I have never thought that the best IT conference could hide under my nose and it could be free, full of excellent, high-level presentations and be even more engaging than any other conferences I've been to. Ready to find out about Machine Intelligence Summit Berlin? So read my summary and let's meet in Berlin in 2019 :)
All things connected with AI, in one place - in the heart of Berlin
Berlin, June 21st, 2018. Location: Deutsche Telekom, Hauptstadtrepräsentanz:
- 32 Speakers
- 10 Keynotes
- 5 Expert Panels
- 3 sessions:
Session 1: The State of AI
As more processes become digital, AI, then, becomes not just a critical part of the ecosystem, but the driving force, in large part because its main benefit is efficiency.
Session 2: AI in Business
In the era of digital transformation, AI will deliver change in all type organizations (...) enabling new innovative business models, and new project management approaches emerge with the use of data science as a core strategy of modern organizations.
Session 3: AI in Insurance
AI insurance trends, examining the current state of the technology, the changes underway, and the potential resulting shifts in the industry.
Excited about the topics? ;) Wait for more!
God bless flash talks!
We all love quick ~15 minutes presentations. You (as a listener) can’t get bored, and the speaker has the challenge to put all the knowledge in short period. Here, in Berlin, it went on soooo well! The speakers often had time well-organized, so they were able to make their topic interesting by encouraging listeners to dive deep into the field.
Alicia Fornés, Senior Research Fellow, Computer Vision Center
UAB Barcelona had an excellent presentation about how we can translate paper and handwritten documents and digitalize them, using AI.
There was even one demo!. In the first block Nischal HP, Scientific Lead at omni:us, used his voice assistant in his phone to deploy new ML algorithm to production – and it worked! (it was very impressive, and I’d like to dig more into this, maybe create our prototype).
And God bless discussion panels!
In each presentation block, there was one discussion panel organized. All five speakers from given block were answering questions related to this block (so for e.x. speakers from the block “State of AI” were answering questions about the future of AI and what are current main blockers of Data Science overall).
The first discussion panel was better since it was after every speaker’s presentation, so we knew in which field they’re good at.
During discussion panels, people could ask questions. Some questions were very good and intriguing - one started a stormy discussion about the educational system, and organizers need to cut it because the time ran out.
Presentations level and attractivity:
- the universality of presentations - they were easy to understand even by people who are not experts in the AI field, yet they gave exciting insights also for professionals,
- usage of funny images, memes, cartoons – all placed wisely, in relation to given topic, and bringing some excellent interpretation of what the speaker is talking about,
- the issues which seemed very difficult were so well described, that they look like a no problem at all!
Speakers with a wide and different range of skills made the show representing:
- big companies like Google, Siemens, Allianz, Teradata,
- academic universities like Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies and Hebrew University of Jerusalem – pretty much all of them were Ph.D.,
- interesting professions – from neurologist and physicist up to Lead Data Scientists, CEOs, Venture Leads and even European Commission member.
Behind the scenes
At the end let’s talk about the whole background because we could not complain.
A great technical preparation was mainly represented by huge (~300 inches) tv displaying speakers’ presentations, wireless microphones for “mobile” speakers and loud and clear audio from speakers. All worked well, without any distractions.
Incredible contact with the audience (this was huge!!!):
- organizers moved around the audience, from time to time encouraging people to specify their origin and why they’re here,
- social games were organized for the audience to help meet each other (a person who meets more people receives some small gift), encouraging people to change their seats and speak with their neighbors who are strangers to you,
- couple of interesting hands-up polls which gave a glimpse on who is in this conference.
Other: breakfast, coffee and lunch breaks with free and easy-to-get drinks, ice and treats despite 200 people, we weren’t waiting for long to get what we wanted.
- Breaks were well suited in the presentation schedule, right when we needed them,
- organizers were very kind and spoke English well (this should be the standard actually, but it’s always nice to see smiling people asking if they can help),
- lovely gifts received after registration – material bag + agenda + Berlin guide (in case you’d like to visit some interesting places in Berlin afterward).
What do you think: what is the primary purpose of attending any conference?
Is it to gain knowledge? Yes, of course, but... also meet new people, exchange experience, not only after official part but even during/between presentations! And get INSPIRED!
Encouraging and inspiring the audience is taught, and on Machine Intelligence Summit it was done on the best level!
All that you have read: organization, speakers, presentations full of knowledge, significant contact with the audience, background made a great conference! Overall – the best conference I’ve ever been, very inspiring, encouraging to change the world we live in. And so close to Szczecin! Can’t wait for MISummit 2019!