President who presented it on Sunday.

There were also many prototypes of driverless cars that make use of Machine Learning capabilities to relieve humans from driving. Peugeot went one step further and presented a concept that connects the autonomous car with digital devices through an IoT platform from Samsung. The car is awesome, as it can be connected with your smartphone and connected home, but the only thing that was missing for me was the capability to control the vehicle through natural language… Maybe next year?

Roborace presented the first racing electric autonomous car. In brief, what will replace Formula 1 in the future and again AI is at the core of this technology.

Netflix CEO was also there talking about the company’s quest to expand in new territories and to improve their streaming technology. This is a great example of a company that has used AI, Machine Learning and Big Data as a competitive advantage to personalize their contents offering to each customer through an intelligent recommendation system. They also take advantage of their consumers’ preferences knowledge when deciding the kind of content they’ll produce. And it is clear that this technology helped them becoming a worldwide leader in this space.

IBM had a sculpture at its booth ceiling inspired by Gaudi, a modernist architect whose iconic buildings dominate Barcelona. The piece of art changed its shape depending on the mood of their social media channels. In other words, they used their cognitive technology based on AI to analyze what was happening in the social media and they were representing it visually through a changing sculpture.


These are just a few examples of AI technologies that I saw during my visit to the MWC 2017. I am convinced that AI and Natural Language will take even more importance in further editions as I am seeing it every single day at Artificial Solutions.

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