On November 20th, we held our inaugural EGG conference in San Francisco to put the spotlight on the people spearheading the AI revolution in the Bay Area. This one-day event dove into how data-driven technology is changing the world as we know it – from how we rideshare to how we produce music to how we accelerate doing good for society.
In a Nutshell... (or Is It Eggshell?)
EGG San Francisco was a full day of engaging conversations and sessions that captured the spirit of the importance of human-centered AI and the power the human brings to technology. Only with the ability to augment human intelligence will these emerging technologies reach their true potential.
It was a great experience discussing these topics in the home of AI creation. We’re excited to give back to emerging Bay Area companies, which is why we donated 100% of ticket sales to SF-based, tech nonprofit accelerator Fast Forward to ensure the best technology is applied to our biggest social challenges.
Key takeaways from the day include:
- Domain experts will always be in demand and neither data scientists nor technology can replace the knowledge that domain experts have obtained throughout their careers. It’s important to have collaboration between domain experts, data scientists and technology.
- It’s elemental to remember that as we advance technology, we still want to be part of the society we’re creating. As technology advances, machine learning models advance but humans have to understand that we are responsible for them and we need to understand the implications of these models as they evolve.
- Bringing AI to the enterprise must be with a purpose. Using AI for the sole reason of using AI will create more problems than it solves. A set adoption strategy behind the reasons and goals for implementing AI is paramount.
- The best ideas come from people who come together to bring those ideas to life. Technology cannot think of these ideas; technology can only help execute the idea.
- Machine learning models to better enhance the human experience. The adoption and implementation of technologies should not negatively impact the user experience.
A Deeper Dive
The day’s 22 sessions took a deep-dive into the trends and developments in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence but most importantly, the common thread that transcended through every session was the essentiality of the human in AI processes. The presentations underlined the concept that humans are critical to accelerating machine learning and artificial intelligence adoption tools to better empower businesses.
We hosted industry experts from leading brands such as Uber, Square, PwC, McAfee and Facebook. These leaders each highlighted how they leverage data science to problem solve and accelerate operations to achieve new business goals and objectives. Stories of how to expedite and accurately support requests to optimize user experience, identify and fight fraud with adversarial machine learning and how AI can create a world of music brought to life real-world applications of how AI can be used in today’s world.
We heard from academic organizations such as the University of San Francisco, with the opening keynote by Rachel Thomas, Director of the Center for Applied Data Ethics at USF and co-founder of fast.ai. She debunked common data science myths and also emphasized that humans are the domain experts who understand the problems and challenges in their organization and teams, as well as understanding what to do once there is an output of an AI dataset.
Fast Forward, a nonprofit organization brought inspiring talks on how to leverage data to change our world for the better. Gavin McCormick, co-founder of WattTime, shared his story on creating a non-profit that offers technology solutions that make it easy to achieve emissions reductions. Heejae Lim, founder of TalkingPoints, discussed how her solution leverages machine learning to drive student success in low-income, diverse areas through building strong partnerships between educators and families.