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The MancML Event

The MancML Event The first Manchester Machine Learning (MancML) event was organised by Octavia and Cathcart Associates in November 2016. Both companies wanted to create an event where businesses could discuss the exciting applications and potential of AI.

Since then, MancML events have an open forum to connect businesses across the North, and led many interesting discussions about AI in a fun and relaxed environment. The event on November 23, 2017 was the biggest and most popular so far, with tickets selling out within five days of the event launch and over a hundred participants attending on the day. We heard an incredible range of machine learning applications discussed -- from the pharmaceutical to automotive sectors. Please find the summaries of these talks on the following page, and information about the sponsors, Octavia and Cathcart Associates, on the final page. We also have HD quality pictures and videos available on request.

A recent report from Accenture suggested that AI could add an additional £654 billion to the UK economy by 2030. This prediction has been supported by the acceleration in acquisitions of AI companies in recent years. Businesses in the UK have seen benefits of this increase in interest, with Microsoft and Twitter acquiring UK based AI companies Swiftkey and Magic Pony last year, which were the fourth and third most expensive acquisitions that year at $250 million and $150 million respectively.
 
Northern Powerhouse Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the UK Manchester has already been primed for the development in the field of machine learning, with £4.65 million of a £17.3 million fund for the development of robotics and AI awarded to a project led by the University of Manchester. It has also been highlighted in a survey by UKTN as a ‘digital hub’, with 63% of the professionals working in the digital sector surveyed saying that they enjoyed the range of networking events on offer in Manchester. However, until 2016, Manchester had no networking events dedicated to the growing and lucrative sector of AI.
 
The MancML Event
The first Manchester Machine Learning (MancML) event was organised by Octavia and Cathcart Associates in November 2016. Both companies wanted to create an event where businesses could discuss the exciting applications and potential of AI. Since then, MancML events have an open forum to connect businesses across the North, and led many interesting discussions about AI in a fun and relaxed environment. The event on November 23, 2017 was the biggest and most popular so far, with tickets selling out within five days of the event launch and over a hundred participants attending on the day. We heard an incredible range of machine learning applications discussed -- from the pharmaceutical to automotive sectors. Please find the summaries of these talks on the following page, and information about the sponsors, Octavia and Cathcart Associates, on the final page. We also have HD quality pictures and videos available on request.
 
Peak:
The first talk of the evening was from Chris Boddington of Peak (www.peak.ai): “Lead scoring drives revenues in the used car market” Peak.ai are a data analytics company, who use AI and machine learning to help
businesses grow. This year, they secured £2.5 million in Series A capital to fund the company’s ongoing investment in machine learning and AI technologies, and to further accelerate growth. Chris from Peak talked about how they used machine learning to increase efficiency in the used car market by 26%. Using only the current car registration of a potential customer, their application was able to predict when the owner would be looking to sell this car and purchase a new. Using this technique Peak were able to optimise the sales funnel for car sellers by allowing them to focus on the potential customers most likely to convert into a sale. Octavia.ai The next talk of the evening was from our very own Erik Mathiesen of Octavia.ai (www.octavia.ai) “An AI Careers Advisor: Using Machine Learning to Predict Your Career Path” Octavia.ai specializes in smart solutions for recruitment. Their technology uses AI and analytics to source and place candidates for recruiters and HR departments. In their talk, they described how they use AI, and in particular Neural Networks and Deep Learning, to analyse and predict people’s career paths. Having analysed millions of CVs, their system can now predict from a person’s CV what jobs are most likely to be next in the career path of that individual, as well as when the next job move is mostly likely to happen. By doing this, they enable companies to predict and find better candidates as well as forecast future hiring needs within organisations. From a candidate’s perspective, the use of this technology gives them the power to navigate the job market better by providing them with a clear view of their options and possibilities. Erik detailed the technologies and techniques used in this innovative application of AI and gave a few illustrative examples of its usage, before opening up the floor to a lively discussion about their technology and the general usage of AI in recruitment.
 
Rentalcars.com
Bertil Hatt from Rentalcars.com delivered our third talk of the night on his experience of people hiring Data Science teams from scratch and when you should be hiring, rather than hiring the ‘Trophy Data Scientist’. “How to Get a Data Science Team Started”: Rental Cars are an international car hire service, and provide a smooth and hassle-free service. They make 8 million bookings a year in over 53,000 locations across 160 countries. They have recently established a data science team and Bertil talked to us about this journey of starting one from scratch and the many challenges involved in hiring and retaining data scientists in an incredibly competitive job market. A key issue highlighted in the talk was failing to give a newly hired data scientist clear objectives, access to data, an implementation path, and resources to fix things. The talk encouraged the audience to consider the methods and approaches to new applications for data  and ML.
 
Mango Solutions:
 
Last, but not least, we had Chris Campbell from Mango Solutions (www.mango-solutions.com) giving us an example of how Mango have used text mining to let the machines do the work in the real world. “Text Mining: Let the Machines do the Work” Mango Solutions provide complex analysis solutions, consulting, training, and application development for some of the most well-known companies in the world. Chris shared some valuable insights into their work and text mining in general. The challenge discussed was the continuing reliance of the pharmaceutical industry on manual processes, especially when it comes to searching
for relevant medical research. In particular, searching medical research databases is a significant problem due to their size. On PubMed, half a million records are added a year, and 75 clinical trials a day. Chris explained how Mango have used machine learning to significantly decrease the time it takes for a medical researcher to find relevant data on PudMed and at the same time increase the precision of the data found.
 
About the Organisers:
 
Octavia
 
Octavia was founded in 2016 to optimize recruitment. The Octavia team believe that technology will improve the recruitment experience for all parties by dedicating time to people, not to processes. With their proprietary AI technology they help recruiters and employers hire their ideal candidates by quickly finding the right people and talking to them, instead of spending hours of screen time searching. Octavia offers integrations into existing HR systems as well as a standalone AI-assisted recruitment CRM.
 
Cathcart Associates
 
Cathcart Associates was founded in 2009 by two of the country’s most successful IT Recruiters. They offer a simple, professional and effective recruitment solutions to some of the UK’s most exciting organisations. As an independent organisation, with offices in Edinburgh, Manchester and Bangkok, Cathcart Associates try to understand each individual customer, beyond the basic skills of a vacancy and strike up a truly collaborative relationship. Their data analytics team specialises in helping companies across the North of England and Scotland to grow their data analytics capability. They have regularly been recognised as one of the best Recruitment Consultancies in the UK by REC, IRP and S1.
 
Charity Engagement
 
MancML is proud to support Prostate Cancer UK.
 
Contact:
Erik Mathiesen, [email protected]