The Power of Collaboration

The Northern Ireland technology community is symbiotic, where each group, organisation and company often proactively support one another. This is a frame of mind that AI NI strives to embody, AI NI 5 continued this trend through a collaboration with Women Who Code. WWC are an organisation who promote and advocate roles in the software industry for females of any background, an admirable mission. One that we in AI NI are keen to support, to help increase diversity in the AI space in this country. To this end we worked directly with Mary jane McBride (WWC City Lead) who did a fantastic job in taking on ownership for the event with our support, the outcome – another home run event, made only possible through collaboration efforts.

Well, What Happened?

Dr Jaine Blayney took the stage telling us about her one precise vertical of her work with Queens University Belfast. A fascinating topic, taking ideas from geo-statistics and applying it to the realm of AI to enable the transfer of prior knowledge to new datasets. This tackles a fundamental challenge in AI, Jaine presented with style and stoked significant interaction from the audience at the event. a fantastic talk!

Next up, an interesting story, an unconventional route into AI inspired by hacking and taking chances. Chloe McAteer charted her journey from being a beginner in AI to developing an AI project for university in her final year that is both state of the art and meeting a business need. Chloe’s talk demonstrated that the path to AI capability can come from various routes – a lively, engaging talk!

Meredith Telford (in her first large scale public talk!) discussed her work with Axial3D, furthermore in using Machine Learning to classify medical images as part of her final year project. Meredith’s talks hammered home a consistent theme of AI disrupting the medical domain, in unforeseen and creative ways. We are very keen to see the outcomes of her final year project (in a future talk hopefully!).

Pose recognition is a fast moving area in AI, Claire McMullan representing her own start-up ‘HealthGainz’ showcased how detecting a persons pose can enable both treatment and improvement of activity technique. Claire also created her business with minimal AI experience from a coding perspective, showcasing that it is possible to get into this topic to create services that are life changing.

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