The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 hosted its keynote last night. Chaired by Gary Shapiro, chief of CES organisers Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the keynote was addressed by Ivanka Trump, daughter of US president, Donald Trump. This decision sparked off plenty of debate, with the hashtag #BoycottCES trending across USA and other parts of the world. Many held the opinion that there were women with considerably more relevant expertise to address a keynote at one of the world's largest technology conferences. However, even as the rationale behind the criticism seemed plausibly acceptable, Trump's keynote address at CES 2020 was smart, measured and in line with CES, albeit expectedly conservative.
During her keynote, Trump spoke of special investments on courses of science and technology, as well as focusing on the role of blue-collar workers, skilled workers, and bringing individuals without a four-year college degree to the forefront — keeping in line with her father's re-election campaign theme of bringing marginalised Americans into the fold. Trump also touched upon the apprenticeship model adopted by the Trump government in the construction domain to suggest that fields such as IT services and cybersecurity would largely benefit from it.
While Trump's keynote was very evidently conservative, pre-meditated and very carefully curated, she did well to address the conference with the theme of technological advancement and innovation, without delving too deep into political undertones, or straying too far into personal agendas. Some postulates put forth by her in the overlying theme of workplace evolution included the use of technology in enabling individuals to carry documents, such as digitally signed degree certificates, on their phones or emails. This, as she noted, would reduce the time taken to verify an individual's degree, and in turn, help streamline the hiring process for skilled workforce in the country.
Technology, as Trump said, can also play a role in logging diploma and certificate courses, as well as special achievements, to a person's identity. Technically, this would assume the need for a large, secure and centrally monitored cloud network, but doing so would help increasing workforce in fields such as healthcare, child care, or even manufacturing, without dwelling on a long-drawn procedure.
At the end of the day, while Trump attempted to keep the political mandate as subtle as she could, the agenda is at the fore for everyone to see. However, she managed to substantiate her keynote through a well construed vision of technology at work and workplace evolution. While the debate for whether the CTA could have had a more technologically qualified woman addressing the CES 2020 keynote would remain, there is no denying at the moment that on stage, Trump did well to hold her own, albeit with generous doses of conservatism.