Recap of the 2018 Big Data Innovation Summit

I gave a talk about deep neural networks at the Big Data Innovation Summit, July 17-18, 2018, in Las Vegas.

For the work I do at my company, it’s very important for me to understand what’s going on with regards to other companies’ work in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Therefore, the biggest value I get from speaking at conferences comes from informal and impromptu ad hoc conversations with other attendees.

The attendees at the Big Data Innovation Summit came from many different types of companies — large and small, public and private. And attendees had a wide variety of backgrounds, but most were in technical roles so I was able to go fairly deep with my talk when it came to implementing ML/AI.

In the old, old days, attending conferences was one of the major ways to get technical information. But now the Internet realistically gives all the information anyone in just about any field needs. But the value of talking to other attendees is just as important as ever — maybe more important.

I got good value from attending the Big Data Innovation Summit. But, to be honest, my most vivid memory of the event was the temperature in Las Vegas — 116 degrees Fahrenheit on the day I spoke. I’ve been to Vegas many times, and in general I don’t mind heat too much, but 116 degrees is really, really hot. I started to walk from my hotel (Mirage) to the event hotel (Bally’s) but only made it about 100 feet before I gave up — just too hot. So, instead of walking, I wimped out and took a taxi down the Strip about a mile or so to Bally’s.

Poster for the British movie “Night of the Big Heat” (1967), released in U.S. as “Island of the Burning Damned”.

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