AI and Data Science 2018 Conferences (part 2)

Which ones should you attend in early 2018?

All Data Science (DS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) conferences are going to have something in common. An independent Maker, developer, researcher, or producer who wants attention for their innovative product is going to “make the rounds” so you’ll see a lot of the same companies (if not the same people) at these conferences, hawking their wares.

When ACME–AI™, Plastic Pals Robots™, and Digital Prostate™ all want to make appearances at all the big conferences, you shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss them because you “saw them three months ago in Atlanta”… First, it gets the word out to people that don’t attend all of the conferences. More importantly, the field is evolving so quickly that there may be something stunningly new and exciting from a company that was previously considered fairly ordinary.

That being said… except for the highest profile Trade Shows and Conferences, much of the commercial booths’ presentations and suchlike will, in fact, repeat (sometimes with some interesting tweaks) but few phenomenal revelations. So what is the reason for attending so all these events?


It’s said, for most of the population, that they would rather face mortal danger than speaking in front of a crowd. The fear factor comes from our evolution where our hairier ancestors agreed with the group because someone that disagreed was banished, and without group protection, a predator ate them within a couple of days.

It’s buried deep in the oldest part of our brains, that if others don’t like us, we will die. Of course, it makes absolutely no sense in modern society, but it keeps most of us reluctant to speak publically.

So when someone volunteers to speak in front of a big crowd, they generally have something useful to say; something that drives them beyond their fear. It may not be useful to you specifically, but someone out there in the audience is going to glom onto an essential fact or find a vital clue to what was said. They’re the ones that will go on to make the next big leap or advance because the speaker dared to share some thoughts.

Which ones are for you?

The events you choose are not going to be the same as someone else. First of all, pure Conferences address information dispersal, education, and training. There aren’t a lot of parallel activities going on simultaneously.

There is another type of conference where people get together to learn and discuss innovations. An integral part of this sort of conference is physically experiencing tangible interaction with concepts, products, and software. We called these sorts of conferences Trade Shows.

You’ll still have numerous speakers, Guest Panels (where you can question multiple industry leaders directly), and even casual chatrooms where you can meet Gurus and innovators in person. These are often presenting simultaneously in different locations, and several times over the course of the event. Attendees report a much higher retention rate for these interactive events when compared to listening to lectures or PowerPoint presentations alone.

The third type of conference is called a Summit and is confined to guests with very high standing in their field. While some conferences call themselves summits, they are not the sort of event where you need to “know someone” to wrangle an invitation.

Finally, the smallest of all conferences is called a Seminar. They may only last for a day or two, with attendees numbering somewhere between 10 and 100. These are tightly focused events and, while almost anybody can purchase a ticket, we won’t be discussing anything on this scale.

Conferences occur all around the world, from Hawaii to India, from Switzerland to China. For our purposes, we’ll focus on North America.

The Innovation Summit

Santa Barbara, CA—January 10–12, 2018

This Summit is all about Disruptive Technology and how our world will be different tomorrow. 52% of the S&P 500 companies have vanished in the last 15 years because of innovation. What does the future have in store, and what is driving it?

AI and DS will manage our self-driving cars. They’ll cope with interpreting information that is spawning at the rate of one new Scientific Paper being published every 30 seconds and 10,000 daily updates to the PubMed compendium. Humans simply can’t keep up without help anymore. Were you invited?

AI Assistant Summit

San Francisco, CA—25–26 January 2018

Only 200 attendees plus 20 speakers and only 84 tickets left on (12/20/17)! If you need to learn about Deep Learning Algorithms, Connected Home, Neural Networks, NLP, Anticipatory Computing, Predictive Intelligence, Voice Recognition, or Chatbots, you had better hurry to grab a ticket.

Predictive Analytics Innovation Summit

San Diego, CA—February 6–7, 2018

Keynote presentations, open discussions, Q & A panels, workshops, and in-person networking opportunities with over 150 data science professionals. To stick with the theme so far, this conference is all about data science and analysis. We’re generating more information than human beings can keep up with, so you’ll be hearing from at least 20 speakers was some ideas on that subject.

Data Science Salon

Miami, FL—February 8–9, 2018

The focus here is bringing together AI and DS experts to apply their skills to Finance and Technology. It’s a small conference, suitable for first-timers, with 250 attendees, 25 speakers, five workshops, all over the course of two days.

IBM Think 2018

Las Vegas, NV—March 19–22, 2018 

Here you will find experts on AI, DS, IoT, Security, Blockchain, and everything else which is going to change our world. Each of the four days of this conference is packed with four different types of events described as Discovery, Training, Keynote, and Networking. You’ll be busy, but you’ll learn a lot with hands-on experience. As they like to say here, “Come ready to change the world.”

TED 2018

Vancouver, BC—April 10–14, 2018

Expensive, yes, but this is one of the premier sites for learning from some of the most innovative people in the world. Not only do you get to experience so many of the world famous 18-minute TED talks, but with the award-winning TEDConnect App, you have an unprecedented opportunity to network with all of the other conference attendees. And who doesn’t love the beautiful weather of Vancouver in the spring?

Digiday AI Marketing Summit

Santa Barbara, CA—April 11–13, 2018

Artificial Intelligence is the latest tool in marketing. People may think it is still years in the future, but the most forward-thinking companies are already using it to build customer-facing applications to handle customer service, content curation, and their own internal data organization. If you would rather be on the cutting-edge rather than the trailing-edge, this might be the conference for you.

Developer Week

Chicago, IL—week of April 16, 2018

If you want to rub elbows with over 3000 entrepreneurs, tech executives, and developers, this is the place to do it. The basic pass will get you into the expo halls for two days and into the keynote presentations. There are an additional three levels to gain more access. That includes things like networking and mentorship mixers, access to their online networking app, citywide partner events, half a dozen additional conferences including FinTech, DevOps, and more.

GOTO Chicago

Conference: April 25 & 26; Workshops: April 24 & 27 (2018)

As long as you’re in that neck of the woods for Developer Week, following right on its heels is this conference offering full-day workshops on Tuesday and Friday, covering (among others) Data Science and Analytics/Machine Learning (ML) You can choose two from about 12 different offerings, repeated both days.

All that learning is broken up with a 2-day conference right in the middle. One offering from the conference called Machine Learning without a Ph.D. already has five speakers for the Track to get you started, covering the common points including exploring data, developing an ML model, testing it, and deploying it.

Artificial Intelligence Conference: New York

New York, NY—April 29–May 2, 2018

The name of the conference speaks for itself. Here you’ll find information on ChatBots, customer service agents equipped with text-to-speech conversion in real-time permitting phone or online conversations, and consumer/user IoT interfaces. You’ll learn from the experts how to implement AI in real-world projects using machine learning, NLP, open source TensorFlow, and more.

ODSC East 2018

Boston, MA—May 1–4, 2018

Not sold out yet, (like the West version coming in Oct 2018, which already is), this conference is held in the Boston Convention Center, and allows 4,500 (1,000 more than West) attendees, has 35 Training sessions, 60 workshops, and 200 speakers. This is all about AI, DS, tools, languages, and libraries relevant to the task. Until mid-January, there is a 65% discount on ticket prices. Hurry…

The Data Science Conference

Chicago, IL—May 3-4, 2018

This conference is aimed at business analytic professionals, but data scientists, predictive analysts, and machine learners can benefit, too. It suits those working with restaurants understand what Greece seems a big data, data mining, machine learning, artificial intelligence and predictive modeling.

Microsoft Build 2018

Still hasn’t announced its May 2018 date

This is a high power conference that carries a lot of weight in the industry. Technical experts in all fields attend, regularly with over 500 speakers (560 in 2017). Keep an eye out for when they announce their date because the last one sold out in just 8 hours. Talk to your boss and have the required funding ready so you can just call and register without having to track someone down to pay for it. If you’re clever, you’ll join the waitlist. If you fail to get tickets, the event will be live-streamed on the internet, which is certainly not as good as being there, but better than missing it entirely.

Developer Week

New York, NY— June 18, 19-20, 2018

If you want to rub elbows with over 3000+ entrepreneurs, tech executives, and DevOp professionals, this is the place to do it. This is a multi-venue, city-wide presentation, starting with a Hiring Mixer on the 18th, and then the Hackathon, Conference & Expo sharing the 19th & 20th.

The basic pass will get you into the expo halls for two days and into all the keynote presentations. There are an additional three levels to gain more access. That includes things like networking and mentorship mixers, access to their online networking app, citywide partner events, several other conferences including FinTech, DevOps, JavaScript, and more.

Big Data: Toronto 2018

Toronto, Ontario—June 20 & 21, 2018

This event is one of the best bargains of all conferences with well-over 100 speakers and nine keynote speakers so far. If you want the Executive VIP package (for a paltry $300), you’ll be provided with access to the Exec Networking Cocktail soirees including food & drink, breakfast and lunch both days, Priority Q&A with speakers, Priority seating at all keynotes, demos, and panels, along with exclusive access to the Exec VIP lounge and Strategic Exec Workshops.

If you just want access to the show floor for Big Data TO, AI Toronto, and Connected+, along with access to keynotes, panels, breakout sessions, and product demonstrations, then it is free! And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to be in beautiful Toronto with clear summer days at 80°F/21°C?


Boston, MA—June 17-20, 2018

Data Scientists will appreciate a customized itinerary addressing their area of specialization. It includes forays into robotic intelligence, cognition, awareness, and tying our businesses into the increasingly “Smart Cities” that are arising. It addresses using tools such as ThingWorx and Kepware for blending and rendering date from mixed sources, where IoT fits in our new world picture, and even deconstructing Predictive Analysis for better understanding.


Chicago, IL—July 19th

This is a one-day event designed to minimize time out of the office, but get you some significant networking time, meet with innovators, and stay up to date with Future Tech including the Future of Leisure, Retail, Life, Work, and Technology.

JupyterCon: New York 2018

New York, NY—Training: August 21–22; Conference: August 22–24, 2018

This is the place to learn how to transform data into a competitive advantage. Naturally, it is focused on Jupyter Tools, with Project Jupyter, the NumFOCUS Foundation, and O’Reilly Media running the show. Streamline workflows and get your people focused on internal collaboration.

The Data Science Conference

Chicago, IL—Sept 20-21, 2018

This conference is aimed at business analytic professionals, but data scientists, predictive analysts, and machine learners can benefit, too. It suits those working with restaurants understand what Greece seems a big data, data mining, machine learning, artificial intelligence and predictive modeling.

Artificial Intelligence Conference:

San Francisco, CA—Training: September 4–5; Conference 5–7, 2018

The name of the conference speaks for itself. This is where you will learn what is next. This is the forefront where ChatBots are real customer-facing devices; where they become customer service agents with functional text-to-speech conversion in real-time, permitting phone or online conversations; and where consumer/user IoT interfaces are maturing. You’ll learn from the experts how to implement AI in real-world projects, how to potentiate Deep Learning, NLP, and how to turn the Cloud into your Supercomputer.

Strata Data Conference

New York, NY—Training: September 11–12; Conference: September 12–14, 2018

This is where many of the world’s smartest Data Scientists gather to exchange ideas, skills, and Best Practices. If your organization is Data-driven (and whose isn’t?), then this is where you need to be to design successful projects and keep your teams competitive.

Microsoft Ignite

Orlando, FL—September 24, 2018

This year there are already 1693 sessions scheduled for MS Ignite, and 193 of them are all about Artificial Intelligence. For data science aficionados there are 554 sessions already scheduled for your favorite subject. MS brings together top experts from multiple fields so you can find the answers you need all in one place.


Toronto, Ontario—September 18-20, 2018

This is the 3-day signature event to provide significant networking time, meet with innovators, and stay up to date with Future Tech including the Future of Leisure, Retail, Life, Work and Technology. There are always over 1,000 top-level Innovators for you to connect with, but more importantly, the conference is extremely organized so that you are actively participating in “the future.” Expect to take away 30 core concepts, downloadable presentations so you can share your experience, personal assessments, workshops for your team, and memories of your 1-on-1 advisor time, and cultural safaris.

Deep Learning Summit Toronto

Toronto, Canada—October 25–26, 2018

Track One

The Deep Learning Summit is the study of the next evolution in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Interest continues to grow in this branch of machine learning, with particular emphasis on not only speech & pattern recognition, or natural language processing (NLP), but the ability to recognize and interpret images, plus the growing field of neural network research. The level of information in this conference is informed by global pioneers with the latest research.

Track Two

Deep learning has graduated to the status of being a core technology for business. It not only streamlines the efficiency of the business itself but lends the business significant forecasting abilities leading to practical automation of business functions. Where will it take industry in the near future?

ODSC West 2018

October 31st—November 3rd, 2018

ODSC West is already sold out. There is access to current (recent) talks & videos (free) and this year’s conference will have them online, too. If you’re smart, you’ll register now for 2019, since there are usually only 3,500 tickets available.

The Wall Street Journal’s D.LIVE

Laguna Beach, CA—November 12-14, 2018

As always, this event is invitation only and, if you want to attend, you’ll have to write, or call, to wrangle an invitation. The content is quite diverse, from Alibaba to Walmart representing retail to NIANTIC for Augmented Reality (AR), to General Motors addressing autonomous vehicles using AI, to Intel’s take on AI, Machine Learning (ML), and the Quantum Age. And that’s just a fraction of Tuesday. Wednesday promises a demo called: The Baby Face of the Robot Uprising, with talks on the promise of FinTech, what is happening in the “Cloud Next,” and how we’re going to be “Seating the Next Tech Revolution.”

NIPS 2018

Montréal, Quebec—Dec 3–8, 2018

Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) provides an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone in the fields of AI and machine learning.  They even provide extra support for Women in Machine Learning (WiML), and extra publicity to make sure they’re known in the AI/ML community for their work and contributions, so if you’re feeling hard-done-by, or slighted by peers, try dropping by here for a warm Canadian welcome. But

The Takeaway

Of course, dates and venues are in flux the further you try to peer into the future; many guests and venues are firmly established, and you can make plans. Make sure you’re in tune with Data Science and Artificial Intelligence events that not only “might” but “absolutely will” affect the way you do business in the future.

After all, most forward-looking companies have realized that AI, ML, and DS are all critical changes in the world of business. If you want to learn more, we provide webinars to show you where the future is going and how you can get there. Don’t shortchange yourself. Join us today!