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#PlaceConf: How Mixed Realities & AI Will Change Digital Experiences

Richard Potter, CTO at Microsoft UK delivered an engaging talk at the Place Conference London about an area which is sparking interest, the impact of AI, mixed reality and advanced technology on digital experiences. Digital data surrounds us even though we may not be aware of it, from “chat bots” which are being increasingly used, to “location-based data” which can be used in multiple environments.

Richard explained an application of “location based” data which Microsoft in Reading is making sense of, whereby computer vision determines whether a shop assistant needs to assist in checking for ID for alcoholic beverages being sold, depending on the individual’s appearance. This pre-configuration that Richard highlighted emphasizes the new insights that digital data can offer, not only in retail, but also to larger corporations and businesses.

Richard talked about how this will not only make retail workers jobs more efficient but how applications such as these will create an immersive experience. This “immersive experience” has gone on to be adopted worldwide, using insights from intelligence to determine complex applications. Richard then went on to speak about “Xiaobing”, a bot which originated in South East China that is particularly popular among the Chinese population. This Bot is perfectly integrated into WeChat and can have emotional relationships with individuals, being able to send messages to create a sense of realism among the interactions.

The examples above were used to illustrate the immersive and intelligent nature of our digital experience, whereby examples such as “Xioabing” demonstrate the interactive element and “detecting age in shops” demonstrates the interpretation of images.

Microsoft is embracing this digital experience, through applications such as AI which enables us to understand our surroundings to mixed reality such as the HoloLens which enables us to adjust particular regions. Richard then spoke about “quantum,” which is next in the line of evolving technological applications; this can be used to solve network problems and make sense of digital data.

Richard finished by leaving the audience with the luring question: How can we embrace digital data?

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