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CES, the tech industry's big show, to feature keynote from Ivanka Trump

Benjamin Romano, The Seattle Times on

Published in Science & Technology News

With the new year, the tech industry's attention turns to Las Vegas and the stage at CES, where attendees will find ... Ivanka Trump.

The presidential adviser and daughter will join Consumer Technology Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro to discuss the future of work on Tuesday, opening day of the annual tech bacchanal and showcase.

Shapiro said in a 2017 interview that despite antagonism in his industry toward then-President-elect Donald Trump, "The truth is Trump needs tech, and tech needs Trump. There's more of a parallel agenda than you would imagine."

Ivanka Trump is not the only administration official giving a CES keynote. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, who also presented at the event in 2018, and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios are scheduled to discuss efforts to integrate new technologies into the transportation system.

They join industry executives such as Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff and top leaders of Daimler AG, Samsung, Delta and Unilever, among others.

The lineup seems far removed from the days when people waited outside cavernous ballrooms for hours to hear Bill Gates hold forth on Microsoft's and the tech industry's future. That long-running feature of the show came to an end in 2008. Steve Ballmer gave CES keynotes early in the 2010s, before Microsoft dialed back its presence. This year, it plans a partner device showcase, but won't have its own booth on the show floor.

 

Amazon has become a bigger player at the event in recent years -- and not just as a big buyer as it was in the early 2010s -- particularly as its voice-computing technology shows up on more microphone-equipped devices.

But the company has been content to make its biggest announcements at its own events, such as its annual cloud-computing conference, re:Invent, which took place in early December, and the new re:MARS conference last summer. Last fall, Amazon announced scores of new Alexa products and services in the quiet confines of its own headquarters in Seattle.

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