I spoke at the 2019 TDWI Conference. The event ran from February 10-15 and was in Las Vegas. I estimate there were about 500 people at the conference. Like most technical conferences, there were standard speaking sessions, workshops and training classes, and an exhibit hall.
I gave the keynote talk for the event. My keynote was titled “The Present and Future of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence”. For “the present”, I described what deep neural networks are, LSTM networks, CNN networks, and so on. For “the future”, I talked about GANs, homomorphic encryption, quantum computing, etc.
I think the one slide I got most excited about was the one where I described the AlphaZero deep RL chess program, and its stunning 28-0 win against the reigning world champion program, Stockfish. This amazing achievement shows the incredible potential of ML.
Most of the attendees I talked to were data scientists or business analysts at medium and large size companies, such as banks, insurance companies, energy companies, and state and federal government. But there were many attendees from small companies, and from all kinds of backgrounds too.
Many big tech companies were represented at the 2019 TDWI event including Google, IBM, Oracle, SAP, SAS, and others. The event Expo was nice even though it was relatively small. There were about 40 companies there. I especially enjoyed talking to the representatives from a Seattle-based company named Algorithmia.
All things considered, the 2019 TDWI Conference was a very good use of my time. I learned a lot, both technically and from a business perspective, and I’m confident I was able to educate attendees about Microsoft machine learning technologies. And I returned to my work with renewed enthusiasm and new ideas.
The 2019 TDWI Expo was relatively small but had a lot of interesting companies. I enjoyed talking to the representatives from the companies because I gained useful insights into the business side of ML/AI that will help me do my job better.