#WebSummit Preview: Day Two

Had fun last night at Coppers? It’s OK, the photos aren’t on Twitter… yet.

Take your mind off your hangover with the launch of the Machine Summit, one of the most interesting features of the programme which included an opening keynote delivered by a robot. Panels get a little more diverse and fun on the second day: Aside from the rise of our robot overlords, there’s golf superstar Padraig Harrington, YouTube guru EssieButton (aka Estée Lalonde), an interview with the co-founder of Tinder and a panel after every Irish startup’s heart, asking whether you need to go to Silicon Valley after all.

There’s also the Web Summit Careers Night, a great option for students and recent grads who don’t have to pay for a ticket (more below), before the Night Summit continues in several bars around Dame Street. But before those, here are our picks for getting the most out of Day 2 at Web Summit:

9.35 Commerce: The Next Epoch of the Internet
Centre Stage

The title sounds very lofty – is it about the next epoch of online commerce, or is the next epoch of the internet about commerce? But, that’s to be expected when your company is valued at a remarkable $5 billion. One of Stripe’s young founders, John Collison, discusses the near future of commerce and the role Stripe will play in shaping it.

9.58 Machine Summit Opening remarks
Machine Stage

Time for an automated interlude: the Machine stage opens with a fifteen-minute presentation by Pepper the Robot, the humanoid robot creation of Aldebaran Robotics, a division of the Softbank Group. Pepper detects human faces with lasers, cameras and infrared sensors, is fluent in English, Spanish, Japanese and French and is known as an ‘emotionally intuitive’ robot, capable of making complex decisions. Spooky, but not enough to keep us from seeing it!

10.15 The Not-So Uncanny Valley?
Machine Stage

Do androids really dream of electric sheep? Hang around the machine stage for this debate between speakers from Singularity University, Aldebaran, Silicon Valley Robotics and Insight Robotics, questioning whether our fears of too-human robots are unfounded and whether they help us to understand what’s human.

12.00 pm The Science Can Swing It
Sport Stage

Not much here about business, but it is your duty, Irish attendees, to go and listen to an Irish golfing legend. Padraig Harrington chats with Nathan Murphy of Newstalk and Niall Bruton of Orreco, the sports data scientists currently working with both Harrington and IBM’s Watson programme on elite sports analytics.

12.35 Life Online
Centre stage

Mike Butcher, Rene Rechtman of Maker Studios, lifestyle vlogger ‘Noodlerella’ and Estee Lalone, known on YouTube as Essiebutton, take to the Main Stage to discuss what makes an online star as well as addressing every blogger’s worst nightmare, ad blockers.

1.00pm Marketing #FOMO in the Digital Age
Marketing Stage

The acronym might be a little cringeworthy at this point (it stands for ‘Fear Of Missing Out’, for the uninitiated), but you’d be wise to take in what Dave Jakubowski, Head of AdTech at Facebook, has to say on how the world’s biggest social network manages to convince its 1.23 billion plus users to keep clicking.

2.00pm Competing with Silicon Valley
Startup University

A topic many Irish startups will relate to: For all the horror stories of failing fast and definitely not failing better, Silicon Valley remains the impossible dream for countless companies looking to scale up. Here, a panel of experts from San Francisco and beyond weigh up the pros and cons.

2.30 Restless Natives
Marketing Stage

The hype over ‘native’ advertising hasn’t gone away, but can you really tell the difference between it and plain old sponsored content? Anna Watkins (Guardian Labs), Liron Shapira (Quixey), Sriram Krishnan of Facebook and Storyful Managing Editor Aine Kerr take attendees through a crash course in new marketing methods.

3.20 Audiofiles: The Forecast for Podcasts
Content stage

‘Audiofiles’ for audiophiles: This panel offers a brief history of the medium’s evolution, with speakers from the Guardian, the New York Times, Bloomberg and Irish standup comedian Jarlath Regan of cult-favorite podcast An Irishman Abroad.

4.05 Swipe Right: Tinder Up Close
Centre Stage

A fun one to end the day with: Sean Rad, president of the phenomenally popular, occasionally controversial dating app, talks with Steven Bertoni, senior editor of Forbes. Which reminds us, Web Summit Tinder is apparently the stuff of legend, so don’t forget to get swiping.

Afters: The Night Summit
Tonight it’s all about Dame Lane and Dame Court, with the Web Summit taking over the Dame Tavern, RiRa, Odessa, the Bankers Bar and the Academy. You might be getting a bit tired now, two days in, but at least Copperface Jacks isn’t on the menu tonight (at least, not officially).

Extra: Careers Night
Aside from all the passing around of CVs during the day, the Web Summit has a formal careers night on the 4th for students and recent grads looking to get into tech. The line-up includes inspiring talks from tech’s highfliers as well as a chance to ring the NASDAQ bell live on stage. Unlike the rest of the conference, admission is free: follow this link to the FAQ and fill out the form for access.

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