br.A.I.n Hack 2018 — The competition for an AI-driven society
Bucharest, December 19th — For the second year in a row, over 70 experts from Orange and Tremend gathered for a 24-hour AI hackathon, br.A.I.n Hack 2018. During the competition, the participants prototyped and presented revolutionary solutions that have the potential to positively change the business and social ecosystem. This year’s hackathon was truly challenging given the difficulty of AI-based solutions that have only recently started to mature.
“Think about 12 hours spent trying to actually train neural networks and even employ deep learning to produce meaningful results. We are now at a point where AI technology has remarkable applications in a wide range of industries. It’s amazing what you can learn from such an event — a very condensed experience where you meet extraordinary people.” Marius Hanganu, Tremend Managing Partner.
The winning team focused on the social aspect of Artificial Intelligence, showcasing a solution for children with special needs suffering from autism or Down syndrome. The interactive application, which can be used in multiple languages to develop cognitive and people skills, analyzes a child’s drawing, figures out the drawn object and associates it with a real-life object. Leveraging technologies such as neural networks, Python, Django, TensorFlow and Keras, NumPy and Swift, the application has a high degree of feasibility and a solid business model that can soon make this solution a reality for many families and children around the world.
The runner-up team designed another social solution, presenting a mobile application that can identify a baby’s needs when crying and alert parents. The third place winner team developed an integrated speech-to-text and translation prototype that can summarize conversations from meetings or audio recordings. Other innovative solutions were developed for various industries and scopes such as retailers (shelf management), travel, citizen rights (integration of GDPR, road rules and human rights into one single app) marketing and sales automation, human resources (employee retention software), consumer-centric apps (recipes and receipt management) and infrastructure security.
The main technologies employed by the participants were leveraging AI domains, such as Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing and even Deep Learning, by employing either locally developed models (in TensorFlow, Keras, Scikit-learn) or Cloud-based solutions (IBM Watson, Google’s Natural Language API), in Python, Django or Swift. However, all the projects powered at least 5 integrated complex technologies, which encouraged a highly creative, analytical and organizational approach for each project. It comes as no surprise that the professional jury had to thoroughly evaluate each prototype based on its degree of innovation, uniqueness, social and financial impact and overall technical complexity.
“I was eager to see what creative minds can do in 24 hours when they join forces and face a challenge like conquering the uncharted territory of AI. Results were impressive, giving all of us a practical sense of the real power and the spread of AI. The competition resulted in 12 completely different solutions tackling needs from social, healthcare, technology, business and legal and security areas. It is clear that the “show must go on”, as all the participants, jury and organizers gain important practical learnings to further capitalize on ”. Bogdan Rotunjanu, IT Director at Orange Romania.
br.A.I.n Hack 2018 is a fast-track learning experience with a diverse set of applications that will become mainstream in software development in the near future. The event gathered 12 mixed teams with experts from Tremend and Orange. Beyond the opportunity to showcase exceptional local talent and transform Romania into an AI hub, events like this have the power to alter the course of our society and make revolutionary solutions real, available and affordable at a global scale.