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#chAI - a lot can happen over a cuppa!

Our efforts on building a community around AI

Why #chAI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the major waves, which will change industries across the board. AI “Winter” is truly turning into AI “Spring”. Tons of data, unprecedented computation power, and algorithms like deep learning are opening new frontiers across industries.

In the last few months while working with AI startups in Bangalore, we realised that most of the startups are working in silos, while there is so much that they can share with each other, to grow faster together. And for an emerging field like AI, a closer collaboration among them could be very productive. We believe that along with funding and talent, ecosystem plays a big role in creating path breaking companies. This ecosystem building is very deeply impacted by the creation of community, which has similar aim.

To enable this community building, we are kicking off a series of meetups and round tables around AI called #chAI (AI over a cuppa). We believe with this series of #chAI , we can enable collaboration on technology and talent; building depth in the AI community and thereby resulting in world class AI companies to come out of India.

AI and Haematology

We had a great start with our first session of #chAI, held on 23rd July, where we had Sigtuple Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Tatha (Tathagato Rai Dastidar ), talk about challenges and approach in applying AI to Haematology.

Challenge with Haematology in India is, that it is still done in a old fashioned manner, your blood report, as Tatha talked about, might be the result of “what the lab guy had, for the breakfast”, with the technician looking at the microscope and counting the cells manually, in most parts. Given that, it is interesting to see, if deep learning coupled with a smartphone which is attached to the microscope reading the sample, could help leapfrog India in accuracy levels as well as costs. The samples once read through the smartphone in form of images, get pushed into cloud , where they get analysed through deep learning algorithms.

What happened over #chAI

What was interesting was the room, filled to the brim, with some seated on the floor, and quite a few just standing, with more than 40 leading founders, geeks & serious practitioners in the areas of AI in India, traded intense thoughts around the application area, larger challenges with deep learning, dealing with regulation and data privacy challenges. Some of it, you can catch over our livestream via facebook page (www.facebook.com/piventuresin).

It later spilled over to discussion over the hot cup of ginger chai, samosas and some really nice banana cakes (a big shoutout to our sponsor Chai Point) over the future of AI, how it will impact businesses, society and common man at large, especially in a country like India. India with a large market, big pool of data science talent and early adopter ecosystem can be a great template for AI adoption in similar nations in SE Asia, Middle East and Africa. While the Silicon Valley innovates for the 1st bn, we can innovate for the next 6bn population, creating a better world through AI.

Straight from the cuppa!

It was great to get some early feedback from some of the founders on our facebook page,

“ It was really great session #chAI. Knowledgeable interactive. Thanks Team.” - Dheeraj Tandon

“One of the best meetups I've attended. Met some really great entrepreneurs here! The chai and snacks were splendid!” - Sanketh Beerabbi

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What’s brewing next

Next #chAI is on 27th August, where we are getting Viral Shah (Co-Creator, Julia Computing) to talk about Julia. Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for technical computing that is getting traction among AI practitioners. Please like our facebook page to keep a tab on the event.

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