Day five. Our last full day at SXSW2018 (sobs) followed on in the same pattern as the previous four. Full of inspiring ideas, amazing presentations and an incredible amount of insight into what the future holds for marketing, technology and the world as we know it. Here’s our top three from day five:
1. Nonny De La Pena Keynote – Unlocking the power human creativity for storytelling in virtual and augmented reality – the mother of VR – Nonny De La Pena, demonstrated the incredible power of VR to create emotional and human experiences. As a technology associated with video games and entertainment, it was surprising to see how powerful it is at connecting with people to create genuine emotional responses to complex subjects; changing beliefs and creating new behaviours – goals that communicators and marketers recognise well.
2. The Death Of Content – Alex Chung – Short silent looping videos, or GIFs as they’re most frequently referred to, have grown exponentially in terms of their usage in recent years and Alex Chung, the founder of the first GIF search engine Giphy, believes that as we near 100% content consumption in our every day lives, GIFs will play a key role in entertainment. Chung also unveiled for the first time a GIPHY camera and physical frame for displaying GIFs although didn’t share any potential release date. A fascinating presentation told through the medium of hundreds of GIFs, did you suspect anything less from the founder of a company that specialises in looping videos? Us neither.
3. The Power of Ideas to Transform the World is Accelerating – Futurist Ray Kurzweil has made several astoundingly right predictions throughout the past 20 or so years and is extremely confident about his next one. Kurzweil predicts that by 2029, AI will match human intelligence in every way and enhance our every day lives beyond comprehension. He believes AR will be ingrained in how we interact with the world while also noting that biotechnology will be sophisticated enough to extend our immune system and prevent common diseases. Lastly, he cited virtual reality as a technology that has got off to a bumpy start. Kurzweil believes however that this is common in all major technological advancements and that in the next 3-4 years, we will really see VR in its best form.