AI Gold Rush: Conundrum for Startups

Abstract: In the recent years, AI has been in the technology spotlight and is playing a crucial role in many emerging products. Recent success stories make it very alluring, and we are witnessing an influx of talent from diverse backgrounds in this field. People with expertise in hardware, software, research, robotics, and specific domains are approaching the problem in different ways. AI is carving a path for innovations not only in terms of new efficient algorithms but also in infrastructure advancements, data management, and hardware optimizations. Existing startups are also evaluating available tools to include AI in their offerings and better appeal to their customers and investors.

However, building AI products is not easy. Even with the ubiquitous availability of tools and infrastructure like tensorflow, café, google cloud, amazon GPU instances, everyone struggles with panning AI: readily available models rarely work on real problem. Creating new models require data, infrastructure and talent that is not always available to companies/groups starting fresh. AI research is not a luxury that every startup can afford, but the feeling of missing out is imminent amongst everyone.

This session will cover some real world examples to show what it takes to build a successful business in AI space. It will give audience different perspectives and insights on how to overcome some of these challenges.

Bio: Divya Jain is an industry recognized product and technology leader in machine learning and AI. She has 15+ years of industry experience at various startups and Fortune 500 companies. She is currently serving as an Engineering Director for Sensei ML platform at Adobe. Before this she was a Research Director at Tyco Innovation Garage and led various deep learning initiatives in video surveillance space. She also co-founded a startup, dLoop Inc., which was acquired by Box in 2013. At Box, Divya led the team that built the first machine learning capabilities into the Box platform. She is very passionate about open sharing of knowledge and information and always working towards abridging technology gap for product innovation.

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