AI-DAY - Day 2 - Workshop Program

On March 29th following the AI-DAY conference we're hosting a series of practical workshops. These 60-90 minute sessions give attendees a deep-dive into technology platforms and methodology using Artificial Intelligence.

Each workshop is hosted at AUT. These workshops are open to attendees of AI-DAY and the public. Click the REGISTER button to buy tickets for each workshop you'd like to attend. Don't forget to share with your colleagues and friends!


Artificial Intelligence – Microsoft’s Vision of the Future

Workshop with Julian Lee from Microsoft - 8.30 - 10.00am

Tickets are $75 per person

So What is Artificial Intelligence? How does it impact us and our lives in future? Is it really the 4th industrial revolution as many put it to be?

In this 1.5 hour talk, we debunk the myths and  get real with examples of implementations of Artificial Intelligence. We talk about how Bots and Cognitive Services are changing the world we live in; Deep Learning Frameworks that have come up quite recently and the Australian of the year and what that could bring to the world of Artificial Intelligence. Sit back, relax as we take you on a journey of our vision of an incredibly dynamic and exciting future.

Julian started his career in Cancer Research and specialised in Genomics. 5 years ago Julian joined the Microsoft Data team – before moving into his current role as Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Technology Solutions Professional. Julian now works within the APAC region to help companies see the value in investing in AI and help explain how AI can be apart of the digital transformation journey.


10.30 - 12pm - Choose Pure Storage or Qrious Workshop for this split session 

Pure Storage - brent.jpg

From Data to Deep Learning, the framework for successful AI.

Workshop with Brent FRanich from Pure Storage - 10.30am - 12pm

Tickets are $50 per person

How do you develop an AI strategy and link it to your architecture and infrastructure to provide an ongoing, scalable framework?

In this workshop for both technical and non-technical attendees, Brent will walk you through some options on how to strategise and kick off an effective Deep Learning AI initiative and complement it with an effective, scalable architecture and infrastructure. 

Using real world examples of a successful, in-house, AI platform, he’ll also be covering questions such as:

  • What does a common AI platform look like in comparison to legacy infrastructure?
  • Why you would use hyper-scaler/cloud for AI?
  • Why & when you would change from cloud?
  • Why would you use internal platforms?

You’ll leave the workshop with some practical ideas and insights to apply to your own business.

Brent has more than 20 years’ experience in technology sales. His knowledge extends across the full spectrum of applications: computer through to networks, data storage and cloud storage. His experience is in dealing across many industry verticals from finance, manufacturing & healthcare. For the past decade, Brent supported multi-national data storage firm EMC's clients across Asia Pacific through the development of the company's unified storage business.

With the last 3 years of his time specifically owning and developing the regional markets in next generation storage solutions, targeting performance applications and scalability with specific product sets into finance , analytics across multiple verticals  & healthcare in the areas of imaging & archive.

Brent then moved to the regional management role for a leading-edge cloud File & Storage Company, successfully introducing the product into Asia Pacific.

This has culminated in his current role with Pure Storage, specialising in unstructured data, developing the next generation storage infrastructure Sales and strategy for the Asia Pacific, that mirrors’ industry trends of moving to real time data analytics, IOT, and Machine learning through to Artificial intelligence solutions.


Exponential AI - Discover how combinations of algorithms are leading us towards The Master Algorithm.

Workshop with John Graves Senior Data Scientist, Qrious - 10.30am - 12pm

Tickets are $50 per person

Building on his prior talks - The Augmented Age, focussing on better performance available from better algorithms, and See New Things and Act, detailing the four superpowers of Big Data - John's talk, Exponential AI, will discuss the future of AI and the power of combining data and algorithms.

John is a senior Data Scientist with extensive international analytics experience.  John spent 10 years working in the US financial market as a quantitative analyst on Wall St before immigrating to NZ in 2009.  After completing his PhD, John has worked as a commercial data scientist across multiple industries and has been with Qrious for two years.


Be inspired to build your own AI engagement.

IBM workshop 12.30 - 2pm

Tickets are $75 per person

IBM is excited to bring you this workshop on AI where you will hear from our regional IBM AI experts.

We will be showing real live examples of clients using IBM's AI, Watson – you will hear how they have transformed their own organisations and their engagement with customers.

We will talk about how to get started on your own AI journey and showcase a live build of an IBM Watson system. This workshop will inspire you to get started building your very own IBM Watson powered AI engagements.

This session will prep and lead you into the Soul Machines workshop which follows.

ISURU Fernando

Isuru Fernando is the Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Leader for IBM New Zealand. He is a recognised thought leader at IBM, is part of IBM's Global Top Talent and sits on the Worldwide panel for Product Futures. Isuru holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of Auckland where he spent his time pushing the boundaries of theory and practice. He is a published author, has co-founded a start-up that went onto a successful acquisition, is a board member of the Association of Information Professionals Asia Pacific Chapter, a member of the Embedded Systems and Robotics research group at the University of Auckland and is on the Executive Council on the New Zealand AI Forum

GIOVANNI Vigorelli

Giovanni is the Cloud Integration Leader for IBM New Zealand. Giovanni has been working as software technical specialist for the last 18 years. Giovanni has deep experience in modern practices like DevOps and Cloud, architectures like Microservices, technologies like Docker and he is always ahead of the curve. #NeverStopLearning is his motto. Giovanni is the go to for all things related to IBM Cloud and importantly for help on what technologies can help clients rapidly prototype and get to your end application quicker.



Teaching a Digital Human how to have a conversation

Workshop with Elinor Swery and Liam Malone from Soul Machines - 2.30 - 4pm

Tickets are $75 per person 

Soul Machines is a ground-breaking high tech company of AI researchers, neuroscientists, psychologists, artists and innovative thinkers; re-imagining what is possible in Human Computing.
We bring technology to life by creating incredibly life-like, emotionally responsive Digital Humans with personality and character that allow machines to talk to us literally face-to-face!

We use Neural Networks that combine biologically inspired models of the human brain and key sensory networks to create a virtual central nervous system that we call our Human Computing Engine. One of the key capabilities that we employ
To enable our Digital Humans to carry out conversations, we use a range of Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities. In this workshop we will explore the key concepts of NLP and discuss how we use these to teach our Digital Humans how to have conversations. We will collaboratively generate the training data needed and illustrate the continual learning that the Digital Humans undergo.

This session is best followed from the IBM workshop which precedes.
This workshop is open to both technical and non-technical minded participants. You will simply need to bring along lots of creative ideas to help us teach our Digital Humans!


Elinor Swery

Elinor is part of the team at Soul Machines where she works with international companies to deliver digital humans and humanise the way in which we interact with technology. She has worked in various industries, from utilities and automotive to banking and telecommunication all the while focusing on improving process and user experiences through the enablement and adoption of AI technologies.
With a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Elinor is truly passionate about bridging the gap between various industries and sharing and imparting the potential of new and emerging technologies with others. She is a regular guest lecturer at a number of academic and business forums and conferences and has published numerous works in international journals.

Liam Malone
Liam is a part of the Business Development team at Soul Machines. As a bilateral amputee who is reliant on artificial legs he is aware of how life changing technological progress can be. He is inspired by what we can achieve through our Digital Humans and is particularly passionate about using them in the healthcare and education industries. Before joining the team Liam was a professional athlete, winning two Gold Medals at the 2016 Paralympics.
Liam has been involved in the tech industry for many years. One of his achievements includes developing 3D printed prosthetics that significantly lower the cost relative to traditional manufacturing methods while providing the user with a customisable design experience. This work won Liam the Sovereign ‘Make a difference’ start up challenge.  Liam is also an Investor in First Cut Ventures. A fund that strategically invests in New Zealand companies with founders under 30. He is an early stage investor in Sharesies, a FinTech start up based in Wellington that minimises the barriers to investing.