Day three has come and gone, just as fast as the first two days of VivaTech. To close out the three B2B days of the event, let’s dive into the highlights of today.
Elon Musk. Photo credit: VivaTech
"We live in the most interesting of times. Let’s say some AI armageddon happens. I think I would still want to be alive at this time to see it. I mean, I hope I’m not the one who causes it…" Elon Musk.
The long waited session of VivaTech finally happened this afternoon in the Dôme de Paris with Elon Musk! 6,000 attendees waited with bated breath to hear what insights the tech legend would give on stage.
Jumping right into it, Maurice Levy, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Publicis Groupe, asked, "I have to ask you the question we all want the answer to. Are you evil or genius?" Laughing, Musk responded, "You can be an evil genius…"
From his success at early Paypal to the founding and development of Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink, and even his recent purchase of Twitter, Musk spoke about the core missions of the companies he leads.
But did Musk always see himself heading such a diverse array of successful companies when he was little? “No. I loved science and anything sci-fi, but I couldn’t have imagined doing what I’m doing today as a kid,” he explained.
“It all started when I had a sort of existential crisis at 12 years old. I really wondered about the meaning of life. I understood from books that the real difficulty is understanding what questions to ask. It’s about curiosity.
“So, what can we do to find out more about the nature of the universe and the meaning of life? We have to expand the scope and scale of consciousness, we have to explore the stars to know what questions to ask about the universe.
“From that, we have to make sure that Earth is good so we have to have sustainable energy and we have to build technology to travel beyond Earth. So it’s from those core philosophies that these companies exist.”
Later, on the topic of artificial intelligence, he said, “AI is the most disruptive technology ever. I think we live in the most interesting of times. Let’s say some AI armageddon happens. I think I would still want to be alive at this time to see it. I mean, I hope I’m not the one who causes it…”
To close out a turbulent discussion, Musk answered a few questions from the audience. One was: “What business should young people focus on?”
“Focus on something that you are personally passionate about,” Musk shared. “It doesn’t have to be high-tech, but you have to love it. It’s hard to gauge what other people will love, but if you absolutely can’t wait for your product to be on the market, you are going in the right direction.”
We are just scratching the surface of the content and insights shared by Musk. To watch the full session on demand check it out HERE.
Bob Metcalfe. Photo credit: VivaTech
“The Internet was a collective creation, it has at least 100 inventors,” Bob Metcalfe.
Before even the Internet, there was Ethernet. Bob Metcalfe was the inventor. We welcomed him on Stage One this afternoon to discuss the effect of telecommunication networks.
“Ethernet was 10,000 times faster than the prior technology,” Metcalfe explained. When it was developed in the 1970s, Ethernet became the standard. The prior network was very disconnected, having several miles between connections, but the Ethernet put computers within a mile of each other.
But the Internet has evolved since its beginnings. “Between 1965 and today, we’ve added 5 billion users to the Internet,” he said. “We’ve been from megabits to gigabits per second in decades.”
The creation of the Internet has obviously created many benefits for the world, like increasing productivity and reducing poverty, he reminded the audience, but it also led to pathologies like hacking, pornography, advertising, spam, and more recently, fake news and censorship.
With humor and a dose of humility, Metcalfe told the audience about his career and how at 77 years old he still “climbs the learning curve” by learning code.
Maurer, Koussawo, Paquet, Mariotte, Balembois. Photo credit: VivaTech
“In the future there won’t be a difference between sport and esport because sport will be fully connected,” Jean Mariotte.
As the Olympic games in Paris are approaching, we gathered Nicolas Maurer, CEO of Team Vitality; Nathalie Paquet, Founder of Sporty Peppers; Jean Mariotte, CEO of EVA; Désiré Koussawo, President of France Esports; and François Balembois, Esports FPR Product Manager at Webedia to talk about the future of Esports.
Our guests discussed the evolution of esports and reflected on how to grow the impact and the audience of esports, how to integrate with traditional sports and be more inclusive, as women represent today only 0,5% of esport professional players.
“As esports matures as an industry we have changed the approach,” explained Maurer. “If we take a step back and look at how we created performance 10 years ago, it was very amateur. It was basically talented players playing games for long hours. Gradually we started to add performance components with coaches and performance staff. Today it's about what will make the difference at the highest level of performance.”
For several speakers, the future of esport is about using games to do actual sports. For example, Sporty Peppers has players using their smartphones or computers to exercise. “You are playing but in fact, you are moving,” Paquet explained.
Koussawo, President of France Esports, an association gathering all e-sport stakeholders explained the challenges faced by esport. “We want to have the same support from governments as sport and culture.” At the moment, Désiré Koussawo is lobbying to organize Olympic e-sport week next year in Paris.
VivaTech’s professional days are over, but we still have one more day in store! Saturday is open to the general public to come explore everything VivaTech has to offer. Don’t miss the highlights of the French side of VivaTech on our social media: Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin.
Don’t forget to tag us @VivaTech and add the hashtag #VivaTech so we can see how you are spending your time at Europe’s biggest startup and tech event.