Overview of Speakers and Programme for the BTD12 on June 7th, 2019

Artificial Intelligence

Building A Useful Chatbot: Beyond the ML and NLP (in English)

Dr. Andreea Hossmann, Principal Product Manager, Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence, Swisscom

About two years ago, chatbots seemed to be the next big thing since mobile apps. In the meantime, things have cooled down a lot, with chatbots failing to deliver on the expectations. However, conversational AI is still moving forward in great strides. So, how can companies avoid the chatbot bubble and still achieve impact with the latest conversational technology?

Andreea Hossmann is a Principal Product Manager for Data, Analytics and AI at Swisscom. She is also a Venture Associate, working with Swisscom Ventures to assess AI startups worldwide. During her 3.5 years at Swisscom, Andreea was a Senior Data Scientist, before assembling and leading a Data Science team to work on AI topics, such as natural language understanding and search. She is an experienced researcher with a background in applied machine learning, network science and computer networking from her PhD education at ETH Zürich.

Building a Self-Driving RC Car (in English)

Bert Jan Schrijver, CTO, OpenValue

This session will share our experiences in converting a small remote controlled car into an autonomous driving vehicle. We'll talk about electronics, sensors, AI, computer vision and of course, the software that ties everything together. We'll introduce you into the world of self driving cars and compare our solution to the stuff that is done in the big leagues by the likes of Tesla's 'autopilot' and Waymo's self driving cars. We'll explain the challenges that have to be faced and the dilemma's that come with creating a car being driven by software in real world scenarios.

Bert Jan is CTO at OpenValue in the Netherlands and focuses on Java, Continuous Delivery and DevOps. Bert Jan is a Java Champion, JavaOne Rock Star speaker, Duke's Choice Award winner and leads NLJUG, the Dutch Java User Group. He loves to share his experience by speaking at conferences, writing for the Dutch Java magazine and helping out Devoxx4Kids with teaching kids how to code. Bert Jan is easily reachable on Twitter at @bjschrijver.

High-End Translation Hybrid Using Artificial Intelligence

Christopher Kränzler, CEO, lengoo.com

Born and raised in scenic Bavaria, Christopher graduated from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University New York in Data Science. He has always been an advocate of data-driven decision-making processes and is an avid speaker on AI, digitalization and localization. Christopher himself is fluent in German, English, Bavarian and is currently seizing every opportunity to improve his Spanish and Portuguese skills with his team in Berlin. Powered by a thorough understanding of, and an appreciation for data science in combination with a passion for languages, he founded the AI powered translation platform lengoo in 2013. Being the founder and CEO of lengoo, he is on a mission to usher the global localization industry into the age of digitalization and to direct the future of translation by combining cutting-edge Neural Machine Translation Network technology with the qualifications of expert linguists.

Artificial Intelligence in JavaScript using TensorFlow.js (in English)

Mathias Burger, TNG

TensorFlow.js can be used to develop machine learning models that run on Node.js or in the browser. Existing models can also be reused or retrained. Using WebGL, the framework provides vendor independent support for hardware acceleration and can even outperform CPU-bound training. By example, I will demonstrate how to use low-level APIs and how to build a gesture classifier gathering training data from the webcam.

Mathias Burger is a Senior Software Consultant at TNG Technology Consulting GmbH and focuses on proof of concept solutions using machine learning. He is very passionate about technological advancements and interested in the latest research, especially in the field of computer vision. When not coding, he likes to go cycling or reading fantasy or sci-fi books.

Architecture & Design

The Architect Elevator: Connecting Penthouse and Engine Room

Gregor Hohpe, Technical Director of the CTO Office, Google

Many large enterprises are feeling pressure: digital disruptors attack with brand-new business models and no legacy; the “FaceBook generation” has dramatically increased user expectations; and access to state-of-the-art technologies has been democratized by cloud providers. This is tough stuff for enterprises that have been, and still are, very successful, but are built around traditional technology and organizational structures. “Turning the tanker”, as the need to transform is often described, has become a board room-level topic in many traditional enterprises. Chief IT Architects and CTOs play a key role in such a digital transformation endeavor. They combine the technical, communication, and organizational skills to create business value from a tech stack refresh, to look behind buzzwords like “agile” and “DevOps”, and to build a technology platform that assures quality while moving faster. They do so by riding the “Architect Elevator” from the penthouse, where the business strategy is set, to the engine room, where the enabling technology is implemented. I rode that elevator for 5 years in a major financial services organization and am now advising major corporations on their digital journey. I collect stories from the daily life of IT transformation and package them in lighthearted, but meaningful anecdotes.

Many large enterprises are feeling pressure: digital disruptors attack with brand-new business models and no legacy; the “FaceBook generation” has dramatically increased user expectations; and access to state-of-the-art technologies has been democratized by cloud providers. This is tough stuff for enterprises that have been, and still are, very successful, but are built around traditional technology and organizational structures. “Turning the tanker”, as the need to transform is often described, has become a board room-level topic in many traditional enterprises. Chief IT Architects and CTOs play a key role in such a digital transformation endeavor. They combine the technical, communication, and organizational skills to create business value from a tech stack refresh, to look behind buzzwords like “agile” and “DevOps”, and to build a technology platform that assures quality while moving faster. They do so by riding the “Architect Elevator” from the penthouse, where the business strategy is set, to the engine room, where the enabling technology is implemented. I rode that elevator for 5 years in a major financial services organization and am now advising major corporations on their digital journey. I collect stories from the daily life of IT transformation and package them in lighthearted, but meaningful anecdotes.

Computer Games

Chess and mathematics belong to the intellectual world cultural heritage. Since its creation, chess has been played throughout the world in almost all cultures. Mathematics is a human resource that has grown over thousands of years. It is – often unnoticed – in many things that surround us. The heating heats, the plane flies only when math is involved. Chess and mathematics are both sources of sustained perceptible beauty. Here and there the aesthetics are in the radiance of cleverly linked ideas. The talk shows highlights of these two worlds of ideas as well as the manifold relations between chess and mathematics.

Christian Hesse, born in 1960, was enrolled in school 1966 in Neu-Listernohl, a 1500-souls town of Sauerland, 21 years later he earned his PhD at the Harvard University (USA). From 1987-91 he taught as Assistant Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1991 he was appointed Professor of Mathematics at the University of Stuttgart. Among his passions is the chess game. He has written two books about it, including the essay volume “Expeditions to the Chess World”. Together with the Klitschko brothers, football coach Felix Magath and former World Champion Anatoly Karpov, he was named International Ambassador of the 2008 Chess Olympiad. Christian Hesse is married and has an 18-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son. He lives in Mannheim with his family.

Research

One of the biggest societal issues nowadays is the ever-increasing demand for energy, dwindling fossil fuels and the drive for clean and sustainable power generation. Among the most common renewable energy technologies, solar power generation has perhaps the greatest potential due to the immense energy production of the sun. Until now silicon-based solar cells are ubiquitous, but they are far from being sufficient to cover the entire energy needs of the earth. In the search for new materials to improve or completely replace silicon solar cells, the so-called halide perowskite appeared in 2011 for the first time. Due to their extremely advantageous optical properties, perovskite-based solar cells have since been improved so far that peak values of the conversion efficiency already come close to the silicon-based solar cells. In this lecture the material of the halide perowskite is presented and its fundamental properties and the possible optoelectronic applications (e.g. solar cells, LEDs) are explained. In addition, it addresses the (still) existing problems that currently prevent the wholesale commercialization of this highly interesting material.

Alexander Urban studied Physics at the University of Karlsruhe (Germany) obtaining an equivalent to an M.Sc. degree (German: Dipl. Phys.) at the University of Karlsruhe (Germany) in 2006. During his studies he spent a year at Heriot Watt University (UK), where he obtained an M.Phys. in Optoelectronics and Lasers in 2005. He then joined the Photonics and Optoelectronics Chair of Jochen Feldmann at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich (Germany) in 2007 where he worked on the optothermal manipulation of plasmonic nanoparticles, earning his Ph.D. summa cum laude in 2010. He expanded his expertise in the fields of plasmonics and nanophotonics in the group of Naomi J. Halas at the Laboratory for Nanophotonics at Rice University (Houston, TX, USA), beginning in 2011. He returned to the LMU in 2014 to become a junior group leader with Jochen Feldmann, where he led the research thrusts on optical spectroscopy, focusing on hybrid nanomaterials such as halide perovskite nanocrystals and carbon dots. In 2017 he was awarded a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council and shortly after that in 2018 he received a call as a Full Professor of Physics (W2) at the LMU.  Here, he now leads his own research group working on nanospectroscopy in novel hybrid nanomaterials.

Tools and Methods

The Nerdy Salesman: Why Technical People must Start Shaping their Businesses and are Best Equipped to do so (in English)

Johannes Lechner, Co-Founder and Head of Product, Payworks GmbH

Most people agree on how important an interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial mindset is to succeed in Information Technology. However, the sad reality in many companies and educational programs is still a deep divide between “business” and “technical” people and matters. My talk will cover why this needs to change and why I truly believe that “technical” people are best equipped to add tremendous value to their companies. I will share practical advice on how students, young professionals, and their managers can get there. 

Johannes Lechner is responsible for all things product at Munich-based payment technology provider Payworks. He completed degrees in Computer Science and Technology Management while being heads down in entrepreneurial endeavours. In his spare time he is an obsessive photographer and aspiring voluntary firefighter.

Once upon a time, we used software that ran on our own computers, that worked offline, and that stored its data in files on the local disk. Then we decided to put it all in the cloud. We gained some great features: real-time collaboration, like in Google Docs, for example. But we also lost control of our own data, and became dependent on far-away servers to allow us to access the data that we created. Automerge is part of an effort to get the best of both worlds. It is a JavaScript library for building real-time collaborative applications. However, apps built with Automerge also work offline, storing data locally, and synchronise their data with collaborators whenever a network is available. And although you can use it with servers, you don’t have to: synchronisation also works peer-to-peer, or via any network you choose. In this talk we will explore how Automerge deals with different users independently modifying shared data in a collaborative application (hint: by merging the changes… automatically!), how it achieves consistency in highly distributed settings, and where it is heading in the future.

Martin Kleppmann is a distributed systems researcher at the University of Cambridge, and author of the acclaimed O’Reilly book “Designing Data-Intensive Applications”. Previously he was a software engineer and entrepreneur, co-founding and selling two startups, and working on large-scale data infrastructure at LinkedIn.