The Web Summit 2023 was launched yesterday evening, Monday, in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, and witnessed the first attendance of its new president, Catherine Maher, after the resignation of former president Paddy Cosgrave over a tweet in which he accused Israel of committing “war crimes” in Gaza.
The Altec Arena hall was filled with more than 70,000 attendees, startup companies, media, and speakers from various parties. Although the opening was delayed by about an hour and a half for no convincing reason, everyone was impatiently waiting for the start of the largest event in the world in terms of the number of companies participating in it and attendance. .
This year’s summit includes 2,600 startup companies from 85 countries, which is a record number, in addition to 900 investors, 2,000 media outlets, 300 summit partners, 800 speakers, and about 70,000 attendees, representing a total of 160 countries.
The summit began with a number of startup founders reviewing the applications and services developed by their companies, before the new summit president, Catherine Maher, took the stage, two weeks after she assumed the presidency, succeeding the summit’s founder, the Irish businessman Paddy Cosgrave, who resigned from it.
Cosgrave, who founded the Web Summit in 2009, said in a tweet on the “For once. War crimes are war crimes even when committed by allies, and they must be called by their proper names.”
After this bold tweet, major companies sponsoring the summit, led by Meta and Google, threatened to boycott it, and other companies announced their withdrawal from participation. Cosgrave did not benefit from publishing subsequent tweets in which he tried to soften what he said and repeated the famous Western phrase that “Israel has the right to defend itself,” which He was eventually forced to resign.
Maher said she believes that “everyone, anywhere, has the right to express their opinions on any topic, including what is happening in the world.”
She added, “If we did not have the right to freedom of expression or the right to debate, the Web Summit platforms would be devoid of ideas, challenges, and change.” She pledged that the Web Summit would remain a place for discussions and freedom of ideas and expression.
She concluded that the Web Summit is a place where people come to unite and be challenged, while doing so “with respect” and defending “each other’s humanity.” During these conversations.
Wikipedia and artificial intelligence
The discussion session in which Wikipedia founder Jimmy Willis participated was one of the highlights of the opening of the summit, as the session revolved around the question: Why will GPT chat not affect Wikipedia?
Willis said that the artificial intelligence on which the famous chat program GPT relies is still in its infancy, cannot be relied upon as a source of information, and sometimes provides illogical answers.
The founder of Wikipedia gave an example of this: he was asking GBT Chat for several days about the name of his wife’s husband, and each time the application mentioned a different name.
He added that Wikipedia looked into the issue but did not find that GPT chat was useful to it at the present time, and he expressed his belief that the smart chat application has between 20 and 30 years to develop enough to become a competing source for Wikipedia.
Regarding social networking sites, Wells said that building knowledge from social networking sites is useful in teaching you speech, not facts.
It is noteworthy that the Web Summit launched on Monday, November 13, and will continue until Thursday, November 16. During this period, the summit will witness hundreds of seminars in various fields. In addition to technology, seminars will be held that talk about climate change, the environment, politics, economics, advertising, marketing, digital currencies, and even Sports will find someone to talk about.