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eMerge Americas 2018: From Blockchain to Robobaby


I attended eMerge Americas with a group of awesome ladies. It was an exciting time because truth be told I’ve wanted to go for a couple of years now and finally had the opportunity to go. There was much to see and talk about, so I’m keeping it short and focusing on what stood out most to me. For a full recap of eMerge Americas 2018, click here.

Opening Speech by Former President Vicente Fox

Vicente Fox has quite a resume. The Harvard-educated, former President of Mexico is also an accomplished global businessman and seems to be working towards leveraging technology to build international bridges.

Despite some open-ended questions by the moderator, he kept the conversation towards technology and away from politics, even though in other interviews his conversations have been quite the opposite.

AI and the Robobaby

Florida International University and University of Miami had a great presence at the conference, with FIU showing off their microsurgery prototype, but one of the stand-out features of the UM booth was certainly the, “Robobaby.”

Since the AI robot Sophia was unable to attend due to technical difficulties, the AI baby was a welcome addition.

The AI baby is used by the University to teach students lifesaving techniques specific to babies. The AI baby facilitates this instruction as safely and realistically as possible – without any diaper changes.

 The Push for Women in Technology

As I walked around eMerge Americas with a friend she brought up an interesting point: “Have you noticed how many more men than women are here?” As she said that it became clear, that was certainly the case.

The WIT (Women, Innovation, and Technology) Summit was a stand-alone event at eMerge that spoke about the gender divide for women in technology and the unique perspective that women bring to the field of technology.

Not surprisingly, there was a large push for girls to have opportunities to explore technology at an earlier age. Code Art is a Miami-based nonprofit who operates girls’ coding clubs and coding programs at local schools.

Pitbull and Blockchain

International music star, Armando Christian Perez, best known, as “Pitbull” has become a permanent fixture at eMerge Americas. As an entrepreneur, he’s had a hand in several tech business ventures. This year, his focus was one of everyone’s favorite eMerge topic: blockchain.

He announced a partnership with Led Zeppelin and eMerge Americas to bring blockchain technology and the music industry together through a one-month coding competition. Blockchain promises to change the future of intellectual property and could potentially have a lasting impact on the music industry. You can learn more about the Smackathon competition here.

What eMerge Americas has shown us is that Miami isn’t just real estate and hotels. The technology community is alive and thriving in the Magic City, and it’s leveraging its geographical position as a technological bridge to the Americas.