Big-Data.AI Summit 2019 in Berlin

A conference review.

Last week, Berlin became the focal point of all things Big Data & AI. The summit brought together a rather diverse bunch of 8000+ visitors: from students, AI enthusiasts, small start-ups, and journalists all the way to research scientists, and business stakeholders from various industries (banking, telco, automotive to name a few).

The main themes of the conference were covered from many different angles and viewpoints. Speakers talked about the future of AI, policy-making and ethics, as well as applications in various business settings. Design and its interaction with Artificial Intelligence got a designated exhibition space. Upon entering the main conference hall, attendees were greeted by Audi’s futuristic flying car prototype.

To give a sense of the quality and authority of speakers, on day 1, Robert E. Kahn gave a keynote lecture, where he talked about the projects he has been on to since he co-invented the internet. AI is increasingly taking over all areas of human activity. For example, Dr Antje Venjakob (oculid) explained how behavioural biometrics is the future of personal authentication since your fingerprints are not enough anymore to shield you from fraudsters. The specific way you walk or move your eyes is already replacing bad passwords as a means of proving that you are you.

In this sense, Prof. Dr Andreas Dengel’s (DFKI) talk really struck a chord in that the future of AI lies in augmentation of humans more than anything. This thought was echoed repeatedly in Berlin, e.g., by Stephen Brobst from Teradata, and Former Advisor to President Obama. As a next step, humanity is going to make itself smarter and better, rather than seeking ways of replacing itself entirely by machines. Don’t get me wrong – we will absolutely outsource difficult and tedious labour to robots. However, forget doomsday predictions, new and better jobs for humans will emerge as a result!

Machine learning is also super relevant to the banking sector, Profinit’s primary area of expertise. We were very much looking forward to the talk by Oliver Dörler (Commerzbank) and Andreas Schleiter (Deloitte) about they apply how big data technologies in one of Germany’s largest banks.

Our very own Dominik Matula delivered a specific use case of data science algorithms for banking on the Grace Hopper Stage, explaining the exact line of thought behind Profinit’s Instalment Detector in further detail. If you are interested in the slides, get in touch here!

Finally, big thank you goes to the organisers of hub.berlin & Big-Data.AI Summit, who ran a smooth operation in a genuinely effortless German way.