Starting an AI journey for the entire company
On September 10, the HG network held Machine Learning Lab, our internal event to get going on the AI and ML journey for the entire Haufe Group. AI and Machine Learning has joined other technology practices like containerization and continuous delivery as part of the Haufe Group technology strategy, but also as part of Haufe Group product development! And, the event also served as the introduction for our AI Foundation initiative - A training program to skill up our engineers and product managers where we are partnering with AWS. AI and machine learning are special engineering challenges for us because of its differences to classical software engineering based on having to work with data.
The topic is important enough that our CEO Markus Reithwiesner decided that he should give the keynote. In his talk, Mr. Reithwiesner provided proof that machine learning is the technology that is enabling and accelerating the digital revolution, and that the future affect this technology will have on the human race is uncertain. His message: In a world that’s being changed by understanding how to use massive amounts of data generated by software - understanding artificial intelligence is important for the survival of Haufe Group: providing data products and doing this in an ethical way is essential to serving our customers.
Raul Firu, our CTO, followed up by framing artificial intelligence in the context of Haufe Group products, emphasizing that using AI and ML to create Haufe Group data products is a necessity to staying competitive, and by introducing the AI Foundations program - a joint effort with Amazon Web Services to train our engineers and product developers to do AI as part of their jobs. The first class starts in October!
Talks that added to the ML story kept coming. William Mcgehee - data scientist for Amazon Web Services - showed us where business and technology meet with machine learning and presented how to find machine learning business opportunities, putting together a machine learning process and implementing a machine learning solution.
Jo Rotzinger provided background about specific opportunities that artificial intelligence affords for Haufe Group products and where we can add data features to our products. This talk then split into five interactive “product stations” for Salesforce, People OS, Onboarding, Haufe Reference Letter, and iDesk products. Eventgoers were invited to challenge and validate existing ideas and to provide input how they think machine learning can be used for these products and to join the team.
The story deepened, as AWS data scientist, Yotam Yarden, dove into the artificial intelligence topic, showing us how to create recommendation engines with Amazon Web Services, taking us through the various challenges, thought processes, data analyses and technical tools needed to create recommender solutions with Amazon Sagemaker.
And, finally, a series of breakout sessions showcased the data projects that are already happening at Haufe Group:
Lexoffice data team presented their data science experiment to create a recommendation engine to predict bookkeeping categories for receipts entered by customers. Jerzy Kott outlined his plan to create a data lake to store and expose and maintain Haufe Group data. And, Rainer Kempkes and Thomas Schüring showed how they used data patterns in log files to predict installation errors in our software.
All in all a good event that helped hone the vision for what machine learning should look like at Haufe Group and got people focused on making artificial intelligence part of work at Haufe Group. We still don’t know where this journey will take us but, it’s safe to say that we made a good start.
If you want to know more about what’s going on with Machine Learning at Haufe Group - visit our technicology radar machine learning site