Collision 2018


Earlier this month, four of us from Enigma, including our Co-Founder and CEO, Hicham Oudghiri, joined 25,000 of our closest tech colleagues in New Orleans for Collision, one of North America’s leading tech conferences.

After settling in and enjoying some great jazz and even better food, Hicham joined Sariah Ashman, CEO of Wolff Olins and John Avalon, Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director of The Daily Beast, on the Center Stage to discuss the impact AI may have on society.

AI frees us up from the most repetitive, mundane tasks. This is a massive opportunity for us to be more creative.Hicham Oudghiri, Co-Founder and CEO of Enigma

During the conversation, Hicham reflected on how AI will incentivize a world in which cooperation, not competition, will drive future economic value"

Hicham then joined Mona Siddiqui, Chief Data Officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Rani Molla, Data Editor at ReCode, for a fireside chat called “A Tale of Two Cities. During this session, the panelists shed light on the vast amount of publicly available data and the ways in which this data can be leveraged to better understand the world around us. While each speaker joined the panel with different experiences and areas of focus, they all agreed that connected data is key to solving the most pressing challenges facing our communities today.

During this fireside chat, Hicham also showcased our Smoke Signals lab project, which began as a collaboration with the City of New Orleans to identify households most likely to need a smoke detector.

We can look block by block in cities across the US to determine who is most likely to need a smoke detector, allowing cities and the Red Cross to target outreach.Hicham Oudghiri, Co-Founder and CEO of Enigma

Meanwhile, Frank Cooper, Chief Marketing Officer at BlackRock, delivered an engaging keynote on “staying human in the machine age.” He shed light on how to leverage data and machine learning in a manner that will minimize human bias but still allows for human input by scaling our empathy, creativity and other human traits.

BlackRock has partnered with Enigma, a data and technology company out of New York, to create a platform we’re calling Precision Empathy.Frank Cooper, CMO of BlackRock

This effort is part of a new partnership between BlackRock and Enigma to create a platform called Precision Empathy, which harnesses data linking and machine learning to provide insights that were unattainable through the traditional demographic marketing lens.

When the sun went down and the conference drew to a close, we joined our fellow attendees to explore the rich culture and cuisine of New Orleans. From gumbo in the French Quarter to brass bands marching down Frenchman Street, we soaked up all the Big Easy has to offer.

Making new friends, learning from our peers and sharing insights from our work represents the Enigma values of curiosity, generosity and hustle. Our time at Collision was marked by all three, and it was a lot of fun. Are you attending an event sometime soon? Let’s us know! We’d love to see you there.

Photos by Seb Daly and Diarmuid Greene/Collision via Sportsfile