" I'm Groot "

Oh, wait. I'll decode this for you.
Groot welcomes one and all to the IIT Bombay Techfest, 2017.

DAY 1

1. KEYNOTE By SHRI MANOHAR PARRIKAR (CM OF GOA)

A bright embrace by the chief minister and ex-defence minister Shri Manohar Parrikar to kick start Asia's Biggest Tech event.
The long queue eagerly awaited to listen to the former IIT Mumbai pass out turned politician at the Hotify AI sponsored Convocation Hall.
Talking about the potential of technology in various commodities, he expressed his views saying technology can be both, a boon and a curse. Technological advances will open up new employment opportunities but can make monotonous jobs redundant and hence a large middle to poor working class might have a difficult time.
Nevertheless, his positive attitude and energy spread through the hall as few of the attendees were heard quoting, 'the wait was worth it'.

2. RoboGames

RoboGames is one the most coveted attraction in any tech event. The huge crowd of students waiting patiently in queues to get their hands on the remote-controlled robots was a great sight. I believe, it is here where the seeds of enthusiasm towards AI and Robotics are sown. The humongous potential of robotics is widely being spread through such events and what better than the biggest tech institution taking it in their hands to make people aware through these mediums.
AI summits being held in Lecture Halls fed the relatively mature AI & Robotics crowd.
To sum it up, I was amazed to see the enthusiasm lingering all the while as I moved onto my next lecture.

3. Shri Jayant Sinha

On eye opener. The well-detailed talk on the advances in technology and the efforts to give select institutions their well-deserved autonomy was the overall theme of his speech.
He mentioned three key industries where India is creating its own niche and praised a few blooming startups.
“We can build mega-unicorns if we concentrate on solving India's challenges.”

Stating three innovations that could change the future of India in the near term, he went on to praise a few blooming startups :
1. In FinTech, he noted the remarkable advances made by PayTm and shared his positive outlook on the same.
2. In Electric Vehicles, he praised the IIT Madras-based startup - Ether
3. "Drones are a massive opportunity.", he quoted and also assured people by mentioning the progress to ‘bring regulations for drones’. His positive outlook on the wide range of applications was one of the key takeaways.

He threw light on 'Institutions of Eminence Programme' - in which tremendous amount of autonomy will be given to select institutions.

As the evening progressed, the campus was beautifully lit with lanterns ( a dragon lantern was eye-catching) as the crowd started to disperse, wiser than ever before.

4. The Mirror Family - The most eye-catching spectacle took place at 10 pm. I was drooling the entire time and just didn’t want the performance to end.

Indeed, an amazing first day with lots of learnings.
A must-attend event for all tech enthusiasts.

DAY 2

The Artificial Intelligence Day. We dedicated the day to attend AI summit and understand how people viewed AI and how the experts addressed their questions and more importantly their fears related to AI, being spread through social media and other mediums.

The AI summit was scheduled on all the three days of the tech fest with entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs alike and enthusiast attendees paying three thousand for the summit.

It started with a keynote on Artificial Intelligence and how it is set to take the world by a storm and the potential threats associated with it. One attendee was quoted asking, ‘will AI end the human race?’. Well, you can drool over this question and worry as much as you like, but this sure ain’t happening in the near future, in fact for at least few centuries to come. It was clearly evident that people were more worried about the potential threats of AI than the mighty powers this technology possessed.

Worry often has the power to grapple with one’s conscience. Calming the attendees' grapple, we welcomed our panel discussion team, of experts in AI, with a thunderous applause. The sagacious Panel discussed the positives of AI and how different companies in different sectors were adopting and adapting to it. The different point of views of each panel member opened up my mind to the possibilities of AI adoption. A few use cases were discussed, like the one where using AI and weather analytics, farmers were asked to sow their crop on a particular date, for maximum output efficiency. Robots and drones are already being used to target pesticides on infested crop helping farmers harvest a healthier yield and also reducing their farming expenses.

Post the Panel Discussion, Ankur Garg - CEO of HotifyAI took the stage. His persona and simplicity were noteworthy. In layman terms, he addressed all the questions related to AI, be it positives or negatives.

His understanding of Artificial Intelligence was more of a human evolution than a mere technological advancement.

The lunch break was announced and we, not wasting a single minute, rushed to the convocation hall to greet SOPHIA, the first Humanoid Robot with citizenship.

SOPHIA in Saree

We were lucky to witness the bustling enthusiasm at the robotics expo. held at KV Ground, despite the long queue eagerly waiting to witness the applications of machine intelligence.

(i) Meet Nino Robot - " engineering is an art when learnt right"

(ii) Oh wait! You can not eat this fish. I repeat. You can not. Why? Its a ROBO-FISH (made by MiniRobot Corp,Korea)

(iii) STAND UP & SALUTE The Indian Army

(iv) Pinaka - Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher System

DAY 3

The third day’s biggest attraction was IBM Watson’s Tanmay Bakshi.
Most pre-teens usually have only school, sports and friends on their mind. But then again, 12-year-old Tanmay Bakshi from Canada isn't like most kids his age.

A programmer since he was five, Tanmay is one of the youngest app developers in the world. In his speech on How to build Neural Networks, Tanmay said that artificial intelligence and machine learning is helping hundreds of thousands of people around the world every day and that will continue to grow.
He also shared the five projects from various sectors he is been working on.

He disapproved of all the critics of AI, saying “ AI is not replacing us. In no way, shape or form, is AI meant to replace humans in their jobs or what they do. Instead, the entire point of AI was that it was created by humans and it will amplify human skills, augment human abilities. It will allow us to do more, in a more efficient way”

“The world needs more developers,” says Tanmay and is doing his bit to help increase the number. To everyone’s surprise at the IBMDevConnect, Tanmay open-sourced his app on stage, a move to make it more accessible to the developer community. Through his YouTube channel ‘Tanmay Teaches’, he also imparts programming knowledge and clears tech doubts of over a thousand of his subscribers who are as young as fifteen and as old as forty!

The third Day was all about exploring different workshops and learning how exhibitors used technology that could possibly make a difference.
Let's have a look at some of them :

(i) Meet Somesh & Sam Raj from Vizag. IIT tech-fest Attendees & Robotic enthusiasts, they talk about the Under Water Robotic Workshop.

(ii) The Ethical Hackers

(iii) Quodcopter Workshop

No distance too far.
An Andhra Pradesh student attending Quodcopter Workshop.

(iv) Driverless Car

Truly, a tech event to remember.