WCIT 2019: RAU Team Shared Their Impressions
As Armenia has set to become a technological hub and is already home to over 900 ICT companies, including PicsArt, Renderforest, Softconstruct and Joomag that have gone global, it had the privilege to host WCIT 2019, The World Congress on Information Technology, on October 6-9, 2019.
WCIT is the signature event of the World Information Technology & Services Alliance, the consortium of ICT associations of 83 countries. This year, the panel sessions addressed 'The Power of Decentralization: Promise and Peril' to explore how information and communications technology is transforming the lives for the better. The event gathered more than 2,500 of the world's technology and business leaders, including Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder of Reddit and Initialized Capital, Alex Chung, Founder and CEO of GIPHY, Hovhannes Avoyan, Founder of PicsArt, Gary Vaynerchuk, Chairman of VaynerX, Katherine Sarafian, Senior Vice President of Pixar Animation Studios, Kim Kardashian West, entrepreneur, beauty mogul and producer.
Some of the brightest students and graduates of Russian-Armenian University also had the opportunity to attend the biggest tech event of 2019. Ms. Svetlana Mashuryan, Ph.D. student and Head of RAU Department of International Cooperation, led a group of 9 representatives.
Here is what they say about the event:
Ellen Altunyan, a Bachelor student in Electronics and Nanoelectronics, “I was honored to be a part of the University team at WCIT 2019. It was a great experience to get acquainted with tech innovations from all over the world, communicate with distinguished guests and see where the world leads us in the technological era. For me, the most impressive was Alexis Ohanian’s address. I think he is a truly inspiring person for all Armenians - his initiative to invest in the technological growth and startup eco-system of Armenia is a great example for the Armenian diaspora to follow.”
Hovakim Grabski, Ph.D., “WCIT 2019 was a very interesting event, especially for young start-up companies. There were a lot of talks on how machine learning and artificial intelligence are going to affect us in many ways, which can be unexpected. Thus, it is very important to consider both the advantages and the dangers (Easter eggs, such as Skynet from Terminator will eliminate us all). There were many interesting talks, but for me 2 keynotes were especially interesting. One of them was 'Prometheus Bound? When AI Meets Genomics' panel, which was moderated by the futurologist and author Jamie Metzl. The panel speakers were discussing the upcoming ethical issues and dangers that will come with gene editing, considering the last year’s case, when 2 genetically modified babies were born in China, and the consequences of such endeavors in the future. Another interesting talk was by one of the keynote speakers Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, he shared his experience with start-ups and how internet is changing everything about the world. It was a great experience, and I hope more events like this will come to Armenia.”
Established by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), The World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2019 was hosted by Armenia with the support and under the high patronage of the Government of the Republic of Armenia. The Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises (UATE) was the main organizing body.