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May 2017 Dinner Recap E-mail
Written by Steve Wright   

Chris Benson

Chris Benson pulls back the curtain on Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence!

Chris Benson, founder of the Atlanta Deep Learning Meetup and Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Product Strategist, revealed what goes on behind the scenes in the AI / ML space at AITP Atlanta's May dinner meeting. Chris' passion for this topic is part of his DNA, as he was inspired by his father, Whit Benson, who had the researched and applied bleeding-edge machine learning ideas to avionics as a veteran Lockheed Martin engineer.

How They RelateWe have all heard the discussions around Artificial Intelligence as well as Machine learning but what isn't always discussed, is the relation between the two. At the core of both, lies Deep Learning. You can think of deep learning, machine learning and artificial intelligence as a set of Russian dolls nested within each other, beginning with the smallest and working out. Deep learning is a subset of machine learning, which is a subset of AI. Chris explained that Deep Learning is an approach to Machine Learning that has drawn heavily on our knowledge of the human brain, statistics and applied math.

Tensor Flow

As some people view AI and Machine learning as Science Fiction - make no mistake - this is present day fact with companies like Microsoft, IBM, Google, Facebook, Amazon, just to name few, getting into the game and making substantial investments in the space. This technology isn't just relevant to the tech giants we're all familiar with. In order to stay relevant and competitive, organizations of all sizes need to be looking at these solutions to get meaningful, quantifiable results from the mountains of data they are currently collecting!

For more on this fascinating topic, please join Chris at his next Atlanta Deep Learning Meetup, where he continues to deliver phenomenal thought leaders in this space!

AITP MugAITP has consistently delivered a great experience to our members and guests, who continue to come for the networking, and topics discussions lead by some of Atlanta's brightest technologist. These meetings would not be possible if not for the efforts of the 2017 Board of Directors, who were officially announced at the beginning of the meeting. This is a shout-out to the team who tirelessly volunteer their time to make all of this possible (pictured below from left to right): Julian Wade, Chair Emeritus; Georgette Fraser-Moore, President; Steven Wright, Vice President & Programs Chair; Kristi Mobley, Secretary & Membership Chair; Frank Raimondo, Treasurer; Tony Orlando, Communications; Allen Toole, Co-Chair, Student Liaison; Harper (Lisa) Bronson, Co-Chair, Student Liaison (not pictured)


2017 Atlanta Chapter Board


It is an honor and a privilege to work with such dedicated professionals, and look forward to continuing to our work to deliver relevant speakers, and foster the "safe harbor" environment for all who enjoy what AITP has to offer.

We hope to see you at our June meeting, where we'll be holding our 4th annual Women's Technology Leadership forum - a favorite among our guests and members! This year, we are proud to have Nancy Hammervik, Executive Vice President from CompTIA moderating. As you know, AITP and CompTIA have merged, and it will be a great opportunity to have Nancy lead the discussion, and share more about CompTIA!

Come and join the conversation! We look forward to seeing at the June meeting!

Best - Steve

April 2017 Dinner Recap E-mail
Written by Steve Wright   

Tom Taylor

Atlanta's IoT Ecosystem & the Current and Future State of Autonomous Vehicles!

AITP Atlanta was excited to host Tom Taylor, Vice President of IoT at Wheego Technologies and Cynthia Curry, Director of IoT Ecosystem with the Metro Atlanta Chamber. I, along with our membership, were anticipating another great discussion in our continued dinner meeting series, focused on IoT for our April topic.... and we were not disappointed! We're all hearing the buzz around IoT, but as we learned from both Cynthia and Tom, we're much farther along in not only the products and offerings, but also the development of the ecosystem and infrastructure that will support our connected world!

CynthCynthia Curryia Curry kicked off the evening with some amazing information on what the Atlanta Metro Chamber is doing to draw in and support the IoT ecosystem in Atlanta. But as we learned, there is already incredible backing from the technology community, as well as the state of Georgia, who's investing $250 million in infrastructure improvement program called "Renew Atlanta." Part of this investment has been used to test a new low latency WAN, that will allow IoT connected devices to communicate with each other, greatly decreasing the amount of power these devices will consume compared to the traditional Wi-Fi technologies in place today. This only scratched the surface on what Atlanta is doing to be the hub for IoT! To learn more on what the Metro Atlanta Chamber is doing to promote this initiative, go click HERE.

Continuing, Tom Taylor lead the discussion on the current, and future state, of autonomous vehicles. The content itself was riveting, but Tom's delivery and passion for this tech had everyone at the edge of their seats! It was great to get a history of Autonomous vehicles, but even more excited to hear what major automobile manufacturers are saying:

The State of Statements on Cars
  • Ford fully autonomous by 2021
  • GM autonomous cars by 2020 or sooner
  • BMW to launch autonomous iNext by 2021
  • First autonomous Toyota by 2020
  • Tesla fully autonomous by 2018
  • Nissan to provide fully autonomous by 2020
  • Volvo: by 2020 no one (zero) will be killed or seriously hurt in a new Volvo

While the idea of the autonomous vehicle really hits home with my love of all things tech, there are an amazing number of practical reasons that this technology not only could, but must be implemented - the lives that could be saved alone should get everyone on board!

Automotive DeathsAs you can see from this graph, the increase in automobile related deaths is staggering, and that is a direct result of the adoption of the smart phone - we seem to be addicting to distracting ourselves when on the road! (let's put down the phone when driving folks!)

With the adoption of the autonomous vehicle, this would eliminate these needless deaths. We are, of course, a long way from the highways being filled with self-driving cars. As we hold on to our vehicles for a very long time, before we get there, but it's a dream well worth working towards!

Autonomous CarTom shared an amazing amount of content on the technology as well as the infrastructure needed to support the new world. As an Atlantan, I think we can all see the benefits of our highways being more efficient....dare we dream of a traffic jam free commute?!?!

Again, a huge thank you to Tom Taylor of Wheego Technologies and Cynthia Curry from the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. AITP Atlanta greatly appreciates you volunteering your time to share your amazing knowledge with our membership!

BrainPlease keep an eye out for more information on our May 18th dinner meeting. Chris Benson, CTO and AI Strategist will lead the discussion on "Demystifying Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence." If you'd like to get a sampling of Chris' background and experience, he leads the Atlanta Deep Learning Meetup, who's next meeting will the evening of May 8th - click HERE for more information on the event.

The AITP Atlanta Board of Directors looks forward to seeing at our next event! As always, you can register via our website at http://www.aitpatlanta.org. Information on sponsorship's, as well as becoming a member of this outstanding community can be found here as well.

We look forward to seeing you next month! Come and Join the Conversation!

Best - Steve

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