RISE OF AI – Event Round-up

The Year of Science 2019 is dedicated to ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. Karlsruhe, our company headquarter, is regarded as the most important location for the development and application of artificial intelligence in Germany.

We asked ourselves: What topics are discussed at one of the most important global conferences for AI? To find out, we went to Berlin to the RISE OF AI and listened carefully! 

Deep learning is over – what is the next step?

Berlin, the 16th of May 2019: The conference begins with a robot voice streaming through the halls. You can immediately feel the enthusiasm for technology, for innovations and above all for extraordinary visions of the future. 

Fabian Westerheide, founder and organizer of the conference, opened the event. He discussed profound questions such as “Deep learning is over, doesn’t surprise us any more – what is the next step?”. But before we can ask ourselves what will happen next, we have to understand where we stand today.

Fabian Westerheide during his talk at RISE OF AI – PHOTO CREDIT: Matthias Wehofsky

Prof. Dr. Hans Uszkoreit, Scientific Director at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, tried to rank the development stages in the big countries. How are China, the USA and Europe facing each other? Who is the strongest and who will end up missing the boat? Again and again the impression is created that Europe, as a continent between the two great powers, has no chance at all to keep up.

Prof. Dr. Hans Uszkoreit – PHOTO CREDIT: Matthias Wehofsky

But did you know that the efforts for an autonomous Google Car only began with the German Stanford professor Sebastian Thron? Or that the two most widespread and fundamental neural networks were invented by a Frenchman and two computer scientists in Munich? Europe is just not the strongest power when it comes to the commercialization of AI. 

But we are clearly the best in basic research. And, obviously, the USA is excellent in brain gain. 

Another important point raised at the conference, in particular for the success of AI in Germany, is data driven intelligence. In his presentation „How to operationalize AI?“, Christian Kirschniak accurately identifies that Germany’s weak point lies in the current shift from process- to data-driven intelligence.

We are accustomed to think first and foremost in processes and workflows. This thinking is our core problem. But at the same time, this is also game changer for us. This transition will have a crucial impact and cannot be ignored. We have to accept this change and get used to first think in assets, such as data. 

Focus means letting go

The German software start-up Omnius did just that. The company has made a successful shift from process- to data-driven intelligence. Sofie Quidenus-Wahlforss talks about how it all began a few years ago. In the beginning it was very easy to attract investors with the credible statement of having data in one hand and machine learning algorithms in the other. However, the investment landscape has changed in recent years. Nowadays, everybody demands an explicit way of direction, when it comes to use cases, the processes that the algorithms are applied to and what improvements can be achieved. That’s why omnius opted for the insurance industry at the beginning of 2018. Omnius unlocked enormous potential in this sector through the application of its own concept. So they stuck to their own words:

“Focus means letting go”.

Today, omnius helps large insurance companies in offering their customers a personalized experience and in becoming leaders in digital transformation.

During the conference day, many interesting talks took place, spread over the four stages: Future, Applied, Evolution and Unicorn. The Future Stage shared new mind-altering thoughts, ideas and inspirations. The Applied Stage, on the other hand, showed how to use and build AI infrastructure and data in your company.

The “RISE OF AI” conference gives you the opportunity to capture new AI inspirations, broaden your understanding, make contacts with specialists and help shape the rise of Artificial Intelligence. 

In other words: Keep Calm and digitize first!

Copyright of all images used belong to RISE OF AI and photographer Matthias Wehofsky. The next conference will be on May 13th and May 14th 2020 in Berlin. 

Vera Schott

Vera Schott is a Business Model Consultant and an AI Strategist at ILI CONSUTLING AG. Growing up in Franconia, she studied industrial engineering at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. With great interest she is closely following the latest trends and developments in the field of AI. Over the past years she has worked on various digitization projects and gained insight into different industries. On a side note: She wins the vote for "Nicest Person in the Office" almost every month.