The autumn of 2019, Deepinsight went to Amsterdam to attend the World Summit AI from October 9th-10th. On arrival at the hotel, we were surprised it had more of a youth hostel standard, rather than the proper hotel the website had promised. And for being a hotel recommended by the AI summit, it was surprising how slow and old fashioned the hotel’s operational system was. However, there was a nice bar and gaming area which we took advantage of on a couple occasions.
At the summit, we met up with Daniel, the partner of one of the Deeps, who attended the summit on behalf of DNB. We were also joined by future Deep, Dutch national Jeroen.
The AI Summit
Here are a few highlights from the AI summit. Overall, the conference was packed with a broad spectrum of sessions ranging from ethics in AI, technology and education to cloud computing and budding, and technological advancements within the machine learning space.
We highly appreciated the start-up space where up and coming companies showcased their products, and the layout was organised for speed networking. This was the most interesting area to visit, as the more traditional enterprise area lacked a sense of novelty.
Responsible AI was one of the focus subjects on stage, a recurring topic in multiple panel discussions as well as holding its own on stage session. Key points in the talks were about how to make machine learning as explainable as possible - how are the machine learning algorithms designed and how do they make decisions? Organisations pursuing AI and data scientists must be able to explain what we do and why we do it, as this will have an impact on what we build and how it will perform.
Verner Vogel, CTO of Amazon web services, was the keynote speaker at the AI Summit. As always, he is a great speaker and easily captures the audience's attention. Amazon’s focus has never been on technology, it’s always been on delivering value to customers, constantly making things easier. Technology is only one of the ways they reach their goals.
Key points from his talk:
- Hire for potential, skills can always be trained
- Long debates at cross roads are a waste of time and energy. Focus on making fast decisions. They can be changed when you learn more.
- Leaders need to create a window of permission to do tough things.
- To be a good leader, you have to be a good teacher and explain it over and over again.
- Constantly ask yourself: How am I taking people with me? Are my interests aligned for the best of the company? A fully aligned team will reap huge benefits.
By the end of the summit, the Deeps, Jeroen and Daniel all went out for dinner at Alpine cuisine restaurant Le Bistrot des Alpes. The evening was a great ending to our trip, and we had an exceptional gastronomical experience.
Overall, the trip was educational and social, and we met some interesting people. The trip came at a good time, as three new Deeps joined the team the previous month. We all got to know each other better as well as try out some teamwork exercises.