AI and financial uncertainty: this year’s South by Southwest vibes were a mixed bag

Hot topics at the sprawling conference and festival in Austin included AI in both tech and entertainment and the failure of Silicon Valley Bank. 

By Shelly BrisbinMarch 16, 2023 1:53 pm,

South by Southwest once again dominated downtown Austin this week, as thousands of professionals from tech, film and music attended sessions, experienced “brand activations” and rubbed shoulders with startup founders, politicians and influencers.

Tech expert Omar Gallaga says it’s unclear so far whether the event returned to its pre-pandemic size, or even whether it managed to draw more attendees than last year. 

Highlights from this segment:

– News of Silicon Valley Bank’s failure broke as attendees were arriving in Austin for South by Southwest last Friday. Many entrepreneurs and venture capitalists were spooked for much of the weekend. 

– Topics getting attention at SXSW included how AI will impact the future of work.

– AI is also starting to appear as a theme in movies and TV shows like “Mrs. Davis,” coming from Peacock later this month.

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