AI Congress 2018 kicked off on the 30th of January at the 02 Arena in London. Industry experts, data scientists and tech pioneers from Europe’s leading AI businesses were joined under one roof to discuss where the industry was heading and the importance of using machine learning to scale growth.
Day one kicked off with delegates looking back at how AI and machine learning has developed over the years, and how the technology is changing the environment and the way we work. Our head of machine learning Eddie Bell gave a presentation on micromodels which we’ll discuss in a separate blog post.
Taking the stage, Sue Daley from TechUK informed the audience that “a new AI start-up is created in the UK every week.
“AI is more than just machine learning - it’s changing our healthcare system and creating a safer environment,” she continued.
Rob McCargow also spoke on the importance of AI for the economy: “AI will add $16 trillion to the global economy and 10% to UK GDP by 2030 via process augmentation and greater personalisation.”
Delegates frequently referred to the way Amazon uses machine learning as the example of a successful use case. Amazon's use of machine learning is powerful, and the results have had an impact far beyond the individual projects - this article explains how in more depth. With machine learning, Amazon is able to successfully give extremely accurate recommendations to users who interact with the website. There’s no way that a human alone can make all of these recommendations. Using AI can help a business scale easily.
The topic of whether AI and robots are a threat to our jobs was addressed by BIOSS Group CTO Dominic Cameron. “Is AI a revolution to fear? No. What people should fear is the hype and fear - the fake news around AI.”
“There’s no way that 40% of jobs (or the figure that headlines claim) are going to be gone in the next 10 years. AI is old - 60 years old - and things have just started.”
The development of voice assistants
Amazon's Max Amordeluso spoke about why as a generation of technology users we should pay close attention to voice assistants.
“We’ve come a long way over the last 50/60 years on user interfaces. “The present is the voice user interfaces.”
He emphasised the importance of focusing on customer delight. “There are lots of opportunities to reach out to your customers.
“Voice is natural - we use ours daily. We understand it. That’s how we engage with the development of human beings. With voice and interaction. We live in a society where it’s possible, not frowned upon, to have interactions with machines - which also feel natural. We interact with devices with our voice."
Speakers from Jamie AI, a business that combines human and AI-powered processes to connect data professionals with organisations for a job, took the stage to discuss the insanity of the data scientist hiring market. They found:
- 180,000 job vacancies over next 2 years in the UK alone
- +25% quarterly growth in vacancies
- Talent shortage, everyone’s hiring
And finally, if you’ve not read enough about how AI is changing the industry, we’ll leave you with this quote:
“AI will be as transformative as the Internet within 10 years” Don’t say you weren’t warned!"