“The AI brains are coming”

and this, of course, included Turning magazine.

Taets Park Zaandam, 10th of October, shortly before 9 o’clock. Pitch black event hall, all become silent when the screen in front starts a countdown from 10 downwards. With a grand introduction video, full of movie references to Artificial Intelligence and innuendo to responsible AI, the world summit of AI begins. It feels a bit like one might imagine an Apple Keynote, this small border between hype and cult.

The World Summit AI calls itself ‘The world’s leading AI summit for the entire AI ecosystem, Enterprise, Big Tech, Startups, Investors, Science. ’ For two days in October (9th-10th), the world’s AI brains gathered in Zaandam to discuss, network, learn and connect.  As broad as the field of AI is the selection of speakers, workshops and sponsors of the event. With the mission “to tackle head-on the most burning AI issues and set the global AI agenda.”, the summit offers a number of different tracks, focusing on individual aspects of AI.

Despite some warnings and critical comments about the future of AI during a number of talks, the future of AI seems bright (and not clouded as the sky over Zaandam)


Turning’s highlight track was for sure Deep Dive Tech Talks, where speakers from a wide range of fields gave deeper insight into their work. For some of our reporters, childhood dreams came a bit closer during a talk which combined AI and space travel. But also recent topics as environment and education and how AI can help us to save our planet or improve the way we learn were discussed. You will get more details about our favourite talks in the next couple of weeks. But as you see from this selection already, there was a talk for any taste.

Next to speakers representing global players such as Amazon, Google and Facebook and other leading AI brains, Gary Marcus and Stuart Russell (you might know him as the author of ‘AI, A modern approach’) inspired their audience and caused queuing during their book signings. Still in need of a good AI book as a nice chance to your mandatory university readings? Check out ‘Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust’ from Gary Marcus or ‘Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control’ by Stuart Russell!

Stuart Russel during his interview about his latest book.

But talks and workshops were not all the summit had to offer. During those two days, several companies used the opportunity to present the way they incorporate AI in their business. Did you, for example, know that Huawei started a deep dive into Machine Learning? Or would you expect a company like Wolfram Alpha to be present at such an event?  We were surprised as well! And we were especially happy to see Machine2Learn. Believe it or not, the summit and Turning have a sponsor in common. But next to the global players, the summit also allowed a number of startups to present their ideas, ranging from AI applications supporting your companies finances, an application which helps you to sleep better or yet another example of AI and education.

World Summit AI 2020

Curious, what happened during the World Summit AI? Over the next couple of weeks, Turning will provide you with highlights of the summit, the people which inspired us most, the topics which touched us and the talks which made us curious about what else is out there.

Or maybe our small preview sparked your interest and you want to experience the Summit yourself next year? The presale of the tickets started already! Mark the 7th and 8th of October 2020 in your calendar and get your ticket at  https://worldsummit.ai/tickets/. Student tickets cost 199 Euro each. This is a lot of money for a student, we know. But in exchange, you get access to a great number of talks and events as well as a unique opportunity to network. And how often does it happen that all AI brains gather and you can meet them without leaving the Netherlands? Right, once a year during the Summit!

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