The Deep Learning Summit in San Francisco – A Brief History

By Ellie Lucy on October 23, 2018

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Followers of RE•WORK summits will have recognised a recurring theme over the last four years in regard to summit locations. The Deep Learning Summit is returning to San Francisco in January 2019, which will be our ninth visit to sunny San Fran (that’s not the reason, we promise!). The Deep Learning Summit has grown tremendously over the last five years, so we thought we would look back and reflect on the journey from being a startup show to the world's biggest global DL summit.

Our first visit to San Francisco came in November 2014, which was the first RE•WORK conference to be hosted outside of Europe, with previous summits being held in London, Nottingham and Berlin. The Internet of Things (IoT) summit was held at Broadway Studios and welcomed 180 attendees with over 40 speakers, mainly focussing on sensor revolution and the smart interconnected world. Whilst still in its infancy, the Deep Learning summit attracted speakers from a range of industry-leading organisations including TechCrunch, Forbes, GE and Google, setting the precedent for years to come in regard to the high level of speakers and attendees, which would soon become synonymous with the Deep Learning Summit.

The introductory summit received great support and, due to popular demand, RE•WORK started planning a return to California. In 2015 the team headed back to San Fran for the Deep Learning Summit in January, and the Connect Summit in November. With over 40 expert speakers at each event, attendees once again arrived en masse to watch, discuss and question the latest industry advancements in Deep Learning as presented by Wojciech Zaremba of Facebook, Andrew Ng from Baidu and Venkatesh Ramanathan of Paypal who discussed blindspots in Neural Networks, NLP and Fraud Detection respectively, with many other academics and industry leaders also taking to the stage. Topics from Augmented Reality to Predictive Data for Education were also covered which included interactive Q&As with speakers prior to afternoon networking sessions and workshops. 

I don’t know how you guys pull these conferences off, it’s amazing! - Raj, SVP of Product Management, Qualcomm

Thanks again for putting together a great conference.  I attended the same conference 2 years in a row and the quality of the talks has definitely improved, especially in the AI summit - Farzad Ehsani, CEO, Vitruvi LLC

A huge thanks to the entire RE•WORK team for a great and successful event! - Angelo Vivo, Operations Analyst, Lionbridge

The increase in attendees and interest seen in 2014 and 2015 was once again outdone when returning a year later. The Deep Learning summit held in 2016 saw our biggest event attendance to date, with over 500 experts, pioneers, data scientists and entrepreneurs all gathering at the Park Central Hotel to hear from Andrej Karpathy at Tesla, Aditya from MIT, Han Shu of Airbnb, Hassan Sawaf from eBay and Ian Goodfellow at Google Brain on the opportunities of advancing trends in deep learning and their impact on business and society.

The Deep Learning Summit continued to grow, both in reputation and attendees, with 650+ attendees and 800+ attendees in 2017 and 2018 respectively, highlighting RE•WORK’s growing presence in Sunny San Fran.

The Deep Learning summit has grown year on year, from 250 attendees four years ago in November 2014 to the near one thousand attendees, speakers and exhibitors in 2018, which is a testament, not only to the excellent and fascinating work of our speakers but also to the growth in interest and application of AI.



A fabulous event that gets better every year - Rumman Chowdhury, Senior Principle, Accenture

As many of you will know, RE•WORK has always had a strong standpoint on highlighting diversity in AI, including celebrating top female talent working in the field. Alongside the growth of our summits, we also launched our Women in AI dinner and Women in AI podcast series, most recently selling out of dinner tickets in 2018, and with limited availability currently remaining, the 2019 dinner will no doubt follow suit.

What an incredible opportunity to attend the RE•WORK Women in Machine Intelligence Dinner last night sponsored by Facebook! It was an absolute pleasure to meet so many intelligent and interesting women on the vanguard of Machine Intelligence and learn more about advances in the field - Scidoma, 2018

The RE•WORK Deep Learning Summit returns in January 2019 with a forecast of 900 delegates in attendance to watch over 90 speakers bridge the gap between the latest technological research advancements and real-world applications in business and society. The biggest global Deep Learning Summit will be accompanied by an AI Assistant track and Interactive workshop track, whilst also facilitating 12 hours of networking opportunities across the two days.

Geared up for some eclectic discussions with the Deep Learning Gurus at the Deep Learning Summit in San Francisco! - Kalpit Mehta, Sealed Air Corporation 

Returning speaker, Ian Goodfellow from Google Brain, will be presenting his latest research at the Deep Learning Summit for the fifth year in a row, and will this year be accompanied by Sridhar Mhadevan from Adobe Research and Ajay Singh of Samsung. Georgia Gkioxari of Facebook AI Research and Jeff Clune of Uber AI will also be returning to the RE•WORK stage after their last update in June 2018. 

The workshop track will also include a varied programme of topics and speakers. Anirudh Koul from Aira will be sharing an exciting demo-based talk on ‘How AI Can Empower the Blind Community’ on the Social Responsibility stage, whilst Michael Martin from SignalFire will be hosting a problem-solving workshop on Reimaging of the News, exploring how AI/ML can be used to assure open and credible news platforms.

Further workshops on future predictions in AI from AI4ALL and AI automation initiatives from Square will also feature in an agenda full of informative and interactive sessions. For the full agenda of workshops click here.

Early Bird tickets are still available for the Deep Learning Summit in San Francisco, but be quick, as limited tickets remain. Tickets, as well as the agenda, speakers and sponsors can be found here.

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