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Nepal’s First and Biggest AI Expo 2019 held in Kathmandu

Fusemachines and AID together organized the first ever AI Expo event

Fusemachines, a leading provider of Artificial Intelligence software, solutions, and education, together with Artificial Intelligence for Development (AID) successfully conducted the first and biggest AI Expo in Nepal-AI Expo Nepal 2019 on August 24th, 2019 at Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu with 2000+ attendees at the event. Honorable Minister for Education, Science, and Technology, Giriraj Mani Pokharel was present as the Chief Guest of the event.

The AI Expo Nepal 2019 with the motto ‘Education Exhibition Exposure’ showcased the AI expertise and potential in Nepal to various public & private stakeholders. Students, enthusiasts, and professionals were able to learn about the real-world implications of Artificial Intelligence through keynote speech, plenary discussions, project demos, learning sessions, and presentations. The stalls were a huge draw for attendees looking to see real-world AI applications as well as interact with AI products on display.

Dr. Sameer Maskey AI

The program officially started with a keynote from Dr. Sameer Maskey, Founder and CEO of Fusemachines where he launched the “AI Shikshya for Nepal” campaign that plans to start Fusemachines AI Centers all over Nepal in order to create a pool of AI engineers, researchers, and enthusiasts.

Democratize AI in Nepal

In his keynote, Dr. Sameer also emphasized the role of several stakeholders including Government to “Democratize the AI in Nepal”. Although they are launching AI center and AI shikshya for Nepal Campaign, he believes it will be not enough to make a huge talent pool required for AI.

There were two plenary discussions on the topics “AI for National Development: Plans and Policies” and “Integrating AI: Demand, Challenges and Solutions” with experts from various domains sharing their experience and views on AI and its possible impact.

Sixit Bhatta in AI expo 2019

The “AI for National Development: Plans and Policies” discussion was led by policy level experts with a goal of extending AI. The “Integrating AI: Demand, Challenges and Solutions” discussion had expert panelists from research, education and the industry talking about the demand, challenges and current implementation of AI in
Nepal. Learning sessions on the fundamentals of Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Computer Vision, and Natural Language Processing was provided with shared use cases by senior engineers of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning from Fusemachines and AID.

The expo had also collected applications for ideas, research papers, and products in May. After a rigorous selection process, they selected teams from industry and academia for the Exhibition. The selected teams were mentored for months to develop the Minimum Viable Products while ideas and research papers were finely polished.

Winners in the AI expo

On the basis of various criteria, the top 3 winners were declared. They were

  • Real-Time Vehicle Tracking and Recognition (RTVTR),
  • GhumGham: Landmark Detection using Deep Neural Network, and
  • Polyphonic Music Generation with RNN teams.

They did a presentation at the conference while other participants were showcasing their ideas, papers, and products in the booths at the exhibition. The event ended with closing remarks by Mr. Kshitiz Rimal, Head of Research at AID, and Photo Session.

Kshitiz Rimal AI Nepal

Over the last several years, Fusemachines has been democratizing Artificial Intelligence through its educational initiatives like the Fusemachines AI Fellowship and Scholarship programs. The launch of “AI Shikshya for Nepal” campaign is the natural next step to bring AI education in all corners of Nepali fulfilling the social mission of “Democratizing AI in Nepal”. Likewise, Artificial Intelligence for Development (AID) as a research and development organization has been focusing on bringing applied Artificial Intelligence solutions to existing problems in the community, delivering a positive impact in the society.

More than 2000 AI enthusiasts, researchers, scholars, students, government officials, business owners visited the expo stalls and attended the conference. According to the visitors, AI Expo proved to be a great learning experience through various expo highlights. The participants also felt empowered with the exposure provided by the expo. Organizers hope that such events will bring more awareness of AI usage and ethical issues around usage of AI in Nepal, across different verticals.

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