Undergraduates Kristina Geddis and Ben Andrew from Queen’s University Belfast and Eoin McMahon from Glasgow University were among a select group who successfully completed Northern Ireland’s most prestigious Artificial Intelligence training programme.

The 2018 Kainos A.I.Camp run in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast – took place at the world-class Computer Science hub on the Malone Road, Belfast.

Computer Science students Kristina Geddis and Ben Andrew joined second year Computer Science student Eoin McMahon, to beat off stiff competition to become the ultimate hackathon competition winners.

The students were challenged in groups to improve upon or build a new software program and the winning team’s ‘StuckOverflow’ developer tool, was chosen by the judges because of its innovative method of harnessing A.I. learning to provide time-saving solutions to programming problems, in an efficient way.

Speaking about her experience at Kainos A.I.Camp Kristina, who is originally from Sweden, said: “I didn’t know much about machine learning before, but was eager to understand, as it has many interesting uses. Kainos A.I.Camp was an eye-opener for me.

“During the two weeks I learned to classify objects in images and also how to extract sentiment from text. The hackathon was challenging and winning felt very rewarding as my team and I put a lot of effort into our final product. Studying machine learning with Kainos has made me passionate to pursue the topic further.”

The unique, two-week programme, was free to all undergraduates interested in machine learning and artificial intelligence and was facilitated by Kainos mentors, local A.I. leaders from Analytics Engines, Minoro and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Lecturers at Queen’s University.

Twenty places in total were provided for students keen to develop their own machine learning models, create chatbots, hear about the latest industry developments from local leaders in A.I. and develop their business skills. This year, the company doubled the size of A.I.Camp and is currently running a sister camp in Birmingham.

CTO Tom Gray said “ A.I., as a technology, is already reshaping our daily lives and the world as we know it, so we need to inspire and support tomorrow’s technology leaders in how to develop and apply Artificial Intelligence in a meaningful and ethical way.

“We had 20 undergraduates taking part in A.I.Camp this summer, and we were truly impressed by their skill, and ability to pick up theory and put it into practice so quickly.

A.I.Camp is part of Kainos’ wider aim to inspire, educate and train the next generation of IT talent.

Kainos A.I.Camp is set to return in summer 2019 and students can now register their interest for a place.