Some dedicated Kainos people are just a vote away from joining the buzz at the next South by Southwest® (SXSW) . Held in Austin, Texas in March 2019, the SXSW Conference & Festivals provides an opportunity for global professionals at every level to get together, to network, debate and share ideas. This year, our people have been busy – they’ve submitted five panels for attendees to choose from!

Following on from the success of Deputy CTO Rory Hanratty’s exciting panel discussion on the Human Impact and Machine Ethics in AI at last year’s conference, this year’s submissions are all centred around AI and Machine Learning, a topic that’s certain to spark interest. it’s a great opportunity for our people to inspire new audiences and showcase our innovation and creativity around the world.

To ensure we get to present our ideas at SXSW, we need your votes! Read on for a short synopsis of each session, vote and share!

A Game a Day Keeps the AI Devil Away

Luke McNeice, Innovation Lead

Humans have an innate need to play. It’s widely accepted that playing games is an important part of early development. Our kids are deeply entertained at the rules and simple theatre of life – things as adults we take for granted and even try to escape.

It’s emerging that play is also an extremely valuable way of developing AI and creating a safe place to raise useful children while protecting us from creating monsters.

During this session Luke will talk about how simulation can be used to create game rules that are often overlooked and how giving AI creative bodies unlocks both blind intelligence and naive malevolence.

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Chatbots: Digital Natives and Digital Naives

Mary-Jane McBride, Software Engineer

What does a five year old and a 95 year old have in common? They both tackle technology using their voice first and in many cases, these digital naïves are getting what they want faster than people who would call themselves digital natives.

With both an aging population and a new generation growing up with voice assistants as part of the furniture… what does that mean for those that want to build accessible services now or in the future, and who are the real digital natives?

During this session, Mary-Jane will explore whether conversational interfaces will make services more accessible and the surprising insights I gained along the way.

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Navigating the AI of the Storm

Jordan McDonald, Innovation Team Lead

The world is engulfed in an artificial intelligence arms race. The winner of this race will win the world. It’s clear that AI skills are in demand, now enterprises have a few options. Could they hire an external partner or contractors? Yes, however many companies are thinking long-term by investing in building an internal capability.

In this session, Jordan will discuss his experience delivering innovative AI solutions to government – the traps, pitfalls covered in the fog of the unknown and raging fires that threatened to burn the project. Most importantly, he’ll share the valuable rules I discovered, enabling enterprises to grasp the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – artificial intelligence capability.

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Safer Roads with Machine Learning

Seamus Sands, Lead Data Analyst

DVSA’s primary objective is to make GB’s roads safer. The original approach to risk rating garages is subjective and open to dispute, focused on garage performance only and does not fully leverage the data available in the MOT Testing Service (MTS).

DVSA and Kainos have pioneered a predictive analytics tool using ML that derives risk scores for garages and testers based on data collected and compared against other testers and garages in the scheme. These scores are combined with knowledge of current and past disciplinary action to derive an overall risk rating.

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AI – Why You Should Try! 

Chloe McAteer, Software Engineer

Artificial Intelligence has become such a buzzword over the past couple of years: have you ever tried to get started in it? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by it? For beginners, there are highs and lows!

In this session, Chloe will share her experiences and lessons learned through her time at Kainos as a placement student, from hackathons to implementing AI into projects to provide real value.

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