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Web Summit lives at the intersection of technology, society and culture, bringing together a diverse mix of big companies, start ups, politicians, organizations like the United Nations and celebrities. This year’s conference took place November 5-8 in Lisbon, Portugal. With more than 60 thousand attendees, it’s probably the largest tech conference in the world – so of course we had to see what it’s all about and add our voices to the mix.

Unity was among those featured with two keynotes and one fireside chat.

Our CEO John Riccitiello gave a keynote on the ContentMakers stage titled “Real-time 3D Compute: A Transformational Moment for the World’s Creators and Consumers.” It was here that John and Unity put a stake in the ground on real-time 3D compute (RT3D) powering the biggest transformation in media since the internet.

John also participated in a fireside chat with Yahoo! Senior Editor, JP Mangalindan called “It’s Alive: Creating New Worlds for Gamers.” This 30 minute chat discussed various topics including creativity in the games business, the future of head-mounted displays and the penetration (and impact) of AR-devices in 2018.

VP of Machine Learning and AI Danny Lange talked about “Pioneering AI for All”. We’ve all heard about AI in gaming or autonomous driving. But nearly every industry is, or soon will be, using Machine Learning – this includes agriculture, education, medicine, city planning, education, you name it. So, how do we do this in a way that is cost-effective, fair and not as difficult or time consuming?

Toolkits like Unity Machine Learning Agents remove many barriers, helping developers and researchers make systems improve more efficiently. The idea is that we aren’t programming systems to complete tasks anymore, we’re programming them to LEARN. This reduces human bias and ultimately can make outcomes more fair. Danny’s talk left the audience thinking deeper about what the future of AI could mean for them.

The conference was also a great opportunity to hear from some amazingly talented people and learn what’s going on in their industries. For example, we went to a session by the creators  of the upcoming Lion King movie and heard how the film industry techniques are changing – with Unity! See some Twitter coverage below for more details.

6 replies on “Talking the future of tech at Web Summit 2017”

I agree with Radford, it’s cool you are finally working on some AI other than path finding (finally), but unless you make it work well for game development, then I don’t see the point… Why not just add a native decision tree system or some other more standard AI systems? It’s good Unity is experimenting with cool stuff, but we also need proven technology we can use in game development…

matthew radford, completely, 100% agree. you can say that the future for VR – is not sure, or that the future of machine learning – is probably … but. you guys, in my want everything at once … but do not do something better than everyone. Is mediocrity your choice? this is not true. but will there be enough resources for everything? games, movies, 3d modeling, Ai …. can be start with lighting and terrain? I apologize for criticism, I hope I’m wrong ….

look I LOVE Unity. I never comment. But this silicon valley ego trip Unity is going through right now makes little sense to me. I get it, your on the forefront of what makes you look good to VCs up in San Francisco. I just don’t see what this has to do with Unity. Okay your taking it in a new direction.. but why? We are game developers. We want to create new interactive experiences and tools. All these resources your funneling towards machine learning and AI is super future friendly, but not for game developers. This feels like some dumb Javascript buzz from 5 years ago. I want easier to use procedural mesh classes. More flexible surface shaders. Advances in realtime simulations. Standardized volumetric lighting. Give us a Motion Matching animation system. Democratize motion / performance capture. Improvements to workflow like not losing your changes while the games running. A terrain / ocean system that performers well and has pixel level detail. I mean… game development is an exciting field. I work in AAA. there’s A-LOT to keep up with. Why are you pursuing machine learning? I’m not saying it wont have an impact on how we make graphics. But why pivot unity towards that? Help us make it a better tool for game development! Please?! Its so hard to defend Unity. I love it so much. But my god Unreal continues to pull ahead in all ways. I’m sticking with Unity. I love its flexibility. I love its API. I love C#. It’s shader compiling times are amazing. You’ve got so much good. What are you guys doing up there??? It feels like these ex EA guys just trying to jump on anything new they don’t understand. “AI will change everything. The future of monetization”. Its not too late. You can keep unity a game dev tool. Its just got to come from within. I love this tool. Please don’t do this!

Unity as a company grew a lot globally because of Unity Ads, they opened offices all around the world to garter more clients for Unity Ads. Now they are in this phase they are trying to branch out for other fields, like engineering and design in hopes clients in these fields can make them more money than game developers do.

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