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Austin AI Ecosystem Initiative

October 9, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


AI is potentially one of the most transformative technologies in human history—and may have impact that exceeds even the Internet and web, laptop and smartphones, and supercomputers. AI is poised to reshape mobility, healthcare, industry, government, safety, national security, and more. However, the new wave of AI—machine learning and especially deep learning—is complex and evolving rapidly, requires new hardware and software for maximum performance, and faces challenges in adoption and measurement of ROI, explainability and forensic analysis, and bias and other ethical issues. Nonetheless, AI is deemed by many innovators, researchers, business leaders, and more as being the most revolutionary (and by a few, potentially dangerous) technology of our time.

Austin is one of the leading technology cities in the world, as home to the major offices and headquarters of companies such as Dell, IBM, AMD, Arm, Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, and more, with a creative entrepreneurial scene as well. Austin is now home to many AI-focused companies from startup to global in scale, and Austin can promote itself to the center of this discussion by focusing not only on AI-technology, but also on the numerous business, security, and societal impacts AI is projected to have. From healthcare diagnostics and treatments to smart cars buildings and smart cities, AI will affect the lives of not only businesses and governments but of everyone in more ways than we can imagine. Understanding how this technology works, and how to best shape its usage by both governmental and commercial entities will require us to go beyond just the latest advances of the state-of-the-art-AI. It will force us to confront the many challenges we will encounter as we move away from human-intensive manual processes to automated decision-making systems.

The objective of this first Austin AI Ecosystem Initiative meetup is to establish some guidelines of how we can best leverage Austin’s tech community and AI players as a leading city for AI development and application: in industry, in research, in education, and in social impact.

There are there major objectives for this first meetup:

1. Establish an Austin AI Consortium to promote collaboration on pre-competitive issues to advance innovation and application of AI
2. Develop a report and recommendations for attracting funding—investment, state, and federal—for pre-competitive research, for education, and more
3. Create an annual conference in Austin to bring together stakeholders and ecosystem partners united in a mission to accelerate AI impact for good: for business and economies, for safety and society, for security and welfare.

We will invite leaders from across the AI ecosystem in Austin, provide an overview of the AI market and Austin ecosystem, and form working groups to develop ideas and recommendations for the three objectives above (and maybe more) to be presented at the second meetup in November.


Vizias Research Education & Outreach
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Capital Factory: 8th Floor – Center for Defense Innovation
701 Brazos Street
Austin, 78701 United States
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