On Friday, the last day of the World Congress of the International Advertising Association in Kochi, Pranav Mistry, head of the Think Tank Team and global senior vice-president of research at Samsung, spoke about the future of information technology and the limitless potential of artificial intelligence and augmented reality.
The 37-year-old computer scientist, who hails from Palampur in Gujarat, is best known for SixthSense, a wearable gestural interface which allows users to use hand gestures to interact with the physical surroundings using digital information. In his address, he emphasized how even as the information remains the same with the passage of time, the mediums or technologies will keep changing. On the sidelines of the event, the Indian Express caught up with Mistry to understand his vision of the future. Excerpts:
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Heading the research division at Samsung, is it tough to think of ideas that will amuse users as time goes by?
I don’t think so, because nature has so many things that amuse me. I’m amused by so many things around me, not just related to technology, but the world around us. The possibilities of what we can invent are enormous. Sometimes, we have so many ideas, but it comes to the decision of which idea we have to realise today. I feel that the big trouble is not about finding the right idea, but which idea to execute today. We have very limited time.
What makes you happy as an innovator?
My role is about thinking what’s next in technology. As an innovator, what makes me happy is that whatever we create, millions of people are using it everyday. Bringing the power of technology change to their life. That’s what makes me happy. It’s not about how many devices we make or what people do with it, but seeing the smile on their face, seeing the magic of technology, that’s what makes me happy.
How does information contribute to how Samsung thinks and creates?
For us, the biggest inspiration is our users. When we make something and give it to the users, they give us constant feedback. What they like, don’t like, what they want to see. It’s a big inspiration for us. Ten years of Galaxy now, we have made from Galaxy s1 to s10, every single time, we are listening to our consumers. Because they are the people driving us to bring the next big thing in future.
Could you talk about the streams or areas where you’re looking to explore at Samsung?
One of the fundamental things digital technology has done to our world now is that the amount of data we are generating today is in many, many folds such as where are you going, what you’re liking, where you’re eating, whom are you talking to, what’s your interest, that data we could use in a negative way, about privacy. But if you look at the positive part of it, not just the communication and entertainment industry, that data can change our agriculture, farming, medical industry, e-governance and that’s my personal interest as to what’s the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data, the data that we have collected using our devices surround us now can bring a better future. I think that’s a better world using the power of AI.
We’ve seen how many technologies have a disrupting power, in a negative way as well, as to how it clutters our world. How must we use technology going forward?
There’s no one answer. The democratisation of technology and ideas, everyone working together, every industry working together to make a better world. That’s the right answer.