It's always a fun experience talking to people about our machine learning API, but MLconf attendees definitely spoke our language. Guy shares his thoughts and takeaways on the machine learning conference.
Last week a trio of us tromped off to Atlanta to check out MLconf. While there, we handed out lots of t-shirts, foam brains, and even a Cozmo. But, we also learned a couple of things.
- Small conferences are great for having in depth conversations - At a large conference there are just too many people there to talk to any one of them at any length while working the booth. Small conferences are great for this, however, and we had lots of really good conversations with developers and data scientists. We learned stuff from them and they learned from us.
- A lot of developers are super-interested in machine learning - We were surprised by the number of folks at MLconf who were developers. Given the name, one would expect to interact with lots of data scientists. But well over half of the people we talked to were developers who were interested in machine learning.
- People are interested in our product and not just the giveaway - People came up to us to talk about what our product was and how to use it. Many, developers in particular, just wanted to get stuff done and saw the value that our API provides. We still gave them t-shirts, of course!
- Other companies have brains too - We always give out squishy pink brains. One of the other vendors at the conference were giving away squishy brains too. Our were pink, of course, but theirs were black. We carefully negotiated a trade deal and exchanged brains. Now we all have more brains than we did when we started.
(Also, there are a lot of smart people out there.)
Ryan, one of our ML engineers, presenting his talk "Automating Time Series Model Selection With Decision Theory"