LocWorld comes to Portugal for first time

Estoril Congress Center and the Hotel Palácio Estoril
Estoril Congress Center and the Hotel Palácio Estoril

LocWorld40 was held in Lisbon, Portugal, June 11-13, 2019. Sessions were split between the Estoril Congress Center and the Hotel Palácio Estoril, scene of a 1960s-era Bond movie and a hideout of fleeing European royalty during World War II.

Keynote Isabel Aguilera, voted one of the 50 most influential women in the world by Forbes magazine, spoke June 12 on humanity and the digital age. As connected as humans are currently, and given the rate that life is changing, humans are already hybrids, she argued. “We are digital beings,” she summarized.

She stressed that listening to customers is important in this landscape. What humans want to be reminded of is the importance of their humanity — emotion, ethics. “You are supposed to be good, but you need to get emotion to get the preference of your customer,” Aguilera said. And this is why “everyone is talking about becoming customer-centric.”

A meet and greet for LocWorld40
A panel presentation at LocWorld40
Cocktail mixer at LocWorld40
A presentation at LocWorld40

For those who are worried about the future, “even the dark side” of technology and our modern era presents opportunities, Aguilera said.

Tech was, as always, heavily featured at the conference. Speech technology in particular was an emerging trend. Nishant Rai of Adobe presented June 13 on how his team is improving in-app speech recognition for nonnative speakers by training the system to recognize alternative pronunciations of words.

A panel June 13 on the innovator’s dilemma looked at what the adoption of agreed-upon “innovations” is. Wayne Bourland of Dell pointed out that just because something is known as innovative in our industry, it doesn’t mean everyone — or even the majority — is using it. So as advanced as tech gets, adoption is still an open question.