Festival season in Galway is well underway with the AtlanTec Festival 2018, which runs through to 25 May. Now in its fourth year, the IT festival is organised by the IT Association Galway (ITAG ). At the heart of the festival will be the international conference on 24 May, co-hosted by NUI Galway.
This year’s AtlanTec Conference at NUI Galway is themed on ‘The Art of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning’. Some 300 business leaders and expert software developers are expected to attend the day-long conference which will explore all aspects of the topic.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are among the drivers of a wave of innovation in IT. Machines and robots are being programmed to adapt some of the cognitive functions associated with humans, such as learning and problem solving.
Many have cited this as revolutionary and life changing for society as we know it. The conference will feature innovators and future thinkers who will give insights into such possibilities, while also discussing related technological topics such as data analytics, deep learning, virtual assistants and chatbots.
An array of speakers have been announced from as far afield as Vancouver, Denmark, India, New York, the UK, as well as Ireland.
Among those will be Nell Watson, an engineer, entrepreneur, and futurist thinker affiliated with the Singularity University and The Future Society at Harvard; and Canadian inventor Ann Makosinski who has created a flashlight that runs off the heat of the human hand and a mug that uses heat from a drink to charge a phone.
IT Association Galway and AtlanTec Festival CEO Caroline Cawley explains the purpose of the festival and conference: “AtlanTec Festival showcases Galway’s diverse technology culture. It’s an opportunity to encourage creativity, collaboration and innovation within the IT, business and educational communities in the West of Ireland. The ability to attract international speakers of the calibre of Nell Watson and Ann Makosinski is a testament to the innovative culture that exists in the west.”
Other festival events will take place across a range of venues and include:
In-Company Events across Galway’s Technology Sector – from now until May 31
Digital Women’s Forum ‘Pressing for Progress’ - Hotel Meyrick, May 23
Transition Year Gets Techie – GMIT, May 10
Tech Tag World Championships – Corinthians RFC, May 25
Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “Ireland is the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. Some of the largest companies in the sector have bases in Galway. We are also home to some incredible innovative indigenous organisations, including 15 ICT start-ups based here on campus and many more in incubators across the city.
“Combine this with the research expertise at NUI Galway’s Insight Centre for Data Analytics and College of Engineering and IT, along with GMIT’s expertise and we have an ecosystem that goes from strength to strength.”
The festival is supported by ITAG Skillnet, NUI Galway, Avaya, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, DXC, Fintrax, HPE, Storm Technology, Valeo, GMIT and Galway City Council.
The Art of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning conference will take place in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway on Thursday, May 24.