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The Arm AIOT Summit Recap

Just got back from the Arm AIOT Summit, the 500-developer AI and IoT conference my team has been helping to plan for the last 6+ months. Overall a great event, a lot of hands-on workshops, key developers and technical leaders and a quite amazing turn-out. 

The reason we put this event together is that we felt strongly that the number of developer solutions enabling low-power AI on Arm (especially microcontrollers) has been rising dramatically. Google’s TensorFlow Lite has been essential for enabling this activity. So far we have seen AI modules or support from Adafruit, Arduino, Particle and SparkFun and we suspect this is just the beginning. I won’t go through everything that happened this week, here are a few highlights. 

The event was kicked off by Arm’s Director of ML Ecosystem, Kathleen Kallot. The keynotes included Simon Segars (CEO of Arm) and Jem Davies who leads our ML group. 

There was a quite strong “tech for good” element to the event. It is good to talk a lot about the underlying technology but mapping it to use-cases that actually help people is always welcome and interesting. Fortunately, through Arm’s sustainability efforts, we are in touch with a lot of people who are doing “just that.” Kidus Asfaw who leads Innovation efforts at Unicef has done a lot to further these efforts.

We have spent a lot of time building out the Arm Innovator Program to support people like Kwabena from OpenMV. We had a nice keynote by Chris Anderson who has been a big supporter of the OpenMV cam (low cost AI camera that provides developers with a $35 and 5-minutes to AI experience. 

Chris Anderson has a strategy of market-making by starting with a low-cost reference platform and then building a community. He used this method to launch the hobby drone industry and he is doing the same with the hobby autonomous vehicle industry. His talk was on how he expects the autonomous vehicle market to repeat the pattern of disruption we saw in consumer drones. 

Chris provided some technical details about what has changed in the market to allow the construction of sub-$300 autonomous vehicle platforms. My personal opinion is that he is on to something and the rest of the industry seems to believe similarly. 

On the tech-for good side. The lanyards for AIOT Summit are provided by Kidz Positive, an initiative from Africa which helps create work for mothers caring for HIV positive children. They make the beads and sell them and the proceeds go back to the mothers. 

One benefit of my job is getting to spend a lot of high quality time with Massimo Banzi, creator of the Arduino. I have worked with Massimo for years starting at my role in Intel New Technology Group and continuing on for my work at Arm. 

We had our friend Ian Crosby from Swim (a fellow Seattle / Bellevue native) on stage to talk about his work to enable edge AI. 

Nice talk by Kwabena on the latest OpenMV Cam H7+. Provides a really nice, more powerful solution for rapid AI on the edge.

I am past the time when I would spend my days hacking away at the hardware but this SparkFun Artemis workshop featuring AmbiqMicro and Google TensorFlow Lite Micro was quite nice. Very crowded, as well. 

So thats my recap. I didn’t cover everything but I wanted to put something together for my blog relaunch. I’m going to hopefully have some nice content here in the future tracking my activities and the people I meet. Hope to see folks stopping by, subscribing to say hello.