The top 10 sessions to attend at Mobile World Congress 2018

By Jenni Klinger

Mobile World Congress 2018 is the most anticipated mobile conference of the year. With topics including the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI), women in tech, and 5G and tech in society, it may be difficult to decide which sessions to put on your itinerary. Here’s a list of some favorite sessions to help you make the most of your time at Mobile World Congress 2018:

1. A better future with secure cloud and AI digital transformation

Mon, 26 Feb, 10:30 – 18:00
Hall 8.0 NEXTech Theatre C

Hear from Amy Gross, CEO of the AI-powered wine app startup VineSluth/Wine4.Me, Rob High, CTO of IBM Watson, Phillip Hardwick and Filip Wilms, directors of digital from a billion-dollar global packaged goods company and one of Europe’s largest global pharma companies. They’ll share their digital transformation stories, their expertise and how mobile technology is transforming their companies. If that’s not enough to get you excited, there will also be a wine reception at the end of the day. Come for the entire day or choose to attend the sessions that most interest you.

2. Live events and fan engagement

Mon, 26 Feb, 13:30 – 14:30
Hall 4 Auditorium 3

The way fans want to experience the games they love is changing. They want to be able to share, interact and use social media, all while having experiences that keep them in the moment. This session will feature some of the greatest advancements taking place in the live events space, including insight from Alexandra Willis, head of communications, digital and content at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, (Championships), Wimbledon, Limited; Matt Candy, VP of IBM iX Europe; and Marta Aubia, head of the Barça Innovation Hub at FC Barcelona, among others. They’ll touch on opportunities for stadium and sport team owners to stay ahead of the game in this rapidly evolving industry.

3. AI everywhere: Ethics and responsibility

Mon, 26 Feb, 13:30 – 14:30
Hall 4 Auditorium 4

AI has the potential to provide great value to all people around the world. However, the rapid development of the technology is outpacing the ability to manage the ethical issues we already see with existing AI systems. Immediate concerns with the technology in use today include social profiling, privacy and security — and there are also future issues that need to be addressed now.

Learn about the plan to create standards today for the technology of the future. This session will bring together thought leaders like IBM fellow, VP and IBM Watson CTO Rob High and Oxford University senior researcher Paula Boddington, who is currently working on a Future of Life Institute-funded project regarding the ethics of artificial intelligence.

4. The hunt for mass-market NFV

Tues, 27 Feb, 11:00 – 12:00
Hall 4 Auditorium 5

Network functions virtualization (NFV) has been talked about since 2012, but there are only a few live deployments. Come to this session to find out what lessons have been learned from live NFV and when we can expect to see mass-market NFV.

5. Women4Tech panel: Diversity as a driver of innovation and key to outperforming competition

Tues, 27 Feb, 11:20 – 12:00
Hall M8 – Fira Montjuic STAGE C

Women4Tech, GSMA’s Global Gender Diversity programme, focuses on addressing the gender gap in the mobile and technology industry. Gender diversity supports and strengthens professional communities and networks.

6. AI everywhere: Consumer applications

Tues, 27 Feb, 14:00 – 15:00
Hall 4 Auditorium 2

Research shows that the market for consumer AI hardware, software and services could exceed $42 billion by 2025. While many consumer companies have already integrated AI and machine learning into their products, the applications are still quite limited to obvious features such as chatbots and smart assistants — including a few that provide exceptional user experiences, including quality recommendations, accurate search results and predictive customer service.

Even with these limited use cases, AI has already changed consumer expectations of the technology and companies with which they interact. This session will highlight how consumer brands need to rapidly innovate with this adaptive technology to continue to delight, retain and empower their customers.

7. 5G technology reality check: Can we deliver on our promises?

Tues, 27 Feb, 15:30 – 16:30
Hall 4 Auditorium 2

5G has been seemingly forever on the horizon. The hype surrounding 5G has been growing since its announcement, which begs the question: Can we expect to see it soon? Will it be sufficient in what it has to offer? Come to this session to find out.

8. Keynote 8: Creating an artificially intelligent future

Wed, 28 Feb, 09:30 – 11:00
Hall 4 Auditorium 1

AI has set a new benchmark, with stock prices doubling at the mere mention of the words. The hype is fueled by wild imaginations and not a small amount of confusion around their use cases and impact.

This keynote aims to unravel this confusion. It will explore the broad set of technologies included in AI, from natural language processing, machine learning, reinforcement learning, robotics, autonomous vehicles and smart transportation.

9. AI giants

Wed, 28 Feb, 13:30 – 14:30
Hall 4 Auditorium 1

With more than US $5 billion of venture capital investment over last two years, AI is poised to have a transformative effect on consumer, enterprise and government markets around the world. While there are certainly obstacles to overcome, AI has the potential to democratize costly services, elevate customer service and even free up an overburdened workforce.

Much of the key AI activity is being driven by tech giants in the US, in both innovation and acquisition. This C-level session features three tech giants discussing how AI will impact our world, delving into its pitfalls and opportunities for enterprises and the wider implications for society.

10. The mobile future of humanitarian crises

Thurs, 1 Mar, 11:30 – 12:30
Hall 4 Auditorium 5

At the beginning of 2017, the number of displaced people wordwide hit a record high; globally, 65.6 million people have been displaced as a result of humanitarian crises. Conflicts, epidemics, food insecurity and natural disasters are increasing in complexity, prevalence and severity.

Mobile technology provides the platform and opportunity to transform community preparedness, real-time communication during and acceleration of relief response following catastrophic events. In this session, expect a deep-dive into the changing nature of technology in humanitarian crises. Speakers will address the difficult questions facing the industry as crowd-sourced and informal solutions emerge to bridge the gap between disasters and response. How can we encourage data sharing and management of digital identities? And who holds responsibility when technology doesn’t work? Find out.

Written By

Jenni Klinger

Blog Manager, IBM Mobile

Jenni Klinger is a web content manager with experience running blogs and creating email campaigns and content strategies. She's worked with tech companies creating editorial calendars, blog posts, and web content plans. Prior to joining IBM, Jenni worked at a university in Australia…

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