The first INSAIT conference became an unprecedented event for the region

An INSAIT conference under the motto Emerging Trends in AI and Computing Research was held on 30.09 and 01.10.2022 in the John Atanasov Hall, Sofia Tech Park, Sofia, Bulgaria, with the participation of 16 world-renowned researchers from Google, Waymo, AWS, MIT, ETH Zurich, EPFL, Max- Planck, and Yale presenting in Sofia the latest achievements in informatics and artificial intelligence.
The conference marked a precedent not only for Bulgaria but also for the region with its first event, meeting over 1,000 guests with a galaxy of world class scientists who are also mentors in INSAIT’s doctoral program. Despite the repeated increase in the number of seats, the hall’s capacity did not allow several hundred people to attend the event.
Prof. Martin Vechev, professor at ETH Zurich and architect of INSAIT, first presented INSAIT’s strategy to create a technology ecosystem based on world-class research. The event outlined the topics INSAIT will work on, with speakers presenting their latest developments and innovations:

  • Software security at scale and how to ensure modern software does not contain critical security bugs, by Prof. Mathias Payer (EPFL).
  • Proving modern programs correct, including next-generation Internet protocols, by Prof. Peter Mueller (ETH Zurich).
  • Foundational aspects of federated learning, an emerging machine learning paradigm, by Prof. Martin Jaggi (EPFL).
  • How to design computer vision systems inspired by the human brain, by Prof. Luc Van Gool (ETH Zurich and INSAIT).
  • How to configure and reason about your network behavior automatically, by Prof. Laurent Vanbever (ETH Zurich).
  • Designing next-generation data-driven machine learning systems, by Prof. Ce Zhang (ETH Zurich)
  • Natural Language Processing by Dr. Toutanova of Google Research and Prof. Dragomir Radev of Yale.
  • Autonomous vehicles that predict the behaviour of the surrounding world presented by Dr. Dragomir Angelov, Head of research of Waymo (Google’s autonomous car).
  • Fine-Grained Algorithms and Complexity by Prof. Virginia Vassilevska Williams, MIT.
  • 3D modelling of the human body and creation of digital doppelgangers by Prof. Otmar Hilliges (ETH Zurich).
  • Modern cryptography systems by Dr. Mariana Raykova of Google Research.
  • How to randomly test programs by Dr. Rupak Majumdar, director of the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems and researcher at AWS
  • Security systems for wireless communications and cars of the latest generation by Prof. Srdjan Capkun (ETH Zurich).
  • Mathematical models that guarantee the creation of reliable and secure artificial intelligence by Prof. Martin Vechev.
  • Hardware Architectures of the Future and Next Generation Computing Systems by Prof. Onur Mutlu (ETH Zurich and Carnegie Mellon).

It is remarkable that more than 250 students from elite Bulgarian high-schools had the opportunity to interact with world-famous scientists and learn by getting information from the people who define the future of technology.
The conference was greeted with great enthusiasm by the Bulgarian technological ecosystem, including engineers from leading IT companies, entrepreneurs, and investors, as well as by Minister Pulev, representatives of the presidential administration, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgarian Academy of Science, diplomats, journalists, guests from abroad and other organizations and institutions.

All recordings of the presentations will be uploaded to the conference website and the INSAIT YouTube channel.