IBM Think 2019 – London

by Charles Dimov

If you are into high tech and learning about the latest and greatest… then the IBM Think event is for you! ContractPodAi was at the London conference as an IBM Watson AI (artificial intelligence) partner to join the conversation. Without a doubt, the buzz was energizing. IBM Think conference stage

This year’s Think conference broadly included the hottest topics in tech:

  • Cloud & Infrastructure
  • Data & AI
  • Security & Resiliency
  • New Technologies Shaping the Future


First, IBM Watson AI is the world’s best known, and trusted artificial intelligence platform. As such, there were plenty of topics about the new era of technology. Of the thought leadership topics, my favorites included:

  • Big Ideas of AI and the 4th Industrial Revolution: Not just for the big players
  • Driving Digital Transformation at Barclay’s Bank (by exploiting the power of big data and analytics)
  • Digital Content @ Scale
  • Adventures in AI
  • Applying Machine Learning to Your Data
  • Unlocking The Value of Unstructured Content in The Cloud


Loved the oxymoron! Think included the ‘Silent Presentation’ or ‘Silent Seminar’ concept. In other words, the presenter spoke of their subjects on various podiums around the venue.

IBM Think 2019

However, in order to hear the presenter, you either had to sit in the front row or use headphones. The presenter’s microphone was directed not at loudspeakers, but to wireless headsets available on each respective seat.

But, I must admit that albeit an interesting concept, it was a surreal experience. Surreal in the sense of seeing several hundred people sitting silently in a large crowd. Clearly, someone on the stage was speaking, as you could tell from the hand gestures. Otherwise, there was merely the din of the surrounding trade show as ambient noise in the open theater.


IBM Cloud computing and artificial intelligence were not the only groundbreaking developments of interest. If you have kept up with anything in the world of emerging technologies, or seen sci-fi lately, you will have heard of quantum computing. In short, it is a new technology that holds the promise of being able to provide computing power thousands of times faster than current digital technology. IBM showcased the model of one such quantum computer at the show. Remarkably, the quantum CPU (central processing unit), is cooled down to 15 microKelvin (that is 0.015 degrees away from Absolute Zero). Although not operational, it was exciting to see another major paradigm breaking technology in its infancy.


This year, I did not spot any express legal technology at the show. However, with the rapid adoption and growth of technology and AI use in the in-house legal space… it will not surprise me to see this as a category, next year. Legal tech is a great intersection of corporate law, business, and technology that works well in the IBM business ecosystem.


The interior of the Olympia Center hosted all the presentations and seminars. The outside areas of the exhibit hall included IBM business partners, IBM displays, demos, and booths. virtual reality

One of the booths was from a partner of ours – Arrow. They showcased rapid AI development on the IBM Watson platform. One of the resonating themes was that more companies can adopt artificial intelligence without tremendous costs or complexity. Arrow did a good job of showcasing Deep Learning technology (self-training machine learning). They did so with a small robot making its way around a loop outlined by bright orange cones – all the while connected to IBM Watson to power the small bot’s intelligence.

One of the most resonant questions from attendees was ‘how to get started.’


The funny thing here is that for the office of the General Counsel, contract management organization, or legal operations team – starting is easy. Companies like ContractPodAi makes it easy! Instead of having the customer GC’s deeply involved in running all minor tasks and details, the vendor (ContractPodAi in our case), takes on that project. There are still many interfaces, and parts to the project… but a significant portion of the details of the full digital transformation process is taken off your list of tasks. Charles Dimov holding a be a curious sign.

When thinking about how to use AI technology to improve your own processes on the legal team – think about your contracts. Systems like ContractPodAi are infused with AI technology throughout. It’s not just about having it on the front end, or in the analytics section of your software. All this, built upon the trusted IBM Watson AI platform. Best of all, when deployed, it comes as an out-of-the-box offering. When deployed, it is ready to go and ready to use. Highly skilled legal engineers have already configured, tweaked, and adjusted the AI to best suit your needs. And, that’s exactly what legal departments need. That being a system that is ready to use by your staff, as soon as it is deployed.


As a technology conference, this year’s London event has been impressive. Dozens of exhibitors, IBM experts of all sorts, presentations, and discussions about the latest tech – were all the buzz. This year’s forum took business leaders on a journey to cloud computing, discussing everything from quantum computing, to IoT, right through to AI technology.

However, the most resonant message being those partners like ContractPodAi are ready to help customers engage and use this new technology to the benefit of their organizations. Congratulations to IBM, and to the IBM research team on a well-run and exciting event.

So, if you are interested in bringing AI technology into your legal team and organization – reach out to ContractPodAi as a first step. Have a pressure-free discussion with one of our #LegalTech consultants about how a good contract lifecycle management (CLM) system can help your team.


Charles Dimov
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