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AI Robot Sophia Says Azerbaijan Can Be Leader In Innovation

By Mushvig Mehdiyev October 31, 2018

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Dressed in an Azerbaijani silk folk costume, the world-famous humanoid robot Sophia answers questions of the hosts of the Global Influencer Day, October 27, 2018, Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan / Murad Orujov / Sputnik

The Caspian region made the headlines in digital and social media for three days from October 26 to 28 as Azerbaijan’s capital Baku played a host to Global Influencer Day, a worldwide gathering of industry experts, influencers, engagers, and business owners that was held within Innovation Week in the Caspian littoral country.

“Global Influencer Day proved how bigger the interest is in innovations in Azerbaijan and in the world,” Emin Vali, co-founder of Keepface, which organized the event, told Caspian News. The event lasted from October 26-28.

“The quality of the guests testified to the importance of the conference. We have ambassadors, influential business owners, politicians, and top-level management from businesses in various fields. Over 1,500 participants attended the event.”

Keepface is an automated influencer marketing platform that helps brand owners reach the most relevant influencers, get in touch with them and apply their marketing influence for promoting and selling their products. Around 15,000 influencers from around the world are available on the Keepface platform. The Baku-based company operates in 35 countries and owns two global offices in Dubai and Istanbul.

“The major outcome of the event was building a productive hype cycle for enterprise networking. Our local business people communicated with their foreign counterparts. Some of them even agreed to kick off a cooperation,” Vali said, noting that collaboration was a high priority for the organizers.

Vali noted that many foreign influencers, innovators and brand owners planned to stay in Azerbaijan beyond the duration of the event to explore the ways of expanding their business-related research.

Global Influencer Day comes a year after a meet-up gathering called Influencer Day was held. That event was aimed mainly at streamlining trends in domestic influencer marketing. The global version of the event, however, took things to a whole new level, addressing real-time proposals and opportunities for how an influencer could be a bridge between a brand and its target audience. 

What lasted for three days included speeches and panel discussions. An exhibition was featured, where innovative start-up projects and other presentations were made. Seminars by experts in industries such as travel, fashion, cooking, e-commerce and blockchain technology all formed part of this year’s program. Companies including Booking.com, Google, Facebook, Forbes, Dolce & Gabbana and Vogue magazine all had representatives present.

The world-famous humanoid robot Sophia was one of the most highly anticipated moments throughout the three days. Dressed in an Azerbaijani silk folk costume, Sophia answered questions that included topics like artificial intelligence to the growing power of influencer marketing, and Azerbaijan’s potential for becoming a leading innovation hub.

“Influencer marketing is growing very quickly. Brands that want to attract new customers and expand their penetration into the market should work closely with influencers,” Sophia said.

“This [Azerbaijan] is actually the center of the world, bordering on many large and promising markets, such as the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, Russia, and Central Asia,” Sophia said. “Along with its resources, the geographical position is the most advantageous property of Azerbaijan.”

“Azerbaijan is a young country with great potential for becoming a regional innovation center, and due to its location, the country can even unite various technology markets from Asia to Europe and vice versa. “To do this, you need to create an innovation ecosystem and enhance the relationship between key stakeholders. They are innovators, entrepreneurs, engineers, investors and the government.”