No Black Keynote Speakers Yet For CES 2020, But They’re Piloting Facial Recognition Tech For Badge Pickup

No Black Keynote Speakers Yet For CES 2020, But They’re Piloting Facial Recognition Tech For Badge Pickup

CES has taken heat for not being inclusive enough, considering how African Americans drive technology for early adoption, frequency of use and more. In 2020, CES will pilot the use of facial recognition technology for badge pick-up, for those attendees who opt into the offering. A giant KIA video screen advertises facial recognition in prototype vehicles as patrons walk past at CES International, Jan. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Recently the Consumer Technology Association provided an exclusive, invitation-only presentation into the organization’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) scheduled for Jan. 7 to Jan. 10 in Las Vegas.

The event, entitled “CES Unveiled,” brought together an intimate number of media members and industry leaders for an experiential technology event and cocktail reception that revealed elements around this year’s show.  Here’s what every tech insider should know now.

First, for those who might not be aware, CES is the massive tech conference produced by the trade organization that supports a number of technology companies including Facebook and Apple. The show is the industry’s opportunity to help drive narratives and experience around major technology elements.

Although technology has recently come under fire for problems ranging from monopolies to privacy, the focus at CES 2020 will be on how technology can help solve some of society’s biggest challenges today, said Gary Shapiro, CEO of CTA and one of several speakers from the organization.

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Indeed, 160 countries from various parts of the entire tech ecosystem will come together in January to network, deal-make and learn. Some of the highlights to watch for will include:

  • Dedicated e-sports track
  • Dedicated area for travel and tourism
  • New vehicle tech area
  • Data and analytics section
  • 5G, Machine learning and voice recognition focus
  • AI as the “star” of the show

Other areas to watch for during the show include:

  • Digital health section will be expanding and showcasing new types of tech solutions around healthcare.
  • Smart cities area will offer how to revitalize economies in depressed areas.
  • Eureka Park, the event’s startup area, will see more than 40 countries represented.
  • C-Space, the section for entertainment and marketing communities around tech, will now include a sports technology track as well

Watch for various product launches and more around these specific areas.

In addition, speakers were announced including the CEO of Delta Airlines, Daimler Chairman Ola Källenius and Hyun-Suk Kim, president and CEO of Consumer Electronics at Samsung. The latter is always a massive presence at the convention.

Further, the show will pilot the use of facial recognition technology for badge pick-up, for those attendees who opt into the offering.

In terms of diversity and inclusion, CES has teamed up with the Female Quotient for various programming, yet there still seems more void for opportunity to fill.

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There were no speakers of color represented from the association as speakers at the media event, and to date, none of the 2020 headline speakers include any notable Black speakers. The CES team was quick to announce that it has been active in ensuring that a percentage of its $10 million fund set aside last year went to Harlem Capital Partners.

It would be great to see real-time visibility and promotion at the event. This seems to be a growing sore spot for CES. The event is receiving increasing heat, particularly given how the demographics of color drive the industry both in early adoption, frequency of usage and more.

Though the organization has started a Media Trailblazers initiative, the faces pictured on the screen at the media event did not appear to include any African-American females yet.

CES is considered a must-attend for many in the tech space The organization says that 61 percent of Fortune 500 companies will be attending. Though the organization says that it is the largest of its type in the world, in terms of attendance, this is debatable. Vivatech based in France now out-indexes its American counterpart by nearly 40 percent.

As we all move deeper in the Information Era, let us all work together not just solely on quantity but depth, so that various voices and innovators are included in order to offer a truly authentic snapshot of what is next in tech.