I write this as an observer of something I had yet to witness. Early in the morning of April 7th, facing bitter cold and a lack of coffee, roughly 200 developers and students entered TechNexus in downtown Chicago. They were brought there by the same reason I was there, the idea of something new, calling itself the "Intel® AI DevCamp." What it was, they didn't know. There was promise of speakers, food, and some hands-on training, all of which would be delivered by uncertain methods.
So it began.
It started with an interesting opening from the Intel® employees themselves, sent from somewhere distant, like some kind of digital acolytes. Then the screen viewing commenced, with all attendees pulling out small screened books. Giant digital murals leapt to life on the walls, showcasing instructions and tidbits. All of it around some type of interface called the "DevCloud."
Local neighborhood members Inference Analytics, Parknav, Narrative Science had also sent speakers. In between brief introductions, more screen viewing, but each showed unique views of the world in which they resided.
There were many breaks throughout the day where the attendees could move around, interact with each other, or look at smaller screens. Food was brought in, including locally made delicious rounds of fried dough.
After the various recesses, the final stage began. After being showed cryptic imagery of robots interacting with devices through physical sensations, they were given the task to make the machine somehow understand the world around it. They were also expected to complete this task in some way in a matter of mere hours.
At 7 PM, everything ended with heaping portions of Chicago "Deep Dish", a thing that seems to be made mostly out of cheese and hatred. There were refreshments, conversations, and a chance to reflect upon the day surrounded by like-minded developers.
I left, head full of new ideas, heart full of good interaction, and stomach full of pizza.