Skip to main content Skip to footer

Attending the 2024 Beyond Big Data: AI/Machine Learning Summit

On February 2nd, local members of the Wyn Enterprise team participated in the esteemed 2024 Beyond Big Data: AI/Machine Learning Summit, presented by the Pittsburgh Technology Council (PTC).

Overview of Pittsburgh Tech Council (PTC)

Established in 1983, PTC is a distinguished organization, focusing on visibility, talent development, business growth, and public policy for its members. This council serves as a vital resource for companies at all growth stages, facilitating new business ventures, capital connections, workforce expansion, and media recognition.

Summit Significance

The goal of this year's Beyond Big Data summit was to take a look at the ever-evolving landscape of Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. The summit provided a unique opportunity for attendees at all levels to explore the possibilities of these technologies while fostering connections with industry peers. Focused on current trends and best practices, the event delved into strategies, technologies, and ethical considerations related to data analysis, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Summit Kickoff

The summit began with a warm welcome from Audrey Russo, President, and CEO of PTC. Audrey set the tone for the day with tons of energy and positivity. Next, we heard from Manoj Mishra (CGI) discussing the State of the Industry. He spoke at a high-level about AI implementation and conducted a poll on what level of AI maturity your organization is at. It was very interesting to see the results and to see that many organizations are just in the beginning phases of AI.

Andrew Moore, CEO of Lovelace AI, delivered a thought-provoking Keynote Conversation. Andrew has an extensive resume and has previously worked at Google and Carnegie Mellon University, a few times each. An interesting and enlightening point Andrew made was between the “techs” on the east and west coast. He is originally from the UK and when he came to America, his goal was to end up in Silicon Valley. Because of his wife, and other life things, he ended up in Pittsburgh. He said that the techs on the west coast have big, lofty ideas and goals that they want to conquer. However, on the east coast, and Pittsburgh, techs focus on more achievable, quantifible goals.

Panel Discussions

Following a coffee break and networking, the first panel discussion began. Titled, “Status check: Where are we now? Analytics and Generative AI in Current Use Cases”, this panel discussed ways that leading companies in manufacturing, transportation, retail, and infrastructure have implemented predictive analytics and artificial intelligence within their organizations. The panelists talked about what’s practical, ways to get started with new projects, and setting realistic expectations. Notable panelists included industry leaders from Ecolab, Pittsburgh International Airport, Industrial Scientific, and Giant Eagle.

The second panel was titled “Implications of Big Data, Predictive Analytics and AI”, discussed the many opportunities that have been created by Big Data and AI, and the obstacles facing industry and the public. The panelists discussed how companies are managing data use within their organizations and where we need guide rails. Notable panelists included industry leaders from Carnegie Mellon University, Edge Case Research, Duquesne Light, and First National Bank.

Morning Breakout Sessions

Late morning included specialized breakout sessions. Attendees could choose 1 of 2 tracks, and we chose the Data Management and Applied AI/ML track featuring experts such as George Casey (RSM), Andy Hannah (1486 Labs), Tom Elowson (iM Critical), and John F Kalafut PhD (Asher Orion Group). These sessions covered critical aspects like AI adoption considerations, maximizing the value of external data, and unlocking AI/ML with High-Performance Computing.

Afternoon Keynote Address and Breakout Sessions

Post-lunch, Carolyn Ujcic, Director of AI at Google Cloud, delivered an insightful keynote address on AI and security. Then we were on to the afternoon breakout sessions. This time, we chose the GenAI, Innovation, and the Future of Work track. Featured speakers included Tiffany Prince (Prince Performance LLC), Matt Swalley (Omneky), and Anupam Singh (113 Industries Inc.), addressing re-skilling in a world of generative AI systems, the revolutionization of advertising through generative AI, and an AI-driven Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) approach for innovation.

Conclusion and Takeaways

All in all we enjoyed our time at the PTC summit. Two significant takeaways did emerge from the summit:

1. AI is a marathon, not a sprint. During our team's participation in a conference last fall, the prevailing sentiment concerning AI suggested an urgency to have initiated efforts sooner. In contrast, the atmosphere at the PTC summit conveyed a more pragmatic outlook. While acknowledging the substantial impact of AI, it is acceptable to adopt a deliberate and paced approach. Whether one is in the early stages of exploration or progressing steadily, it is a legitimate and acceptable trajectory.

  1. Regardless of your location, consider exploring the presence of a technology council or a similar professional association in your vicinity. Joining such organizations can provide valuable networking opportunities and insights into the local tech community. Engaging with like-minded professionals facilitates meaningful connections and offers a firsthand perspective on the diverse activities within the industry.

In summary, the Beyond Big Data Summit proved to be a comprehensive exploration of the current AI and ML landscape, featuring industry experts, insightful discussions, and practical takeaways for attendees. These events serve as vital platforms for knowledge exchange and community building in the dynamic field of artificial intelligence.

Summer Rippel

Summer is the Product Marketing Manager for Wyn Enterprise. She has over 13 years of experience in marketing, specifically in the technology and software fields. Summer graduated from Robert Morris Univeristy with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Concentration in Marketing. You can connect with Summer via LinkedIn.

Try Wyn Enterprise for Free

With our 15-day online evaluation, get started using Wyn's dashboard and reporting modules.

Ready to Learn More?

Request a demo with one of our embedded BI experts or get a free trial.