This year we were invited to be part of A.I. Expo Europe, held in Amsterdam. The organizers were very kind to offer us a free booth in the Startup zone of the exhibition. The event took place on 27 and 28 June 2018, and it was packed with talks and visitors. There were three tracks: A.I., IoT, and Blockchain, with the latter two dominating the exhibitors list.
It was an intense two days, with lots of people dropping by 904Labs’ booth and asking about what we do and how 904Labs search technology can help them in their settings. Altough the average visitor profile was not looking for onsite search, we had good chats with a bunch of Dutch and international and small, medium, and big companies on how onsite search can help their endeavors. We talked on how search technology is underneath many applications, including chatbots, and self-service applications. No matter the application, good search can help increase revenue in the setting of selling products, or reduce costs in the setting of self-service as visitors are better able to find the information they’re looking for without calling the company’s call centre.
Besides core business, it was nice to see other startups and non-startups from Amsterdam and catch up with old faces and meet new ones. Overall, it was a fun experience. A big thanks to the A.I. Expo Europe organizers for inviting us over!
European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR) is a annual European scientific conference around bhe topics of search engines, recommender systems, text analytics, user modeling, and evaluation. This year ECIR was held in Grenoble, France. With more than 250 attendants and 4 days packed with tutorials, workshops, research, and industry talks, it was a great place to be to get updated with the latest and greatest about search engines.
The theme of this year’s Industry Day was to bring lessons learned from industry to academia. What are differences when developing a research algorithm and when we bring to practice? These lessons could inspire and inform our fellow academics for the challenges practitioners face when bring these algorithms to production.
In my talk I touched upon a bunch of challenges we’ve faced at 904Labs and how we came about to solving them. Open questions revolve around online learning to rank algorithms, delayed feedback, design of new metrics to avoid embarassing results, and the importance of investing in an evaluation platform. At 904Labs we have come a long way and we have working answers for these questions, however, as these questions are particularly difficult to answer, I’ve invited people to drop me a note with ideas, if they are interested. I’ve already got some nice feedback, and I hope to see more research on these areas in the near future!
Below are some tweets from my talk.