RE•WORK Brings Deep Learning to Toronto

RE•WORK Brings Deep Learning to Toronto

The RE•WORK Deep Learning Summit is coming to Toronto, October 25 – 26, 2018. Taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the summit covers the latest advancements in deep learning technologies from global leaders in the field and explores how industry leaders and startups are applying such techniques.

The summit comes on the heels of the technology boom happening in Toronto. In September, the city drew over $1.4 billion in investment from U.S. and Canadian companies, including Microsoft, Uber, Shopify and Instacart to name just a few. A recent study showed that Toronto has created more tech jobs than the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle and Washington, D.C. combined in the last year. With all that is happening in the city in the technology space, the city is a destination for tech meetings and events given the network and community here.

Also this year, the first ever AI for Government Summit will be run in conjunction with the conference providing the opportunity for attendees to interact with Government Bodies, Policymakers, Strategists and Directors of Innovation. The focus of the summit will be to explore the use of machine learning to increase efficiency, reduce costs and meet the high demands of the public sector. Attendees will have access to both events and be invited to interactive workshops, panel discussions, mentoring sessions and many more activities.

A full list of speakers is available here. Confirmed speakers across both tracks include:

Geoffrey Hinton, Professor, University of Toronto
Regarded as the godfather of AI, Hinton designs machine learning algorithms and was one of the researchers who introduced the back-propagation algorithm. His research group in Toronto made major breakthroughs in deep learning that have revolutionized speech recognition and object classification.

Brendan Frey, Co-Founder & CEO, Deep Genomics
Frey is internationally recognized as a leader in machine learning and genome biology. His group has published over a dozen papers in Science, Nature and Cell, and their most recent work on using deep learning to identify protein-DNA interactions was highlighted on the front cover Nature Biotechnology.

Tomi Poutanen, Chief AI Officer, TD Bank
Tomi is co-founder and co-CEO of Layer 6 AI (layer6.ai) which was recently acquired by TD Bank, which offers the world’s most accurate prediction engine for enterprise data. Layer 6 AI helps banks, media, cable/telco, and e-commerce companies leverage all of their data to predict customer needs and personalize each customer experience.

ReWork speakers
The RE•WORK Deep Learning Summit takes place October 25 – 26, 2018 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Last year the event in Montreal welcomed the pioneers of deep learning, Yoshua Bengio, Yann LeCun & Hinton, who shared their knowledge and expertise in a joint panel for the first time.

Watch the full presentation here.

Toronto is a hot-spot for AI with the likes of Uber, NVIDIA, Etsy and Samsung all announcing investment plans in Toronto for development in this space, not to mention the Vector Institute that has established itself as one of the leaders in research and development. The Canadian Government have committed over $125 million to AI developments. Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs has announced its Smart City Project for the city’s waterfront that will be the ‘world’s first neighbourhood built from the internet-up’.

FMAV: The MVP of AV

FMAV: The MVP of AV

As the largest Canadian-owned audiovisual company, FMAV employs more than 250 staff across seven offices from coast to coast, including Toronto. What sets FMAV apart is a focus on partnering with their clients. While most AV companies simply rent gear to their clients, the team at FMAV intimately works with meeting planners, creating a connection that helps them achieve their business goals.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED
This summer, FMAV partnered with Jays Care Foundation for the second consecutive year on their Curve Ball Gala to produce an event recognized as one of the best in Canada for 2018. The Gala raised funds to teach life skills and create lasting social change for children in marginalized communities across Canada. Working closely with Jays Care Foundation, including Candice and Alison Events Group, FMAV provided detailed expertise and care towards the Gala’s objective of elevating the attendee experience. This included the entire Blue Jays roster and more than 1,500 VIP guests, all within the Rogers Centre.

The gala gave guests a rare opportunity to not only root for the home team, but also mingle amongst the team’s biggest stars, coaches and alumni. All the while dining on the baseball diamond where the Blue Jays play. Working with such an iconic venue presented challenges for FMAV’s timeline as the Blue Jays hosted a home game the night before and after the gala. There were also audio challenges taking into account that it’s a stadium that seats 50,000, as well as seating-related issues since it’s highly important not to impact the turf in any way.

Working closely with Jays Care, FMAV’s team used graphics and content projections to immerse attendees into the journey and impact of the organization including:

  • A map of Canada featuring pinned locations showcasing the reach of Jays Care Foundation and the children who were helped by the organization
  • Creative seating arrangements: taking into consideration the field’s dimensions, FMAV conceptualized a horseshoe-shaped seating layout, bringing the audience closer to the stage
  • The Jays Care logo and imagery was projected onto a 20 ft. tall circular truss, simulating a baseball
  • 8 ft. by 8 ft. LED wall used to simulate a diamond, positioned on either side of the podium
  • Simulated draping décor outlined the field throughout the gala dinner

    “FMAV went above and beyond for us and accounted for every detail. They are experts in creating intimate amazing events, and the team was incredible in supporting us to tell our story though brainstorming and building engaging content in order to demonstrate our theme of ‘unstoppable kids’.” – Jenny Le, Manager, Events, Jays Care Foundation.

GALA EXTRAVAGANZA
The result was a spectacular event that truly captivated attendees, transformed the venue, and was their largest success to date in terms of donations. Jays Care hit a home run raising a whopping $1.5 million in support of Unstoppable Kids in the programs across Canada. The team’s efforts did not go unnoticed, with BizBash naming it one of the Top 100 Events in Canada of 2018.

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SWEET ‘16

SWEET ‘16

Trends for 2016 are making business events in Toronto better (and tastier) than ever. From tech to food, it’s anything but business as usual!  

FRESH IMMERSION

Planners are always looking to create a fuller, more immersive experience for attendees, at everything from speaking engagements to pop-up shops.

Gordon Browning from FMAV, a Toronto-based events planning firm, says screen-blending technology is doing just that. It can merge multiple projectors into one seamless image, wrapping an entire room in the visuals of a planner’s choosing, for a completely immersive experience.

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NB-EH!: Adidas brought its A-game with its VIP Gifting Suite for NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto in February.

At the NBA All-Star Game in Toronto this past February, Adidas upped the ante with a pop-up shop cum art installation. The Adidas VIP Gifting Suite launched new products with an exclusive mix of players, media and NBA elite at its private gifting lounge, housed inside their product vault. Working alongside Toronto photographer Horace Ng, Adidas transformed a space on Queen Street West into brand activation that doubled as a photo and art installation.

 APP APPEAL

From cooking to catching the bus, apps make our lives a little easier. And the same is true when it comes to business events. So, it’s no surprise that custom apps will become more popular than ever this year.

Courtney Stanley, from Toronto’s Event Mobi, says cost, analytics, engagement and networking are just a few of the advantages of custom apps.

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HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPS?: Event Mobi puts big events in the palm of your hand.

Apps can help save money (and the environment!), with no printing costs, especially if changes are needed at the last minute. “What if a speaker cancels at the last minute? No problem. You can make edits to the agenda and send out an alert to attendees to inform them of the change,” says Stanley.

Apps also allow you to track attendees’ behaviour, including clicks, preferences and habits, without having to rely on attendees answering surveys. And apps with built-in chat allow for easier networking at events, especially for those too shy to just walk up to someone.

BACK TO REALITY

After a few false starts in the 90’s, Virtual Reality technology and costs are finally making it a realistic prospect for event planners. Browning says they’ve been using it to help in the planning stages of an event. “Virtual reality has been used to help event planners visualize and experience space ahead of an event,” he explains.

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REALITY SHOW: Toronto’s FMAV is bringing virtual reality to life for event planners.

Using goggles similar to the popular Oculus Rift, meeting planners can get a virtual walk-through of how a space will look and function, from front to back. It’s been such a hit, FMAV has had to triple their initial order of the goggles.

And this is only the beginning! “Down the road, we could stream live from the event to people in other cities. It will feel like they’re sitting right there in the audience,” adds Browning, promising FMAV will be the first in Canada to use it live at an event.

 LOCAL MOTIVE

And everyone’s favourite part of any event ─ food and drinks!  According to Julia Gilmoure, from the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, “the days of sad conference food are hopefully drawing to a close!” Restaurants have been touting local ingredients for years now, and business events are catching up!

“It doesn’t matter where you travel in the province. Each region has so many unique stories and tastes on offer, Toronto in particular,” adds Gilmoure.

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WINE ABOUT IT: Niagara wineries bring local flavour to global events.

Some local treats include Maple-tree filtered water, paneer cheese, world crops such as Chinese long beans and okra, hops, haskap berries and sea buckthorn.

The Ontario’s beverage industry has also really taken off. According to the Ontario Beverage Network, there are over 300 brewers in Ontario (26 in Toronto alone.) The Ontario Craft Cider Alliance has 27 cider producers and The Ontario Distillers’ Association has 16 producers. And VQA Wines use 100% Ontario-grown grapes. Cheers to that!

Check out the Feast On program, a designation for food service operators committed to using Ontario food and drink on their menus.