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B Candace Loya


Welcome to Day Two of the GeoNet DevSummit  2018 daily updates! First up is the keynote presentation featuring Joseph Sirosh, Corporate VP, Artificial Intelligence and Research Group, Microsoft Azure 


Sirosh began his Microsoft career nearly five years ago as the VP of Information Management. His passion and understanding for the development of machine learning to improve efficiency has aided in the advancement of AI programs and development of AI products at Microsoft. Prior to his career with Microsoft he led teams at Amazon, FICO and other previous software companies seeking to improve business efficiency and customer experiences 


Sirosh kicks off the morning keynote session with a slide presenting Earth's evolution and the start of life as a single cell. He continues to explain how, like human life, software is evolving and will continue to evolve as we make it smarter to improve efficiencies and intelligence. 


After asking how many people in the audience are using AI he explains the definition of AI, “Artificial Intelligence is the opposite of natural stupidity.”  



Sirosh further elaborates on the Microsoft AI Platform, bringing AI to Azure and the best pieces of Azure to AI; the services, infrastructure, and tools. Things like chatbot AI is an innovation that allows for better task completion and efficiency. 


Sirosh was excited to announce the general availability of Geo AI Data Science Virtual Machine, giving data scientists easier access to AI, machine learning and data science tools. By integrating geography and location, the Science of Where, with data, data scientists can gain a new understanding of the world around them. The newGeoAI Data Science VM integrates and supports Esri ArcGIS platforms. 


Sirosh introducesLucas Joppa, Chief Environmental Scientist of Microsoft who shares how he spends most of his time trying to figure out how we can apply AI to improve life on the Earth. 


Joppa counters Captain Kirk's famous quote, “Space is the final frontier with, as he explains, “a one-sided argument of how to apply artificial intelligence to spatial data in order to change the way we, as a society, manage and ultimately think about the space all around us; or as Jack Dangermond and our friends at Esri would say, the Science of Where?” 


He continues with an explanation of how we are using machine learning to extract data in astronomy to map outer space and addresses a concern on our ability to understand and solve critical environmental challenges on Earth to sustainably manage a growing population. He explains, “that is why, from the very beginning, Microsoft has turned to Esri’s GeoSpatial Tool Kit” to teach AI computers how to collect and understand data extracted from the vast library of raster data and change how we are contributing the human experience on Earth.  


Sirosh returns to demonstrate, “How can AI help?” sharing that AI helps us understand data, learn and form conclusions from data, developing models and forming conclusions. 

Microsoft cognitive services in the Cloud include: 

  • Vision - picture, identification, optical recognizer 
  • Speech - Customizes speech to your language and domain 
  • Language translation - used to communicate with others around the world 
  • Knowledge 
  • Search - Bing search is used... 


Sirosh gives a demonstration of the AI experience using the release of the JFK records to connect how AI is used to ingest information, enrich the information with cognitive services, and translate in a way that anyone can efficiently search the information.  



Any unstructured data can be translated into understandable data,” says Sirosh. 


He introduces Omar Maher, to demonstrate how Azure AI and ArcGIS can help predict accidents.  


Omar states, “The first question we have to ask, "What would cause an accident? 

With Machine learning, we can develop a model to prep data sets, feature engineering train and evaluate models, deploy the model to production and then share the information.  


Sirosh returns to talk about interacting using Bots. Microsoft AI Platforms are capable of building sentiment applications using cognitive services 


AI is the new normal. "You touch AI every time you touch your mobile phone." 


He presents a video of how Microsoft is building an application that helps mothers communicate with their autistic children. "Helpicto" uses bots to combine language and pictures to create speech that is understood. 


Seeing AI – a talking camera app for the visually impaired, is another Microsoft application developed to see the world with AI 


Azure AI Gallery provides a large number of examples of capabilities that can be viewed. Many machine learning models are within the AI Gallery for predictive maintenance.  


Microsoft is rolling out a new program called AI for Earth. Developers with innovative solutions to use AI to advance sustainability can apply for a grant. 


Sirosh ends providing the following resources 



Questions from the audience: 


Q: Are we going to see more docker in the architecture for the AI?  

Sirosh: Docker platforms actually made it amazingly easy to containerize, not just an AI model, but also its dependencies…so you can have a very nice encapsulated object…one of the directions we are going after is to containerize AI. 


Q: I see a lot of examples of learning from images straight down, how about machine learning of obliques at an angle, 45 degree angle, 90 degree angle…?  

Sirosh: We actually have examples of that…It won’t be perfect. We can create synthetic data…and it makes it possible. 


Q: What sorts of problems would an AI not be great for exploring?   

SiroshAI is advanced statistics, it is learning statistical and problemistic models from data. If you don’t have good data it can become garbage data. Need good data. 


Q: What about using AI to take non-spatial data, and converting it to usable data?  

Sirosh: It is possible, but again, it goes back to the training data. You have to start with taking the AI to school. 


Q: Can you share your thoughts on the ethical posed by these technologies? 

Sirosh: Microsoft has a term used, FATE, Fair > Accountable > Transparent > Ethical. AI is a learning system. If the data has biases, it can be a problem. He compares it to medicine in pharmaceuticals. Prescribed versus over the counter. Must debug the data. 


Q: Last year Microsoft shut down the Photo Synth project in your lab. What does that mean? Are you rolling into something else?  

Sirosh: Today we have the vision AI…a capturing AI. We continue to launch new capabilities. 


Q: Twenty plus years ago AI and neuro networks were a very hot topic, aside from some of the wonderful computation infrastructures we have in platforms today what did you see as being some of the significant advancements in AI that we are now starting to exploit that we didn't have a while back? 

Sirosh: Mentions the he studied in neuro networks before the Neuro Net Winter started.  

Neuro networks needed tremendous amounts of data and with new learning algorithms to work. In the last 10 years, it has advanced…we now have vast amounts of dataas new things coming together to make it possible. 


Q: Between today and the next Developer Summit, what can we see improve on this current Azure Geo AI Infrastructure?  

Sirosh: I am hoping that a lot of the developers here apply AI... such as what the developer developed for autistic children and their mothers. 


What did you enjoy from the keynote? Post your comments and questions below and stay tuned for more coverage from Day Two!





It was a blast connecting and collaborating with you at DevSummit 2017! To wrap up our daily updates, here's the fourth and final recap. 




After an intense and well contested tournament during the Thursday night party, the Sitting Ducks, for the second straight year, reigned supreme as the defending DevSummit dodgeball champions. Congrats to the Sitting Ducks and thanks to all the other teams who competed. You put on a fine show! 




During the Friday closing session, a collection of fun and interesting weekly stats and facts were shared. Amazing what can be produced in just 6 days. And we're still wondering what sorghum is. 


Then the Esri development team sat down to answer questions that were submitted through social media and onsite videos during the week. The questions covered topics ranging from specific feature enhancements and the ArcGIS platform roadmap to learning how the Esri Dev team works and what inspires them to keep growing, learning and developing their craft. 


If you missed any of the other updates, you can check them out below including the YouTube video playlist from the plenary and keynote presentation.  



So much happened and we couldn't get to it all, so we invite you to continue the discussion and share what you learned in the DevSummit Conference group. Thanks to everyone for joining us and sharing your experiences on social media and here on GeoNet. You really made it another memorable and meaningful week! 

Community Member Connection #2

The connections and conversations with community members continue to be a highlight this week! This morning and afternoon I had the pleasure of connecting with Stan McShinsky and DAVID DAS who's contributions have been a big help in the Web AppBuilder Custom Widgets and other groups. We chatted about what they've been learning this week, what GIS and dev projects they're working on and how GeoNet's been inspiring them to move forward in their work. Good luck on the projects and thanks, guys! Always nice to hear how the community is helping you work better and come up with new ideas. 





It's a bot that time

From there it was time to check out the "Using Voice Recognition and Chatbots to make Navigation Better" session. Chatbots are a hot topic and Christopher Marovec took us through this personal dev journey and quest to better understand how building code, bots and Artificial Intelligence came together during this complex project. He admitted that he didn't get as far as he wanted to for this talk but that didn't stop him from sharing valuable insight and leaving us with lots of great takeaways. I really appreciated the fluidness of the session and how Chris took us step by step through his thought process. As Chris highlighted, his the presentation of his project was fantastic example and good reminder of how developers can strive to "work out loud" with each other and encourage the openness of how they solved problems or what they get stuck on and why. 









Got your buttons yet?

Then it was time to check in on the always popular conference button situation. Well, they're going fast and it looks like the most popular are the Python and Javascript buttons. Did you get your button swag yet? Which do you like the most this year?  I also think we need to consider adding a GeoNet button to the mix. What do you think? 






What's happening on the Esri showcase?

Strolling through the Esri Showcase and expo area is always an inspiring time. There's a collaborative buzz as users are at the stations asking questions and Esri staff are right there answering questions and sharing deep dive demos on how the new platform features can provide solutions and new ways of working. I especially love walking by and seeing working sessions like these and overhearing discussions as real problems and solutions are worked out here at DevSummit. Great stuff! What did you learn in the showcase floor? What new discoveries did you make?




Then it was time to dive more into the dynamics of how to effectively lead development teams as Daniel Lewis took us through "Team Driven Development: The Art of failing, Succeeding and Reflecting as a Team."  Daniel openly shared what he's learned over the last 20 years of being a developer and how he's grown into a team leader.  I really enjoyed how Daniel shared the inner workings of his team and what some of their actual process are related to QA and Team Driven Development (pics below), and how they actually get work done day to day. What questions do you have about leading dev teams? What's worked for you? 





And that's a wrap for the sessions highlights today! We can't cover it all, so let us know what you learned today. Of course, there's still the dodgeball tournament coming up tonight. So check back for some picture and highlights from the fun and festivities. Thanks for following along and we look forward to seeing what you learned this week. 



Here we go with Day Two of DevSummit! Loved starting the day reading the inspiring work shared on the Science of Where wall. So let us know below...what are you working on? What does The Science of Where mean to you? Thanks for sharing and have a great Day Two! 





Time for the keynote featuring: Todd Greene, Cofounder and CEO of PubNub, sharing what he's learned through his work and where dev is heading. Great talk! Here's some highlights.  What did you like? What did you learn?


Update: Check out the full video below:



  • Todd doesn't wear a suit jacket when he codes.
  • PubNub key stats: Over... 1.8 trillion monthly transactions, 330 million unique monthly devices, 15+ data centers
  • The streaming web is an emerging trend
  • The Hollywood Operating System (HOS) has been setting expectation for decades
  • We must find ways to solve the Yummy Soda data Conundrum
  • Remember South Park's Gnomes Underpants business model? Learn from it. Don't follow it.  
  • "To handle future state: app logic must be distributed everywhere"  
  • What's coming..? -> Esri blocks: routing, Base maps, GeoEnrichment 








That's a wrap for the keynote! Enjoy the rest of your day and check back for more updates. Drop a comment below to say hello and let us know what you're learning. Thanks for sharing! 



The Code was alive and thriving this afternoon. Here's a few highlights as I cruised through the sessions and spent time connecting with GeoNet Community members. (Special thanks to Carol Sousa, Mohand KETTOUCHEMark Cygan and Glenn Letham for sharing the photos on social media. We appreciate you allowing us to feature them here.)


The Applications Prototype Lab team shared some insightfully green presidential quotes and complex "Betweenness Centrality" code equations to kick off and then dove into sharing the works they've been doing building applications that support the Green Infrastructure project. 





During the ArcGIS Python API session, a packed Primerose room followed along as Atma Mani and Rohit Singh on the Esri team answered the all-important "What can it do for you?" question and demoed real-time scenarios. Got more questions? Check out what other users are saying and experiencing in the ArcGIS API for Python group. 





Then it was time for another fantastic meet-up chat with GeoNet Community member, Robert Scheitlin, GISP. We talked about his dev background, the community roadmap and the future of the gamification and points system within GeoNet, of which Robert has reached the highest level.  If you're not already, you should follow Robert. Like other top Geonet members, he graciously shares his GIS and dev knowledge to help others solve problems and work better making him a perfect example of how to contribute and connect others within the community. 





In case you missed it, throughout the day, our Esri social media shared a nice collection of videos celebrating International Women's Day. Check them out here and here.



And that's a wrap for today! We couldn't get to it all, so tell us what you loved and learned the most today in the comments below. Thanks for sharing the day with us!


We're excited to announce that next week we'll be onsite at the Developer Summit 2017 conference in Palm Springs, CA.  During the week we'll be live blogging, sharing updates and starting collaborative session conversations here in the Developer Summit space and other groups throughout the GeoNet community.  (Make sure to click "follow" in the top right corner of the DevSummit space overview page to get the updates.)


Whether you're attending the event or following along virtually, we invite you to join the DevSummit conversation on GeoNet. What topics, sessions and conference events are you most excited about? 


Thanks for joining and we look forward to seeing you and your contributions!