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2017 tech events: The year in photos

In this end-of-year photo roundup, take a look back at some of the most notable moments from SearchCIO's coverage of 2017 tech events.

It's been another whirlwind year for SearchCIO. Our 2017 tech events coverage not only spanned multiple IT disciplines and technology trends, but also multiple states. Our team journeyed to California, Nevada, Texas, Florida and a few places in between to report on the year's most notable IT conferences, summits, symposiums and forums.

At these events, we gathered expert insight on topics like AI, chatbots, wearable technology, drones, cybersecurity, digital transformation, changing C-suite roles and much more.

Throughout the year, our team turned to Instagram to help document our time at these events. This 2017 tech events roundup provides a sampling of the best and most interesting photos from the SearchCIO team's travels.

RSA Conference

February 2017, San Francisco

How are artificial intelligence and machine learning already being used by companies and consumers? What can we expect from AI in the years to come? Those were some of the questions posed during a keynote discussion with Alphabet Inc. executive chairman Eric Schmidt (right) at the RSA Conference 2017. Schmidt said we will eventually move from a mobile-first world to an AI-centered one, but admitted that AI is still in its early stages.

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Gartner Data & Analytics Summit

March 2017, Grapevine, Texas

In their opening keynote, Gartner's Debra Logan and Kurt Schlegel said that although there's an abundance of data, we're still lacking in areas like budgeting, skill development and establishing the right culture to truly take advantage of analytics opportunities. One way to overcome that scarcity, they explained, is through organizational restructuring -- including the addition of a chief data officer.

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Chatbots and Virtual Assistants for the Enterprise

May 2017, San Francisco

Beerud Sheth, founder and CEO of smart messaging platform Gupshup, said the next frontier of bot evolution is interbot communication. He foresees a future in which bots can collaborate, multiply and upgrade themselves.

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MIT Sloan CIO Symposium

May 2017, Cambridge, Mass.

One of the signature 2017 tech events we covered was the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, where Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy said every job and business process will be disrupted by AI. According to them, we're in the second stage of the machine age: getting machines to learn.

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Keynote panelists at the MIT CIO Symposium discussed lessons they learned from their digital transformation journeys and their predictions for the future of digital organizations. Jim Fowler, group CIO at GE, said future workers will be more of data modelers and will need extensive coding skills.

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Argyle CIO Leadership Forum

June 2017, New York

Michael Herman of consulting firm KPMG challenged attendees at the Argyle CIO Leadership Forum to think differently about the clichéd term "digital transformation." One of Herman's key pieces of advice was that digital transformation projects should be shaped with a human experience in mind -- as well as with a strong tie-in to business needs.

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InterDrone 2017

September 2017, Las Vegas

Michael Huerta of the FAA said the drone industry is still very much in its infancy, but massive progress is being made. Huerta noted that drones were critical in hurricane response efforts this year. The next steps in drone development include remote identification and tracking capabilities, he said.

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Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

October 2017, Orlando, Fla.

Gartner's Daryl Plummer shared the research firm's top predictions, which touched on chatbots, AI, IoT and -- most surprisingly -- fake news. By 2022, Plummer posits that the majority of individuals in a mature economy will consume more false information than true information. The rise of "counterfeit reality" -- driven by AI -- will contribute to digital distrust, he said.

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Gerri Martin-Flickinger, EVP and CTO at Starbucks, said transforming the coffee giant for the digital world meant embracing digital natives, a cloud-based platform model, Agile methodologies and a variety of other emerging technologies.

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Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit

October 2017, Boston

Jay Kothari, project lead for Glass at X, the moonshot factory, discussed the lessons learned from Glass's past struggles in the consumer market and described how Google's wearable efforts have found new life in the enterprise. "We went from what we thought was a consumer fashion device to something that's very function-oriented and has a very clear use case," Kothari said.

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MIT Sloan CFO Summit

November 2017, Newton, Mass.

Expert panelists from different industries discussed the changing CFO role and the importance of experience over certifications or degrees. They emphasized the significance of leadership, a good relationship with IT, cross-functional ability, global experience and cultural awareness as vital to being successfully in the CFO role.

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Forrester New Tech Forum

December 2017, Boston

Forrester's Julie Ask said that smart conversational tech is the future of consumer experiences, but it will take at least 10 years for it to mature. A key challenge for conversational AI is understanding intent, which requires context. Current chatbots don't have that understanding, Ask said.

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AI World Conference

December 2017, Boston

Security guru Bruce Schneier said he doesn't worry about an apocalypse spawned by AI. Instead, he worries about near-term -- and more realistic -- dangers like the weaponization of AI to do things like remotely hack airliners and self-driving cars, or alter medical records. As AI continues to evolve to protect assets and information, so does the likelihood of "bad guys" using AI to attack these systems, Schneier said.

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Now that you've looked back at our 2017 tech events coverage, check out our Instagram account and give us a follow! It's your resource for event photos, videos and session snippets.

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What IT events should the SearchCIO team attend in 2018?