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  • Philip Straus

CSUN Blockchain Society Learns About the Convergence of AI and Blockchain at AIShowBiz3.0

From left to right: CBS President Santiago Cuevas, Isabel Navarro (from Cal State LA), BAF President Cameron Dennis, CBS member Valentin Baillet, Najeeb Sohrabi (from Cal State LA), CBS member Jesse Cruz, and CBS Vice President Manuel Vergara.

Last week the CSUN Blockchain Society (CBS) traveled to Silicon Valley to attend AIShowBiz3.0, the world’s first summit focused entirely on artificial intelligence in the entertainment, media and blockchain sectors.

The student organization’s officers worked to obtain free tickets to the conference, which was enough to encourage four club members to split an AirBnB and attend the two-day event. CBS President Santiago Cuevas expressed gratitude for Molly Lavik, the co-founder of AIShowBiz who provided the group with free student tickets.

“I want to thank Molly being a champion of entrepreneurship, for supporting our cause by providing us this opportunity to connect with great people,” Santiago said.

CBS member Jesse Cruz's favorite part of the conference was learning about the various projects presented during the Shark Tank-style pitch competition. After three stages, the startup Cerebri AI emerged from the competition victorious, impressing judges with its model for measuring individual brand commitment and recommending best actions at scale.

Santiago added that one of his key takeaways from the conference was gaining exposure to the wide range of technologies experimenting with artificial intelligence.

“Even though Artificial Intelligence (AI) is such an uncharted territory, nobody is afraid of it,” Santiago remarked. “Everybody is trying to approach AI from different paradigms, but nobody is afraid of it.”

CBS Co-Founder and Vice President Manuel Vergara said his favorite event during the conference was a speech from Canva chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki, who stressed the impact of grit and perseverance while also reminding the crowd to smile every once in a while.

In addition to Kawasaki, other major speakers included Film Director Jannicke Mikkelsen and prominent venture capitalist Tim Draper.

Although blockchain and AI research remain in nascent stages, Manuel left AIShowBiz with the impression that human collaboration, as opposed to scientific breakthroughs, will determine how far-reaching these technologies become.

“Rather than technical barriers, there are more human barriers to adopting emerging technologies like blockchain or AI,” Manuel opined.

Santiago had similar sentiments regarding the importance of diversity and community in the research community .

“In order for us to be able to build this world of 5G, IOT, blockchain, and AI, we cannot silo the information,” Santiago concluded. “We all have to work together and develop teams that encompass full skill sets.”