Navigating AI Trends: Insights from Web Summit 2023 with Unbody
On my flight back from the Web Summit 2023 in Lisbon, I had some time to reflect on the event. It was no surprise that AI dominated the conversations – after all, it's the hot topic in tech right now. But something that stood out to me was the nature of AI integration in many startups. While it's known that developing deep AI tech from scratch is complex and often impractical, I expected more in-depth technical discussions and applications, perhaps in areas like generative search, LLMs and vector databases, at such a large-scale conference.
Instead, what was evident was a trend of startups building their foundations almost entirely on platforms like OpenAI's API. This approach, while understandable given the complexities of AI, seemed a bit shortsighted. It highlighted a lack of deeper engagement with AI technologies beyond the readily available tools. This observation isn't a criticism of the startups' efforts but rather an insight into the current landscape of AI development in the startup ecosystem.
For me, this underlines the path we're taking with Unbody. There's a clear need in the market for tools and platforms that facilitate more nuanced and innovative uses of AI, especially for those who aren't deep into the tech. The conversations I had at the summit with various attendees – from developers to business owners – confirmed that there's a real appetite for ways to integrate AI more creatively and effectively into different kinds of work.
All in all, the Web Summit was exactly what you'd expect from a major tech conference these days: AI was everywhere. But it also served as a reminder of the vast potential that exists for AI innovation beyond the current norm, and the role that companies like ours can play in expanding the horizons of AI application.