ODSC East 2018: Reflections on the Gathering of the Future of AI ODSC East 2018: Reflections on the Gathering of the Future of AI
ODSC East 2018 is over. The future of AI was discussed, new connections were made, and exciting hacks were presented. Between... ODSC East 2018: Reflections on the Gathering of the Future of AI

ODSC East 2018 is over. The future of AI was discussed, new connections were made, and exciting hacks were presented. Between the talks, workshops, networking events, learning tracks and dinners, the conference brought thought provoking conversations, collaboration and connectivity in the AI community to its peak.

From live feedback on the ground at the conference, here are some key aspects that show overall attitudes and takeaways from ODSC East and why the data science community continues to grow and break down walls.


The variety of tutorials and topics makes it a happy problem choosing a schedule for ODSC East.

You will usually never hear this type of problem but it is “problem” that many at the conference embraced at the conference. With over 60 training sessions, 200+ speakers and 4500 attendees, choosing a schedule on a daily basis became an exciting adventure.

The opportunity to talk and connect with like-minded people and the “hall talks” turn most of the time spent at the conference into a series of interesting and memorable conversations.

Time flies quickly when talking to interesting people. This is especially true at ODSC East. Every break between talks or workshops opened up a new world of conversation for participants as they learned the stories of data scientists, researchers and business professionals, all who came to the conference for different reasons.

Interacting with the leading minds in the data science space in a casual environment.

The opportunity to meet or even have dinner with people such as Dr. Kirk Borne, Jared Lander, best seller author of R for Everyone and Andreas Muller, a main contributor to Scikit-Learn library illustrate the ability for attendees to personally connect with leading practitioners in the space. They’re human just like all of us and need dinner too. It’s not a set of experiences that will be quickly forgotten.

The networking game takes the conference experience to a whole new level. Connections start in the conference hall and last for ages to come after.

Many attendees couldn’t quite describe what it was like to meet and exchange contact information with ambitious and inspiring individuals in AI, machine learning and data science who share common interest, research or work in the same knowledge domain as them. Holding conversations that are meaningful and rapidly exchanging information and ideas inspires attendees in new project ideas and future collaborations.

Q&As with the creators and authors of data science libraries, books, etc. are exhilarating experiences.

These individuals are the “authorities” in their field of focus. Having the ability to personally ask these experts questions about their works and thoughts on specific areas in their fields of focus is like nothing else. Personal encounters like this make conferences all the more worthwhile.  

Having a selection of data science companies at different booths to review and learn about with the creators ready to talk about their products and projects made for interesting breaks into between talks and a great way to understand real world data science application.

Walking between the booths, attendees were able to see how different researchers and teams are applying data science techniques in different ways through almost every field imaginable. The future truly is here.

The overall atmosphere of the conference embodied a spirit of knowledge sharing, making for a cool and unique environment to learn.

It’s something not easily describe in words but it’s a camaraderie that empowers attendees to return time and time again.

Although the conference is over, this does not mean, however, that the learning and exploration of data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning and more are done. It is the exact opposite. This is only the beginning and we look forward to meeting up with everyone again in the near future and continuing to push the boundaries of data science.

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ODSC gathers the attendees, presenters, and companies that are shaping the present and future of data science and AI. ODSC hosts one of the largest gatherings of professional data scientists with major conferences in USA, Europe, and Asia.