AI Experience Worldwide Recap: Two Days of Pragmatic AI for Changing Times

July 8th, 2020

This article was written by DataRobot and originally appeared on the DataRobot Blog here:


On June 16-17, DataRobot hosted the inaugural AI Experience Worldwide conference. The two-day virtual event attracted over 7,000 registrants; we offered 31 sessions, presented by over 60 speakers. The keynotes by Alex Honnold, Michael Phelps, and Stephen Dubner, as well as the various sessions by our esteemed speakers, sparked imaginations and gave our guests a peek into some of the greatest minds both inside and outside of the AI industry.

When we set off on the journey to create the event, we had a clear goal in mind. In the face of unprecedented change in the world when organizations have to respond quickly to build resilience, reduce costs, and retain customers, we wanted to give customers a venue for learning from the best minds available about both managing through change and pragmatic real-world usage of AI to make a difference.

If you want to truly immerse yourself in the AI experience, make sure to register and watch the sessions on demand. Below are just a few snippets from the event that should serve as an excellent appetizer.

Mihir Shukla
CEO and Co-founder, Automation Anywhere

On the value of talent and your team: Find the smartest people with the right attitude for each role. Capital, talent, time. If someone comes to me needing more time, I can’t help them. I can only give capital or talent. We must translate that feeling into one of the problems.

And on dealing with the current times: I don’t want a new normal, I want a new remarkable!

Frank Slootman
Chairman & CEO, Snowflake

On adjusting to challenging times: There are three vectors [for organizations]:
Massively increase the tempo and pace. Most organizations become glacial. Then, [when you increase speed] the energy comes into the organization ;
Raise standards. Until we’re hyper excited about what we’re doing, there’s no point in doing it;
Increase focus. Take things off of people’s plates, because businesses progress slowly and give in to the pace of the organization. Help them move faster. Organizations completely change as a result.

Andrea Gallego

On listening to your team: Just listen, you might be having town halls about the wrong things. Maybe people are worried about something completely different. Have just a Q&A on what’s top of mind, or have one-on-ones with a safe space.

Brice Rosensweig
Global Co-Head of Data & Innovation Group, Bank of America

On enabling innovators: Innovation cannot be corralled, but it can be enabled. We are going to think about how we build the framework for an environment that helps everybody innovate and leverage all of this technology.

Bina Kalola
Managing Director, Global Banking & Markets Data and Innovation Group, Bank of America

On citizen developers within their organization: a citizen dev toolkit allows people to ideate, building their own solutions instead of having to rely on others. We have a data platform that has helped as well. There’s more productivity and creativity. “CitDevOps” could be the new term.

AI Experience Panels Snapshot
AI Experience Panels Snapshot

Chase Spurlock
Founder and CEO, Decode Health

On what all healthcare organizations need to focus on when they’re evaluating AI tools: model explainability. The time to prediction — if it’s 3-5 years out, it may be too abstract for the patient or provider to understand. If it’s six months out, you start to help them understand the constellation of symptoms and that this can be a harbinger of things to come, such as diagnosis of a disease like Crohn’s, and treat [it] earlier.

Dr. Megan Oftedal
Data Scientist, American Fidelity Corporation

On the transformative value of DataRobot: We have transformed our business into one that is driven by data. We trained over 200 data scientists on DataRobot and put into production 100 dashboards and 30 machine learning models. These models have really transformed the business and helped decision-makers and executives change the way they do business. They’ve moved from having gut feeling to drive their decision-making to really using data in a transformative way.

Watch the session recordings

Aleksandar Lazarevic
VP of Analytics, Stanley Black & Decker

On the importance of the partnership between business and analytics teams: How much is the business actually ready to partner with you in developing certain analytical solutions? There is always resistance on the business side to do certain analytics. And I believe it’s part of the data scientist job, and parts of a data analytics organization, to actually educate the business. What is the state of the art, or what is the art of possible in analytics and how can analytics help them? And also help businesses to start asking the right questions. Right now, businesses are mostly thinking about what happens and why certain things happen.

Michael Kanaan
Director of Operations, U.S. Air Force

On the value of a skilled workforce: It’s likely your solution to your problem already exists on some GitHub repo out there as we speak. You just need to have the people bring that to bear. And that’s where things matter, our greatest asset–people. You should be developing people and employing a skilled, educated, solution-oriented workforce.

Michael’s thoughts on AI: Nerds rule the world, so study AI, it’s all over the internet. 

These excerpts are just the tip of the iceberg. AI Experience was packed with amazing panels featuring leaders in their fields, like Fred Claire (Former GM of Los Angeles Dodgers), James Tyo (CDO at Nationwide), Nathan Patrick Taylor (CIO at Symphony Care Network), and many more. And did we mention a full day of hands-on DataRobot training with some of the best data scientists and machine learning practitioners in the world?

We’re grateful to everyone who participated in this event, from thought leaders and panelists to partners and customers, who wanted to share their enterprise AI success stories often went to great extent to give of their time to present and participate. But the biggest “Thank You” is for you, the reader and the attendee. Thank you for making it happen, and thank you for sharing the event with us!  And special thanks to all from DataRobot who worked around the clock to make the event reality.

You can also find some of the sessions recapped on our blog. But for the full experience, be sure to register and get access to all of the sessions.

See you next year!