It’s been a while since we last posted (it’s a long story!), but continuing on with our Q&A series with local meetup organisers, this time we have Jaymie Thomas (@jaymiethomas) of AI Wales…
Hi Jaymie! First of all, please introduce yourself and your businesses.
Hi! I run my own business called Automise, which is a software development agency specialising in building web applications and payments. We’re based in Tramshed Tech in Cardiff. I think most people on the entrepreneurial scene know me from the Cardiff Start group on Facebook, but I’m always happy to have a coffee with those I haven’t met yet.
Tell us about AI Wales. How did it come about? How many have you run so far? Who runs it alongside you?
About a year ago, I kept hearing increasing mention of machine learning in the media and – despite being in software development – knew very little about the ins-and-outs of what AI actually meant. It began with a simple tweet asking who I should speak with about machine learning, and a friend pointed me toward David Pugh, a local engineer with a strong interest in data science (who is now doing wonderful things at the ONS Data Science Campus in Newport).
We met for a chat and it was clear that Dave was more than a little further along the curve. He gave his time generously and began explaining concepts to me. It occurred to me that this was learning that could scale, that other people would also be interested in this. Dave loved the idea of establishing a meetup so we began planning. Around that time, Toby White moved his new AI company Artimus into Tramshed Tech, so the stars were clearly aligning! Dave, Toby and I set up AI Wales with the deliberate aim that it was for people to learn about AI from scratch, intending to ignite a spark within them across different topics. We now run monthly meetups thanks to the generosity of Yolk Recruitment, Tramshed Tech and Artimus.
We’ve run seven sessions to-date, which have covered a general introduction to AI, logistical regression, machine learning, the ethics and morality of AI systems, and more recently, Natural Language Processing. Each of these is only a light touch on the topic, designed to encourage interested attendees to learn and discuss more amongst themselves.
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