The most fascinating experience we've had this past week was the meetup we organized at Vente-privée one of the largest electronic store operation in Europe. It was fascinating on many grounds. First, we got to discover the business from one of the presentation by their engineers and then got a tour of the operations by Julien, the CTO. Their growth is so amazing that they now have to use machine learning to scale up not just for their operations but also for their customers. Their CTO mentioned a few facts that got our attention: 100 000 packages delivered everyday, 20 artists in residence that produces the jingles for their stores, more than 200 electronic stores created per month. The shooting of products require fashion models but at some point their operations was so large that all fashion models in Paris were booked (except for a few tops) with them. The situation led to them to creating photorealistic rendered version of new models for their stores/campaigns. They are about to open a few R&D labs at the Epita and 42 schools and they have a lots of very interesting problems. In a way they reminded me a little bit the situation described by Chris at the New York Times, Andrei at WalmartLabs a while back (see presentations in the archives section of the meetup). The meetup itself was somewhat different as well as regards to the presentations we had: Greg spoke to us about trying grab our interaction on social networks and use this to enhance our personnalities. This is an open project and the site is here: people2vec. Arnaud did the very unusual thing of telling us how he did to get the best actionable dataset for his Deep Learning start-up (Regaind.io). Olivier, Ivan and Antoine detailed some of the ML work at Vente-privée, Frederico talked to us about health data on the web. We also opened a small debate with François that got some reaction from the crowd. Eventually, Clementine also mentioned a Startup Weekend on AI. All the presentations and the video of the streaming is here. This coming week, we should have a new 'Hors série' meetup organized with Quantmetry with Cedric Villani, a Field's medalist among other speakers. I am not quite sure what the format will be but you can register here to attend. As usual, it's free.
The day after the meetup, LightOn got to pitch in the semi-finals of the Hello Tomorrow Challenge. The winner of this year's edition is a flying car.
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