CTA EVP Karen Chupka discusses AI, women in tech, and the early days of CES

CTA EVP Karen Chupka took a break from CES Asia to chat about her career, technology, and women in tech.

Karen Chupka for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Mike Morgan

CES Asia 2019 in Shanghai, China, wrapped up with great energy and expectations from global OEMs regarding Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and 5G. It seemed like no matter where I walked on the show floor those buzzwords were prominently placed on every booth attendant’s badge or signage. 

In addition to roaming the show floor, I spoke with Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) Executive Vice President, Karen Chupka about technology, women in tech, and more.

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The big show now vs. the early years

Chupka, who has worked for the CTA for almost 30 years, shared some stories regarding the early days of CES. For example, if you’ve ever attended CES, you know that the registration process takes time as your information is uploaded and processed. Hundreds of thousands of people attend CES each year. That’s hundreds of thousands of records to process. 

Now, think back to almost 30 years ago. Yes, computers were around, but networking wasn’t the same as it is today. Can you imagine the horror of hand-filing your CES registration via the mail? Can you imagine the angst of hoping your registration made it to the registration team? Now consider Chupka as she helped manage the registration procedures and all of the bad penmanship she had to read; all of the worldwide phone calls she fielded to confirm with anxious attendees that their registration paperwork was successfully received? 

“Funny and stressful,” was how Chupka described those times. 

“It’s amazing to reflect on the progress our industry has made,” she continued. “In the 50+ years of CES, we’ve seen tech innovation transform every major industry–and spur new industries around the world….