I get quite a few invitations to speak at conferences, but I usually say “yes” only to the events where I think I can do good for my company and also learn something useful myself. One of these events is the 2017 Interop ITX Conference, May 15-19 in Las Vegas. See http://www.interop.com.
Interop is an interesting event. It’s all about, well, like many things related to technology, Interop has changed a lot over the years. At last year’s Interop I saw talks and exhibits related to network hardware infrastructure, software applications, security, and all kinds of things in between. I expect the 2017 Interop to have about 3,000 attendees.
Interop is run by UBM, a company that also does Black Hat and publishes InformationWeek. This year’s Interop has been rebranded as Interop ITX. I’m not sure what the “ITX” stands for – maybe “IT everything” because years ago Interop was just about network infrastructure.
I’m going to give a short talk on deep neural networks. I’ll explain exactly what they are in simple terms, and describe how they’ve been responsible for recent breakthroughs such as speech (Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, and self-driving automobiles. I’ll also speculate about the future of Artificial Intelligence.
One of the big challenges facing technical people like me is creativity. My colleagues and I know all sorts of fancy machine learning algorithms and techniques. But these algorithms are only useful if they’re applied to a real-world problem, and that requires a flash of inspiration and creativity.
Everyone knows that when you’re in day-to-day mode, you hardly have time to be creative because you’re too busy sending email messages, and putting out the work-fires-of-the-moment. Going to a conference such as Interop gets you off the virtual work treadmill, and out of your too-familiar environment, and can put you in a situation where creativity and inspiration have chance to happen.