Keynote speaker Sophie Hackford conde nast

Sophie Hackford at the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference


At the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Lisbon this month, futurist Sophie Hackford gave a keynote on the most recent technological developments that will impact luxury brands.


This was Hackford’s fourth consecutive speech at the annual conference and this year she focused on the increasing significance of artificial intelligence and how ‘bots’ could soon be a part of our teams.


She spoke of the disappointments within AI over the past 60 years, but with the conversation surrounding bots heating up once again, Hackford brought attention to just how AI could bring about transformation. “Today, Hackford said, we are developing systems that can learn for themselves and do things that humans used to have the monopoly on, such as creativity. Machines will get better by feasting on raw data and learning without humans, in what is called “unsupervised learning”.”


Hackford predicts that in the next decade “We will have our own bot, our own little agent, our own avatar to negotiate on our behalf, a digital ambassador.” She explains that the bot will handle all of the marketing communications that we receive from brands and represent us to the world and also represents the world to us.

This type of technology would aid brands in generating data for customer research to make decisions. In this regard, Hackford encouraged the audience to view AI as a teammate rather than another competitor.


Looking ahead, Hackford says that we still need to get a handle on the flaws on AI by studying its behaviour in the same way that we study our own. Robots’ flaws are totally different to human flaws that therefore we need to understand the difference between humans and robots in order to maximise the potential of AI for business and beyond.

The future is not a race against the machines, but a race with them.

Sophie Hackford – Tech Round-up of 2017

Sophie Hackford’s work aims to synthesise explosive and interconnected technology and science breakthroughs from around the world. She seeks to create enthusiasm for emerging technologies such as AI, but also to encourage constructive dialogue in order to minimise business’ scepticism and fear of many emergent technologies.


Sophie previously launched and ran WIRED magazine’s consulting business, bringing the entrepreneurs building the future into boardrooms. She spent two years in Silicon Valley working at Singularity University, a group based at a NASA research park tasked with understanding and harnessing exponential technologies.


We are becoming entangled with machines and Hackford aims to remove the concerns that are inevitably being felt by humans at the prospect of AI encroaching on both our professional and personal lives.

To read more about Sophie Hackford, click here.

To book Sophie Hackford as a keynote speaker for your next event, click on our ‘contact us’ page or send us an email.


Photo credit: INDIGITAL