Your guide to Amazon re:MARS: Jeff Bezos, Andrew Ng, Robert Downey Jr. and more…  

The inaugural Amazon re:MARS event pairs the best of what’s possible today with perspectives on the future of machine learning, automation, robotics, and space travel. Based on the exclusive MARS event founded by Jeff Bezos, Amazon re:MARS brings together the world of business and technology in a premier thought-leadership event. With more than 100 sessions, business leaders have the opportunity to hear best practices for implementing emerging technology for business value. For developers, re:MARS offers technical breakout sessions and hands-on workshops that dive deep into AI and robotics tools from AWS and Amazon Alexa.

You’ll also hear from leading experts across science, academia, and business. Speakers such as Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon; Andrew Ng, founder and CEO of and Landing AI; Robert Downey Jr, actor and producer; and Colin Angle, chairman, CEO and founder of iRobot, will share the latest research and scientific advancements, industry innovations, and their perspectives on how these domains will evolve.

Register today for Amazon re:MARS and visit the session catalog for the latest lineup! There’s a lot in the works. Here’s a taste of the breakout topics and technical content for beginners and advanced technical builders.

Cross-industry sessions for decision makers and technical builders

Precision medicine for healthier lives
Keith Bigelow, GM of Analytics, GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare is on a mission to bring about precision healthcare with help from machine learning models using Amazon SageMaker.  Using Amazon SageMaker for machine learning algorithms, operators using GE Healthcare equipment can quickly detect abnormalities, helping to save lives and improve the quality of care.  Due to the enormous number of algorithms needed to realize the precision health goal, GE Healthcare is developing a platform to integrate with the work of academics and start-ups, and providing them the fastest path to productive use.  GE Healthcare will share its learnings along this journey, and offer attendees suggestions on how to accelerate their own AI transformation in their industry.

Intelligent identity and access management
Paul Hurlocker, Vice President, Center for Machine Learning, Capital One

As one of the largest banks in the U.S., Capital One prioritizes a responsible and well-managed data environment and ecosystem. To meet these needs, Capital One has combined machine learning and native AWS graph capabilities to build a platform that proactively informs access levels for individual associates and teams. The platform results in a faster, enhanced on-boarding process, workflow, and productivity for associates, and helps mitigate risk through proactive management of privileges and licenses.

A hype-free and cutting-edge discussion on autonomous driving
Matthew Johnson-Roberson, Associate Professor, University of Michigan

How close are we to fully autonomous vehicles? What would happen if we put the current technology on the road today? What are the problems that still need to be solved? This session will cover the latest advances in self-driving cars without the marketing, providing a true picture of how far we are from never touching a steering wheel again.

How TED uses AI to spread ideas farther and faster
Jenny Zurawell, Director, & Helena Batt, Deputy Director, TED Translators

TED Talks are a powerful way to share ideas and spark dialogue. To make TED content accessible, volunteer trans­lators need to subtitle more than 300,000 minutes of video this year alone. See how TED leverages Amazon Tran­scribe and Amazon Translate to speed up the creation of crowdsourced subtitles, expand the online reach of ideas, and transform subtitle production in media.

From seed to store: Using AI to optimize the indoor farms of the future
Irving Fain, Co-founder and CEO, Bowery Farms

For the last 10,000 years, large-scale agriculture has lived outdoors, optimized to withstand unpredictable environ­mental conditions and long supply chains. But what possibilities do you unlock when you can control every single environmental factor, from the light intensity to nutrient mix to air flow? In this talk, learn how Bowery Farms uses machine learning and computer vision to optimize indoor vertical farms and scale agricultural production to create higher yielding, better tasting, safer, and more sustainable locally-grown produce in cities around the world.

Futuring the farm to improve crop health
Peri Subrahmanya, IoT Product Manager, & Craig Williams, Principal Solution Architect, Bayer Crop Science

One third of all food produced globally is lost or wasted before it is consumed, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This equals a loss of $750 billion annually. With AWS IoT, Bayer Crop Sci­ence can prevent process loss in real time and use real-time data collection and analysis for its global seed business, collecting an average of one million traits per day during planting or harvest season.

AI, spatial understanding, robots, and the smart home
Chris Jones, Chief Technology Officer, iRobot

Consumers increasingly expect connected products in their home to deliver easy-to-use and personalized experiences tailored to their home and activity. To deliver such a personalized experience, the smart home needs to intelligently coordinate diverse connected devices located throughout the home. This talk will focus on how robots operating in homes today are ideally positioned to enable this intelligence by providing a constantly updated under­standing of the physical layout of the home and the locations of each connected device within the space.

Predicting weather to save energy costs
Andrew Stypa, Lead AI/ML Business Analyst, & Richard Scott, Global Marketing Director, Kinect Energy Group

Learn how Kinect Energy Group uses advanced machine learning capabilities to predict electric spot prices for re­gional power markets using the Amazon SageMaker DeepAR time-series forecasting model, incorporating historical pricing and weather data to drive the machine learning models. Improved price predictions assist with increased trading volumes for forward pricing contracts.

Creating the intelligent asset: Fusing IoT, robotics, and AI
Jason Crusan, Vice President of Technology, Woodside Energy

What if you could learn more about your facility from your tablet than by walking around it yourself? Through 4D interactive virtual worlds, Woodside’s “Intelligent Asset” offers an immersive experience in which operators can explore their facility remotely in real time. Learn how Woodside, the leading energy provider in Australia, combined the latest AWS services including Amazon Kinesis Video Streams, Amazon SageMaker, AWS RoboMaker, and AWS IoT.

Distributed AI: Alexa living on the edge
Ariya Rastrow, Principal Applied Scientist, Alexa Speech

Distributed edge learning, which leverages on-device computation for training models and centrally aggregated an­onymized updates, is a promising new approach capable of achieving customer-level personalization at scale while addressing privacy and trust concerns. Practitioners, employers, and users of AI should understand this new edge-first paradigm and how it will impact the discipline in the near future.

Applying space-based data and machine learning to the UN’s sustainability goals
Dr. Shay Har-Noy, Vice President, Maxar Technologies

The United Nations has outlined 17 Sustainable Development Goals that address global challenges such as poverty, hunger, and health. While the goals are focused on life on Earth, space-based data and machine learning are yield­ing insights. Learn how a combination of analytics and satellite imagery are helping solve pressing problems.

Enabling sustainable human life in space using AI
Dr. Natalie Rens, CEO & Founder, Astreia

Human settlement of space will pose one of the grandest challenges in history. We imagine entire communities living on the moon and beyond without depending on constant supervision or support from Earth. We’ll discuss the challenges for sustainable life in space, and our plan to use artificial intelligence to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our first space settlers.

From business intelligence to artificial intelligence
Elizabeth Gonzalez, Business Intelligence and Advanced Analytics Leader, INVISTA

INVISTA is a manufacturer of chemicals, polymers, fabrics, and fibers and delivers products and brands incorporated into your clothing, your car, and even your carpet. Join this session to learn about INVISTA’s transformative journey from BI to AI, where they will share their experience empowering data science by adjusting talent and processes and building a modern analytics platform. Experimentation with change manage­ment, project management, model maintenance, and development lifecycles has helped drive profitable innova­tions.

When SpongeBob met Alexa
Zach Johnson, Founder and CEO Xandra, Tim Adams VP, Emerging Products Lab, Viacom

Viacom and Xandra are collaborating to push the limits of voice design with a focus on exceptional user experience. Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Challenge is one of the highest-rated Alexa skills for kids. Learn how to build delight and fun into an Alexa skill through conversation design, rich soundscapes, advanced game mechanics, and analytics.

Amazon Go: A technology deep dive
Ameet Vaswani, Senior Manager, Software Development, & Gerard Medioni Director, Research, Amazon Go

This technical session will outline the core technologies behind the custom-built Just Walk Out technology for Ama­zon Go. Learn about the algorithmic challenges in building a highly accurate customer-facing application using deep learning and computer vision, and the technical details of the high throughput services for Amazon Go that transfer gigabytes of video from stores to cloud systems.

Mitigate bias in machine learning models
Stefano Soatto, Director of Applied Science, AWS

Using real-world examples, this session will explore how to understand, measure, and systematically mitigate bias in machine learning models. Understanding these principles is an important part of building a machine learning strat­egy. This session will cover both the business and technical considerations.

Realizing nature’s secrets to make bug-like robots
Kaushik Jayaram, Postdoc Scholar, Harvard University

This session will take a closer look at the incredible bodies of cockroaches, geckos, and other small animals to exam­ine what it can teach robotics engineers. The session will also outline the latest developments in the field of mi­crorobotics, real-world applications of these robots, and hint at how close (or far) we are from realizing predictions from science fiction.

A chance encounter, sushi, robots, and the environment
Dr. Erika Angle, Co-Founder, Director of Education, Ixcela

Robots can help save our fragile planet. This session discusses the importance of leveraging robotic technology to save our oceans, detailing efforts underway to create an affordable, unmanned undersea robot designed to dive 1000 feet deep and control the lionfish popula­tion. Intended for use by fisherman, tourists and environmentalists, the RSE Guardian robot will address a serious environmental problem by creating an economically scalable solution for catching lionfish, establishing a new food source, and inspiring future generations in the process.

The open-source bionic leg: Constructing and controlling a prosthesis driven by AI
Elliott J. Rouse, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

For decades, sci-fi movies have shown the promise of life with bionic limbs, but they are nowhere to be seen in to­day’s society. We have created an open-source bionic leg to help transform these robots from fiction to reality. This talk will focus on innovations in our design approach and showcase a leading AI-based control strategy for wearable robots. Finally, we’ll demo our open-source bionic leg in action with a participant on stage.

Solving Earth’s biggest problems with a cloud in space
Yvonne Hodge, Vice President of IT, Lockheed Martin Space

Can a cloud in space impact the world’s poverty? Are there ways to make agriculture more efficient? Can internet connectivity for the world change how the world lives? Join this interactive discussion as we consider new approach­es to solving Earth’s problems including how a cloud in space could positively impact our lives using space data.

Where will the road to space take you?
Patrick Zeitouni, Head of Advanced Development Programs, Blue Origin

This year, Blue Origin will send its first astronauts to space on its New Shepard rocket. Democratization of space is key to the company’s long-term mission to enable a future where millions of people are living and working in space, moving heavy industry off Earth to protect and preserve the planet for generations to come. To achieve this, the cost of access to space must be lowered, which is why Blue Origin is focusing on the development of operational­ly reusable rockets to send more humans to space than ever before. Join Patrick Zeitouni, the head of Advanced Development Programs for Blue Origin, on the journey to that future. Hear about operational reuse at work and the important part the Moon plays in humanity realizing this bright future.

AI and Robotics workshops for technical builders

Get started with machine learning using AWS DeepRacer
Ever wondered what it takes to create an autonomous race car? Come join us for this half-day workshop, and you’ll get hands-on experience with reinforcement learning. Developers with no prior machine learning experience will learn new skills and apply their knowledge in a fun and exciting way. You’ll join a pit crew where you will build and train machine learning models that you can then try out with our AWS DeepRacer autonomous race cars! Please bring your laptop and start your engines, the race is on!

Practical machine learning with Amazon SageMaker
Until recently, developing machine learning models took considerable time, effort, and expertise. In this workshop, you’ll learn a simple end-to-end approach to machine learning, from how to select the right algorithms and models for your business needs, how to prepare your data, then how to build, train, and deploy optimized models. Upon completion of this full-day workshop, you’ll have learned the latest machine learning concepts such as reinforcement learning and deep learning by using Amazon SageMaker for predictive insights.

re:Vegas Blackjack
In this session, you’ll use computer vision and machine learning to help your team win the re:MARS Blackjack Challenge. During this half-day course, you’ll form teams to build and train a neural network for computer vision using Amazon SageMaker, and develop an algorithm to make decisions that give your team the best chance to win. The team with the highest simulated earnings will win the re:MARS Blackjack Challenge and a coveted patch commemorating their experience.

Get started with robotics and AI
Teach a robot how to find a needle in a haystack. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to develop a robot that can roam around a room and identify objects it encounters, searching for a specific type of item. You will get hands-on with AWS RoboMaker, and learn how to connect robots to a huge variety of other AWS services, like Amazon Rekognition and Amazon Kinesis. Upon completion, you’ll have trained a robot to find what you’re looking for in a pile of irrelevant data.

Voice control for any “thing”
From microwaves to cars, we are headed towards a future surrounded by devices that can communicate with the world around them. In this hands-on session, you will learn how to add custom voice control to your connected devices with Alexa. Leave your laptop behind—bring your big ideas, and we’ll supply the hardware. You’ll create an Alexa built-in prototype, AWS IoT “thing,” and your own Alexa skill—all on a Raspberry Pi. You’ll walk out with your own voice-enabled prototype that interfaces with whatever inputs and outputs you can imagine.

Building the Starship Enterprise computer today
Nearly every science fiction story has shown us that voice interfaces are the future. This workshop will show you how to make that science fiction a reality. Bring your laptop, because this hands-on session will teach you the advanced topics required for creating compelling voice interfaces. You will learn how to build Alexa skills, how to design conversational experiences, and how to your brand and monetize your best content.


About the author

Cynthya Peranandam is a Principal Marketing Manager for AWS artificial intelligence solutions, helping customers use deep learning to provide business value. In her spare time she likes to run and listen to music.



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