Three fascinating panel discussions took place during the DLD Innovation Festival in Tel Aviv.
The first, hosted by DLD Chairman and serial entrepreneur, Dr. Yossi Vardi, was called “Is it high-tech or science fiction?” It featured artist Matty Mariansky, founder of “Rise of the Machines”, considered Israel’s largest culture and AI community; Oded Shoseyov, Professor and Researcher in nanobiotechnology, Hebrew University; and Jonathan Bohbot, Associate Professor of Entomology, Hebrew University.
Shoseyov spoke about creating collagen from tobacco plants, which is then used for a myriad of uses – from organ printing to alternative protein. He said that the prediction is that by 2030, 10% of the meat we consume will be cultured meat, but there are many challenges ahead.
“Today, to produce one kilo of a cultured steak, you need about 100 dollars’ worth of insulin. The problem isn’t just the cost but also the scale,” Shoseyov explained by example. “We will need 70 thousand tons of insulin for this 10% goal, and there’s no way the current companies can do this. So, we’ve also introduced insulin to tobacco, we’re on the verge of the plant age – plants will produce everything for us.
Bohbot discussed his passion for innovation in the field of mosquitos. “We focus on the sense of smell and want to find things that attract them, in order to kill them – or that repel them. Another idea was to steal the mosquito’s smell receptors and attach them to transistors to make bio-receptors, by cloning the smell-receptor gene,” by cloning the specific gene and injecting it into a frog egg, so it can grow on the frog.
“We are still closer to science fiction than to reality, we’re still developing this technology. This will probably come to the market 10-20 years from now,” he said.
Speaking about how AI affects contemporary art, Mariansky said that “We see new machines that you just need to feed one or two sentences, and they give you an image. It’s a really easy skill to master and you get amazing art out of it.
“AI was trained by looking at millions and millions of photos. It had managed to catalogue all of those images into a big box, and now when you ask for something – the machine can go into that big box and take it out for you.”
The second panel discussed robotics, drones and autonomous platforms. Moderator Limor Schweitzer, the Founder of mov.ai (Portugal) hosted Yaniv Maor, Founder & CEO of Tevel (Israel); Alon Unger, Chairman and Founder of UVID (Israel); and Guy Altagar, CEO of Ultimate Robotics (USA).
The panel discussed the importance and added value of building new devices on small, sophisticated chips, as well as reliability challenges in an industry that is still relatively new.
Unger spoke about the current process taking place in Tel Aviv, to bring about drone-led solutions to its residents. “It could be in public safety, delivery for the commercial market, and more. The UTM system (unmanned aircraft system traffic management) needs to control the environment, which is in the altitude of about 100 meters, and make sure that everything works together properly. A smart city – putting an aircraft in the air – that’s cyber as well.”
The panel was asked whether there is a fear that robots will take over human labor, but all agreed that this fear is unjustified. Rather, they all see future workforce as human employees working alongside robots.
The final panel of the day was aptly titled “Astounding women in tech.” Nine incredible women, from various domains, shared the stage with tech ecosystem leader Hilla Bakshi.
Noy Hadas is the founder of Noy Hasasde, Israel’s largest retail fruit and vegetable chain. She was only 21 when she founded the business; Lee Moser is Managing Partner and Founder, AnD Ventures; Lital Leshem co-dounded Carbyne, a platform which builds next-gen 911 systems; Noa Matz is a startup psychologist and F2 Operating Partner; Amit Rapaport is the CEO and Co-Founder of Compete, which provides real-time data on employee’s compensation and benefits benchmarks; Tanya Attias – CEO and Co-Founder, Medint – a medical intelligence platform; Sharon Tal, Head Designer of Maskit Fashion House; and Khouloud Ayuti, Director of the Armony Foundation.
The panel discussed challenges of the past year in their businesses, given the changing market situation; relations with investors; implications of the current market on NGO verticals; ways of bridging the gap that still exists between men and women; and how women, by nature, are able to juggle manage crises and changing reality.