MWC Los Angeles Theme: Disruptive Innovation & A.I.

Trends in A.I. and Machine Learning

This year, we examine two sides to disruptive innovation, the first being Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. When it comes to A.I. development, the North American market is home to cutting-edge expertise, a wealth of mature research and available capital, placing it firmly as a leader in the field.

Sizing the opportunity

Global revenue from A.I. services set to reach $90 billion by 2025 according to recent estimates. A.I. could also have a significant impact on the wider economy, contributing $16 trillion to global GDP by 2030. (GSMA Intelligence) A.I. will also have a profound impact on operators’ businesses, with many deploying a range of AI-based applications across network planning & security, customer care and advertising. However, it is still early days and many operators will need support as they begin their journeys in applying AI to business.

For operators, A.I. presents a number of opportunities for innovation – AI enables operators to better anticipate customer needs, deliver personalised experiences and predictive services. It can be used for basic customer service interactions, for example, KDDI demoed facial recognition for agents and sentiment analysis at MWC Barcelona, earlier this year.

But the misuse data, or unintentional bias can have a negative impact – we must discuss what the widespread adoption of A.I. and M.L. mean for the future of work and society.

Reimagining the Operator

The second area is around the disruption of telcos themselves – their business models, cultures and very beings have been turned on their heads and impacted by a range of external forces. OTTs, tech giants and a host of streaming services have all leveraged the heavily invested-in telecoms networks to deliver services to huge audiences, leaving the telcos behind as mere ‘dumb pipes’ to be piggybacked off of. And with the launch of 5G, these costs are only set to increase, with 5G networks costing an estimated 5x more than 4G.

This is a crucial point for operators and the status quo is being questioned as many embrace change in a number of areas. Resilience, agility and new approaches to building services must all be explored – according to McKinsey, agile telcos are 1.5x more likely to overperform their competitors financially.

Opportunities for partnerships, working more in the enterprise space, offering AI, robotics and B2B2C services – these are all examples of intelligent connectivity and a new era for operators.

These sessions, across two days, are designed to uncover and discuss the disruptive challenges, opportunities & trends impacting telcos now and in to the future and shine a light on concrete examples of innovation and impact within our industry and beyond.

Conference Agenda

Tuesday 22 October: Disruptive Innovation – A.I.

1:00pm – 2:00pm AI & The Future of Work: Is Your Business Ready for Change?

There is little doubt that AI will have a significant impact on many aspects of business – organizations need to prepare their business and culture for the AI Era. Some companies are getting ahead of the curve by launching their own business schools focused on AI strategy, culture and responsibility. AI could be implemented as a tool for “levelling up” the workforce, either through training, or by enabling an ageing workforce, rather than simply replacing it.

2:15pm – 3:15pm Debate: Can We Build Responsible AI?

As artificial intelligence becomes more pervasive in our day-to-day lives, addressing the ethical and moral implications of AI development has never been timelier. Many tech companies are, or have tried to, implement AI ethics committees to scrutinize the development of AI, but ensuring the committee members’ impartiality can itself be problematic. In this session we assemble our own AI ethics panel to debate the key questions facing industry:
• Can AI algorithms ever be truly free of bias?
• What are the implications of using facial recognition software?
• Should AI be used to enhance positive social change?
• Should we be concerned about autonomous weapons and the use of AI for military purposes?

3:45pm – 5:00pm Getting Smarter with Data: AI-Powered Customer Journeys

By 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human (Gartner). This session explores the next phase of customer interaction, beyond chatbots and virtual assistants, overlaying AI, ML and access to vast amounts of customer data in new and innovative ways for advanced customer targeting and highly personalized, contextual advertising and services.

Wednesday 23 October: Disruptive Innovation – New Business Models

1:00pm – 2:00pm How to Self-Disrupt: Changing Telco Business Models

Disrupt or be disrupted – we all know that telcos need to re-think their strategies to stay competitive and compete with online players and OTTs. The question is how can operators overcome old ways of thinking and disrupt themselves, in order to quickly launch new services. Many have turned to partner ecosystems in a bid to boost innovation. This session highlights some of the most exciting examples of disruption, innovation and entirely new business models that are shaking up the status quo.

2:15pm – 3:15pm Blockchain: Building Trust & Creating Value

It’s estimated that Blockchain will contribute $1 billion to the telecoms sector within the next 5 years (MarketWatch). But many carriers are still asking themselves what value they can potentially draw from blockchain in terms of revenue and where the key opportunities lie. Join us for a no-nonsense guide to blockchain for telecoms, focused on key areas like security, trust and fraud & identity management, where there is a true opportunity for telcos to add and gain value.

3:45pm – 5:00pm 5G: A Gaming Changer

Mobile gaming is booming with massive online multiplayer competitions at global scale and the professionalization of eSports.  The capacity and latency benefits of 5G are likely to herald a next generation of innovation for eGaming unlocking potential for immersive multiplayer games in any location.  In this session, we will understand both the key technological innovations that will drive growth in the eGaming ecosystem and how some of the world’s leading eSports organisations will leverage 5G and other technology innovations to bring new experiences to their users.