Why AI is finally going mainstream

Introducing the O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference.

By Tim O’Reilly
May 24, 2016
People in train station. People in train station. (source: Pexels)

It’s clear that the age of applied AI is at hand. Every day, we see more headlines like these:

Deep learning toolkits are becoming essential tools for software engineers and data scientists. Tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have open-sourced their artificial intelligence frameworks. Applied AI developers now develop software that doesn’t just do what it’s told, but also has the ability to anticipate the needs of its users through a combination of pattern recognition, knowledge, planning, and reasoning.

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There is a growing—and urgent—need for information on applied AI, as opposed to the kind of research presented at academic conferences. That’s why we’re launching a new event—the O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference—to be held in New York City at the Javits Convention Center, alongside the Strata + Hadoop World conference. This event will focus on the engineering practices and technologies used for building smart software.

We’re gathering developers interested in artificial intelligence to talk about the latest research and explain how to implement AI in real projects. And we’re gathering business people who want to think about the impact AI will have on their businesses: how they will use it and how it will change their competitive landscape. We’ll discuss the limitations of artificial intelligence and its untapped opportunities.

It’s easy to get excited about recent progress but much more difficult to understand what lies ahead. Researchers have built some excellent, but very specialized, systems. Still, we’re far from anything that looks like a general intelligence system. We have programs that can play Go, drive a car, chat, manage investments, and identify pictures; we don’t have programs that can do all of the thousands of things that humans do every day. Integrating many systems that can each do one very specific task is a challenging problem, if that’s even the right approach. What does the future hold, and how are we to get there?

We’re just at the beginning of an explosion of intelligent software, and we want to gather people and organizations who are putting the latest breakthroughs to work in real products and services. Join us in New York Sept. 26-27, 2016, to explore the most essential—and intriguing—topics in artificial intelligence engineering and applied AI today. The call for speakers is open until June 6.

Post topics: Artificial Intelligence