What if we told you that Sri Lanka’s first conference on Data Science and Machine Learning would be held? That’s right. The SLASSCOM AI Asia Summit will be held on the 7th of November 2018 from 8.30am to 5.30pm at The Kingsbury Hotel. As mentioned above, the SLASSCOM AI Asia Summit would revolve around the topics of Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. The Summit would see a number of acclaimed international and local speakers addressing the latest developments in these fields across application, research, and adoption.
The AI Asia summit will be a catalyst for this vision and raise awareness across industry, government, universities and private institutions of the opportunity ahead and what must be done now, in order to make this a reality. This event will culminate with the release of a Proposed AI Policy which will outline Sri Lanka’s vision for the next five years.
Who are the speakers at the SLASSCOM AI Asia Summit?
Among the stellar lineup of speakers, the key international speakers for the SLASSCOM AI Asia Summit are Timothy Kooi – Head of Data Analytics at DHL Asia Pacific, Dr. Yasantha Rajakarunanayake – Senior Director Technology at MediaTek, Dr. Adam Easton – Chief Executive Officer at SimCentric Technologies, Dr. James Shanahan – Founder and Principal of Boutique Data Consultancy, Dr. Rukshan Batuwita – Data Scientist at Google, and Dr. Chrisantha Fernando – Senior Research Scientist at Google DeepMind.
A speaker generating a lot of interest is Dr. Yasantha Rajakarunanayake. He was recently recognized by Jeff Bezos – Founder/CEO of Amazon for his memorable accomplishments while at Princeton University. Since then, Yasantha has 94 patents filed in the US. His work and research interests include developing Machine Learning/AI algorithms and Computer Vision systems for energy constrained embedded devices. In addition, he has also worked on innovative applications and AI algorithms for human presence, motion and gesture detection. Dr. Rajakarunanayake will deliver a keynote on “Inspirational Applications of AI for Sri Lanka”.
Sri Lanka Must Invest in Data Science and AI
In his vision for an AI Nation, newly elected Chairman of SLASSCOM Jeevan Gnanam identified Sri Lanka as the island nation that goes beyond the call of duty in many fields and emphasized that Data Science and AI should be added to that list as well.
He further stated, “Sri Lanka for the last two decades has relied on two main pillars for its IT/BPM export; that is Software Development and Finance & Accounting. This strategy has served us well as we grew 23% CAGR year on year for the last decade. However, times are changing. As a middle-income country, we need to shift gears and look at increasing the diversity of our export-based basket of goods while climbing up the value chain. It’s time to introduce a new pillar, one that offers exponential gains, the third pillar of Data Science and AI as this provides Sri Lanka with the opportunity in the next few years to lay the solid foundations of being an important thought leader in the South Asian context”.
He also added that Sri Lanka should strive to replicate these solutions as exports to other similarly placed developing countries. This provides Sri Lanka with the opportunity once again to move beyond providing labor arbitrage solutions to becoming a true, value-added knowledge provider for clients and stakeholders.