Continuous Learning at TechCrunch Disrupt

Company Values, Engineering, Technology Tech Crunch Disrupt Blog Post

At Intuit, professional development is a big part of the company culture. From workshops to trainings and attending conferences, we are all encouraged to grow in our skills and knowledge about new technologies. As a member of the Corporate Strategy and Development team, looking at trends and evaluating how companies are disrupting themselves is a constant focus.

In September, I had the opportunity to attend the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco and see first hand how these trends are being introduced both within startups and established tech companies. The conference was an exciting time to understand more about game-changing technologies and hear from the tech industry’s key innovators.

Day 1 of the conference was focused on trends within security, blockchain, and artificial intelligence.

Security

One of the first sessions was a fireside chat with Heather Adkins, Director of Security at Google. She explained it’s expected hackers will try to access data and that in order to focus on prevention, it’s important to consider the many techniques a bad actor could use to gain access to information. Her comments centered on the emerging importance of artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate discovery and respond to hacks quickly.

Blockchain

Vitalik Buterin, Founder of Ethereum, talked with Naval Ravikant, Founder of AngelList, about the potential of blockchain and decentralized applications to change the way people or systems transact. Ethereum is a general purpose blockchain that allows programmers to create and run decentralized application or smart contracts that automatically execute an agreement (e.g. insurance contracts or self-executing financial contracts)

Artificial Intelligence

Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, discussed his company’s many acquisitions in the artificial intelligence space to build out an ecosystem to help companies with AI across their spectrum of needs. He mentioned the three options of: 1.) partnering, 2.) acquiring, or 3.) investing to bring the AI technology into the company, ultimately deciding to acquire due to the speed and cheaper cost relative to building it.

Takeaways

Hearing from each of the industry experts allows us to assess our current solutions within Intuit and whether to suggest any strategic recommendations for the company. Attending the conference and hearing about the importance of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain is directly applicable to the way we can augment our current technology and security with automation, creating faster, more intelligent, and secure systems.

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