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What to Expect at BoF’s Upcoming Technology Summit

On March 22 in New York, BoF will host a summit on AI, web3 and the inflection point in technology featuring speakers from Gucci, StockX, Levi’s, Ambush and more.
An illustration promotes BoF's upcoming technology summit at the Times Center in New York on Wednesday, March 22.
(The Business of Fashion)

The past couple years have felt like a whirlwind of technological progress, even in an era where technology always seems to be speeding up.

Artificial intelligence went from a tool used in backend operations such as demand forecasting to a product poised to change everything from online search to marketing and design. Blockchain was the vague computing concept underlying cryptocurrencies not so long ago but today promises to make true ownership of all sorts of digital goods possible via NFTs — if the crypto industry doesn’t fall apart anyway. Meanwhile, advances in data analytics are helping drive high-powered newcomers like Shein and transforming centuries-old businesses like Levi’s.

On March 22 in New York, The Business of Fashion will host The BoF Professional Summit: AI, Web3 and an Inflection Point in Fashion Tech, looking at the new opportunities these advancements offer and where hype is outpacing actual benefits. We’ll have speakers from brands such as Gucci, StockX, Levi’s and Ambush, as well as experts on topics like AI and emerging technologies.

The summit will be streamed live, but as those of you who came to last year’s tech summit are aware, it’s an amazing event to attend in person if you’re able.

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Here are a few of the highlights I’m personally looking forward to.

To discuss how brands are using AI, we’ll have speakers such as Dr. Ahmed Zaidi, an AI researcher and co-founder of Hyran Technologies, which aims to reinvent supply-chain management with AI, and Dr. Amy Gershkoff Bolles, global head of digital and emerging technology strategy at Levi’s.

One topic sure to come up is generative AI, which — true to its name — generates new content such as images, text or even video in response to simple prompts. It still has bugs to work out and companies are just starting to figure out how to put it to use, but it could have wide-ranging effects on the way businesses make and market fashion. (I recently joined BoF’s founder and chief executive, Imran Amed, on the BoF podcast to talk about it.)

Though the crypto market is in a long downturn, fashion companies continue experimenting with NFTs as a means of brand and community building. Two exciting guests — Gucci’s Robert Triefus, chief executive of Gucci Vault and Metaverse Ventures; and Verbal, CEO and artist of Tokyo’s Ambush — will each sit down separately with Imran to talk about their web3 strategies and views on NFTs.

I’ll also be moderating a panel on the long-term prospects for fashion’s web3 ambitions where I’ll be joined by speakers including Alice Delahunt, who held top roles at Ralph Lauren and Burberry before striking out to launch a web3 fashion company, and Milton Pedraza, head of the Luxury Institute. The goal is to take a critical look at the potential and limits of the technology, now that it’s been more than a year since brands started jumping into the space and we can see some results.

That’s just a glimpse of what we have planned. We’ll have other speakers too, such as StockX CMO Deena Bahri, and of course other reporters from the BoF team will be on hand.

Tickets are still available so book now. It’s sure to be a great event and I hope to see you there.

© 2024 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions

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