SXSW Trends.

Added 27.06.17

Two key trends from this year’s SXSW

We recently went to SXSW festival in Texas where those on the cutting edge of tech and innovation meet and exchange ideas. A glimpse beyond the horizon, the festival showcases innovation happening today that will reshape tomorrow. Here are two key trends that emerged from this year’s festival…

From AI to IA…

Artificial Intelligence is beginning to enter the mainstream, from driverless cars to virtual assistants. Rather than the doom and gloom of robots taking over the world, the future belongs to Intelligence Augmented, where human and machine work side-by-side on problem solving.
AI will have a huge impact on the global workforce, as technology becomes cost effective, more easily understood and available. The consensus from SXSW was that there is a 30-year grace period before AI and IA dominate all industries, but with some tangible examples and sharp predictions, for example:

  • A Japanese insurance company has already replaced 30 human clerks with IBM Watson’s software, saving more than $1m
  • Chatbots – computer programmes to simulate customer service conversations are also predicted to replace 90 per cent of public sector workers in the UK


And forget virtual reality, the future belongs to blended reality…

While VR is only just entering gathering pace, this tech is already evolving into three distinct, but blended formats.

  • Virtual Reality = full immersion, where most of the mainstream technology currently sits
  • Augmented Reality = screen and information viewed without full immersion hardware. Think traffic information tech displayed on car windscreens and Pokémon Go!
  • Mixed Reality = combining the physical world – objects, surfaces but with an augmented reality twist. This tech will eventually allow device users in different cities or countries to sit and interact with each other in the same space virtually, while remaining miles and miles apart.


It seems that the future belongs to blending (AI-IA and virtual, augmented and mixed reality) – including marketing and communications strategies.

Like this? To find out more, get in touch with Sonia Kaur on 0121 7133603 or



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