Cypher 2022 Key Highlights 

The three-day event was jam-packed across all three tracks with back-to-back sessions, panel discussions, hands-on workshops, masterclasses, exhibitions, mentoring sessions, award ceremonies and more.
Cypher 2022 Key Highlights
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The sixth edition of Cypher, held at Radisson Blu, Bengaluru, successfully concluded on September 23, 2022. Organised by Analytics India Magazine, this has been one of the biggest conferences to date, and in-person after three years. The event witnessed about 100+ speakers spread across three different halls for three consecutive days. It witnessed participation from about 1000+ attendees and 300+ data-driven and AI-focused organisations from India and worldwide. 

Blending art and AI, every artwork made for this year’s Cypher, including banners, posters and videos, was made using the text-to-image AI tool, Midjourney. But, of course, it could not have been possible without the human touch of our creative team. 

The three-day event was jam-packed across all three tracks/halls with back-to-back sessions, panel discussions, hands-on workshops, masterclasses, exhibitions, mentoring sessions, award ceremonies and more. The first two days were fused with leaders from sports and literature, including Kapil Dev and Chetan Bhagat, sharing their views on AI and analytics, life lessons, motivational talks and more. 

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In a fireside chat with Chetan Bhagat, alongside Pankaj Rai, chief data and analytics officer at Aditya Birla Group, Chetan said that AI should be coupled with natural intelligence. “AI is there. Everybody needs to have some strategy for it. Call it tech if you find it too difficult. But, if you want to impress, you can call it machine learning,” he added. 

When asked if AI would take over jobs in the future, Chetan Bhagat’s reply to this was ‘YES,’ citing the redundancy of lineman’s jobs in the army and Russia using targeted radars, alongside his personal experience of building a small team for his podcast—DeepTalk, where he now uses iPhone for recording and Final Cut Pro for editing. 

“Our jobs are getting affected for sure. That is the reality that in certain fields, jobs will get affected. But Bangalore may not because you guys will take all those jobs,” he quipped. 

In a fireside chat with Kapil Dev, alongside Sreekanth Menon, VP – of data science at Genpact, Kapil Dev insisted people use their natural intelligence instead of becoming a slave to technology. However, he said if data can help make better decisions, why not? “But, you lose the fun part… Sometimes in sports, natural things are much better than delayed results,” he said, giving an example of the third umpire decision when a player eagerly awaits the results. 

On the last day of Cypher, the team organised an AI Quiz (AIQ), led by Quizmaster Adittya Nath Mubayi, where the winners of the competition won about INR 60,000 (in total) cash prize. This was followed by an evening filled with laughter—thanks to Biswa Kalyan Rath, a techie-turned-standup comedian, who shared his funny experiences of living in Bengaluru alongside interacting with the audience. 

Another interesting highlight at Cypher was the session on ‘AI and the Human Unconscious’ by Santhosh Babu, an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and life coach. In this session, he introduced people to the power of hypnosis, alongside helping them unleash their true potential. 

He said that our decisions are made based on emotional impulse and justified later, even if they are illogical. The same has been reflected in the AI systems that we build. 

Besides these sessions, this year’s Cypher was headlined by Bengaluru’s folk-rock band Swarathma. It was no ordinary performance; the band used advanced visual and lighting tools to add magic to their music—justly encapsulating the spirit of Cypher 2022.

Cypher 2022 also acknowledged various companies, analytics leaders, and academicians with various awards and accolades for the impact they have made in the AI and analytics ecosystem. This includes the ‘Data Science Excellence Awards 2022,’ ‘Most Promising Analytics & Data Science Academicians in India,’ and ‘Best Firm Awards’ among others. 

Thought Leadership 

The ‘Thought Leadership’ sessions were jam-packed for all three consecutive days of the conference. The sessions were led by AI and analytics experts from companies such as MakeMyTrip, Genpact, American Express, Google Cloud, Deloitte, Course5i, Optum, Elsevier, Merkle, Prince Pipes, Vedanta, Udaan, and several others. 

Kickstarting the first session, Genpact’s Amaresh Tripathy presented a talk on ‘Democratising Transformation: Leading organisations into the age of algorithms,’ where he spoke about the future of enterprises, on how they can leverage AI and where to draw the line alongside investment strategies for companies—whether to invest in AI or human capital, or both? 

Elsevier’s Suzanne Janse delivered another interesting session on the first day on ‘Transforming the global medical customer experience through data science and innovation,’ where she unveiled internal tech stacks and shed light on the data science and machine learning models used to enhance the customer experience in the healthcare and life sciences landscape. 

On the second day, president of TuringMinds and faculty at upGrad-INSOFE, Anuradha Sharma’s session on the topic ‘Failure proofing AI adoption and driving towards revenue, was also quite intriguing. In this session, she spoke about not just leveraging AI but also considering it from a monetisation and return on investment (RoI) perspective. 

“Planning before jumping into AI changes the 85% failure rate to success. There are practitioner frameworks and solutions available that can help companies not just adopt AI but drive revenue from it,” she added. 

Tredence chief strategy officer and chief innovation officer Soumendra Mohanty’s talk was also insightful. He spoke about feature stores and how it enables enterprises to discover, distribute, and deploy ML features at scale—resulting in faster development, deployment, and operationalisation. He further spoke about accelerating AI adoption and role of feature stores in rewiring business impact.  

Day three of Cypher 2022 had several interesting sessions as well. One of them included Vedanta chief digital and technology officer Vineet Jaiswal’s talk on ‘Significance of data in the transformation journey of metal, mining, and manufacturing industry.’ In this session, he explained at length the complexity of the data, alongside the challenges and opportunities prevailing in the industry. 

Not to forget the panel discussion on, ‘Should AI-driven face recognition tech for surveillance be banned altogether?,’ moderated by AIM’s Kashyap Raibagi, alongside Genpact’s Tarun Srinivasan, Commonwealth Bank’s Nidhi Sinha, and Thomson Reuters’ Shirsha Ray Chaudhuri

The panellists discussed various instances of face recognition tools—both pros and cons and elaborated on the use cases at policy levels, ethical implications and more. 

Knowledge Talks 

The ‘Knowledge Talks’ was also brimming with AI/ML developers and practitioners alongside data science experts actively participating in workshops and engaging with the speakers. The event had an interesting line of speakers from companies such as Boston IT Solution, MiQ, MathLogic, SBI Card, BharatPe, Birla Carbon, ITC, Google Cloud, Jubilant FoodWorks, Akasa Air, Arya.ai, Hike, Jupiter, and Duroflex among others. 

The first session was led by Krishna Mouli, program manager of data science at Boston IT Solution India. In this talk, he introduced the audience to Intel oneAPI software that helps developers optimise AI training and inference on platforms such as TensorFlow and PyTorch. This was followed by a hands-on workshop for participants/developers on the Intel DevCloud platform. 

MathLogic Manu Chandra’s talk on ‘Deep Learning: Research to Practice’ resonated with the audience. He took a trip down the memory lane and explained the evolution of deep learning, alongside its real-world implications and use cases. 

Another interesting session was delivered by SBI Card’s risk analyst Amit Mathur. As a digital transformation advocate at Cypher 2022, he highlighted the importance of adopting a data-driven culture and how it has impacted their business and sales. 

A session on ‘Jubilant FoodWorks personalisation engine’ by Rahul Bharde was also intriguing. In this talk, he showcased the recommendation system developed by Jubilant FoodWorks’ in-house data scientists and ML engineers. He also discussed some of the latest developments and how his company leverages data science and analytics to make product recommendations, alongside developing new products and services. 

The session by Akasa Air co-founder and chief information officer Anand Srinivasan was also quite refreshing. He took the audience on a journey of all the data complexity involved in the aerospace industry and how the company was able to create a successful low-cost airline company, leveraging AI and analytics in every step of the operations including fuel consumption, layovers, seat fulfilments, maintenance and repair work, and more. 

While the first day of ‘Knowledge Talks’ was insightful, the second day got more intense. Tech Mahindra’s Hasit Trivedi talk on ‘AI – Changing Landscape of Human Interaction with Machines’ was filled with visual delight, and shed light on the evolution of customer experience alongside recommendation systems and more. He also discussed how AI has been able to deliver all of these experiences in a much more personalised and effective manner. 

Showcasing the importance of handling external data—the session by Varun Rastogi, director at Deloitte India, alongside Moumita Sarker, director at Deloitte India, was very critical. The duo explained in detail the importance of external data and how to procure them, alongside explaining how to unlock improvements in analytics initiatives within the organisation. 

Besides these, the talk on ‘AI in Retail @ Walmart Scale’ presented by Rahul Ghosh and Nataraju Vusirikala from Walmart was also quite insightful. The duo illustrated how AI is being used at the company, the future of retail and more. 

Shedding light on the challenges in the fintech space, BharatPe’s Sanjeev Singh presented a session on ‘Real Time Data Pipeline in A New Age Fintech Firm’ which was an eye-opener for many AI/ML developers. The session delved deep into some of the challenges in the payment and lending ecosystem and how BharatPe is solving them—divulging the tech stack and strategies to provide a seamless experience to its customers and channel partners. 

There is more. Day three of ‘Knowledge Talks’ kept the ball rolling. Making the session more interactive and fun, ITC’s Swamy Saran Atul stole the show by awakening the inner salesman in everyone. He took the audience on a journey of building personalised recommendations alongside explaining the nitty-gritties of the machine learning models on how it works around the most crucial human in the loop—the salesman. 

Furthermore, Hike’s Ankur Narang made it more immersive by presenting a talk on ‘AI and computer vision for metaverse,’ where he took us on an evolutionary journey of the metaverse, alongside showing various AI methods and techniques to shape the future of metaverse, showing us the glimpse of how the future looks like. 

Ex-Spotify and lead machine learning engineer at Jupiter, Aarshay Jain’s session gave a beginners perspective of what it looks like to start an AI-backed startup, alongside showcasing a tech stack, recommendation engines, and more. 

Last but not least, Duroflex’s Vipin Rustagi’s session on ‘Data First Organisation’ was the icing on the cake, which gave a whole new perspective of a traditional firm adopting data science and analytics to develop new products and ensure its customers sleep better.  

Brain Box 

Brain Box also had an interesting line of speakers and panel discussions from companies like MakeMyTrip, ZS India, EXA, Hero Vired, Deloitte India, upGrad INSOFE, Policybazaar, TuringMinds, and others. Here are some of the highlights of some of the sessions from all three days. 

MakeMyTrip VP head of data science, Narasimha Medeme, shed light on reinforcement learning (RL) bandit experiment systems, where the company is moving towards real-time and continual learning. “We as humans learn sequentially as we grow, so the idea is to build a system that learns similarly without forgetting,” he added, talking about the RL bandit experiment systems.  

The session by Dipyman Sanyal from Hero Vired was one of the most talked about sessions at Cypher 2022, where he spoke on ‘Causal AI: Causation versus Correlation.’ In this session, he cleared doubts around causation and correlation in line with AI, giving multiple examples and use cases. He also indicated that machines will not replace humans. 

Lastly, Dr. Sarabjot Singh Anand from Tatras Data was also quite insightful. In his talk, Singh covered some of the core concepts of recommendation systems and discussed different SOTA used today in the industry, alongside the evolution of the approaches to collaborative filtering, traditional machine learning algorithms for regression and more.  

The Future is Here 

These are just a glimpse of India’s biggest AI conference and a beginning of a new revolution in AI and analytics in India. Hopefully, we will see you at a much bigger and better AI and Analytics conference next year. 

Cypher 2022 encapsulated the future of innovation, balancing multiple breakthroughs against a world that has grown more sceptical about the benefits of the AI and analytics revolution. 

See you next year! 

More Great AIM Stories

Amit Raja Naik
Amit Raja Naik is a seasoned technology journalist who covers everything from data science to machine learning and artificial intelligence for Analytics India Magazine, where he examines the trends, challenges, ideas, and transformations across the industry.

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