Recap of the 2018 Deep Learning World and Predictive Analytics World Conferences

I spoke at and attended the co-located Deep Learning World and Predictive Analytics World conferences. Let me cut to the chase and say the event was really, really good — I give the event an overall grade of an A- which is the best grade I’ve given to any event in the past eight years.

The event ran from June 3-7, 2018 and was at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. I estimate there were about 2,000 attendees, speakers, and exhibitors there, but I could be way off. Attendees came from all types of companies and had a wide range of job titles and backgrounds.

Along with my colleague Ricky L., I did an all-day hands-on workshop. It went very well. We covered a huge amount of information. The key point here is that the workshop was hands-on. Attendees installed TensorFlow and Keras and used them to explore deep classification and regression (me) and reinforcement learning bandit and Q-learning problems (Ricky).

I also gave a talk “Time Series Regression using an LSTM Network” which was surprisingly well-attended (for such a specific and technical topic) and seemed to be well-received by attendees.

The Predictive Analytics World (PAW) event has been around for several years. It’s run by Eric Siegel. PAW had several tracks covering topics such as business, financial, health care, and so on. I sat in on a few of the talks and they were all interesting. See http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/.

This was the first year for the Deep Learning World (DLW) event. It was run by Luba Gloukhova. DLW was incredibly successful for a first-time event. For example, when Ricky and I were just getting started with our workshop, there were the inevitable logistics problems, but they were all fixed quickly by Luba and the event staff. This is a sign of good organization.

I don’t know much about how conferences are run, but PAW/DLW was run in part by the Rising Media company. See https://risingmedia.com/. RM is run by Matthew Finlay. I enjoyed meeting all the event organizers, Eric, Luba, and Matthew.

Usually, when I’m speaking at a conference, by the end of the third day, I’m more than ready to go home. But at PAW/DLW I really wanted to stay an extra day to listen to the talks, visit more of the companies at the event Expo, and chat with other attendees.

In short, I give Predictive Analytics World and Deep Learning World a solid thumbs-up. If you work with predictive analytics or have an interest in it, give strong consideration to attending next year — I know I’ll be there if I can.

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