Wealth Wizards have been doing AI R&D in the WW lab for about a year, and our AI Guild has recently grown to 12 members. Now that our developments are starting to make their way into production, we decided to join the Birmingham AI community to share what we’ve learned and get some cross-pollination of ideas.
When we found there wasn’t an AI community in Birmingham, we decided to start one!
In the four weeks since we launched the group, around a hundred members have signed up.
We ran our first Meetup in Digbeth – an area which is quickly becoming the Silicon Roundabout of Birmingham. And it was awesome.
As the organiser, I was nervous that no-one would turn up, but as 18:30 approached more and more people turned up and helped themselves to beer and pizza. In the end, we had twenty-one attendees.
Almost everyone there was working in AI, machine learning or data science, and I loved hearing the war stories from actual practitioners in the field.
Holly Emblem from 383 kicked us off with a talk “Real World applications for Bayesian Statistics and Machine Learning”. 383 have been pushing the boundaries of how to use Bayesian classification to enhance their understanding of their web analytics data.
She also gave some warnings about the next potential AI winter.
Then Josh Sephton from PushDoctor shared their experiences from the trenches running a chatbot in anger for past year. They’d condensed their wisdom down to four key personality traits they’ve found useful to see in a chatbot.
You can see the whole talk here on the new Brum AI YouTube channel.
We hope to get our AV woes sorted out and have videos of all of our talks in the future.
Finally, Kojo Hinson gave an awesome and mind bending talk on “Understanding the ‘Natural’ in Natural Language Processing”. We hope to publish his slides on Slideshare soon, but here’s a teaser.
Several of the AI Boffins who attended our first Meetup are already signed up to deliver talks at future Meetups. The next one is in Digbeth on the 14th December. Why not sign up and come along!
There’s a waitlist already, but we’ll get a larger venue if enough people sign up 🙂