Against my natural instincts, I decided to put my head down and focus predominantly on technology-related sessions. The morning was a bit overwhelming listening to a couple of professors who literally build robots over breakfast.
As the day progressed, I started feeling satisfied as we listened to technology practitioners – satisfied that our goal of being a technology company specialising in real estate is the way, or the only way to go.
A few interesting topics I heard throughout the day involved the practical use of AI and drone/unmanned technology:
- Political AI: Predicting voter emotions and enabling them to make the right decision before casting their all-important vote
- Gesture-controlled drones within our homes
- The future of block chain technology: Drones to keep the ledgers accurate
- Self-driving cars: Uberisation of unmanned vehicles. I enjoyed listening to the regulators and builders of these vehicles speaking at the conference
During one of the sessions, I suggested a practical application of AI – how to know when kids will play up in their teens. I was told it is possible and hence I am going to live in that hope.
There was general agreement that some of us are still living in a “hype curve” around AI which eventually will distil the viable solutions from the unviable ones – ones that are good for the society and can be monetised too.
This makes me feel positive about JLL’s own philosophy around technology, particularly around our Internet of Things drive. As a company, we have to keep trying different things, narrow them to viable prototypes and finally industrialise them.
To quote Premier Li Keqiang: “It is no longer about the big and the large fish but about the fast and the slow fish.” In the long-term, we should aim to constantly innovate, and remain ahead of the curve as the proverbial “fast fish”.