Proud to be simple in the world of AI hype


The word describing the atmosphere around Slush is “Pöhinä”. A direct translation would be “fluttering for no particular purpose”. More commonly it means the buzz and hype you feel with all your senses at the event, the startup communities and the side events surrounding it. Pöhinä is contagious and during November there is an unspoken agreement that everybody is allowed to Pöhistä (verb). Even the communities and organisations who are usually very conservative and strict loosen their ties and start to talk wanna-be tech slang and sponsor Pöhinä-events for their peers.

Activist performance — Mykki Blanco at Founder’s stage during the afterparty


Six persons of the Aito team attended Slush, but I’m here writing my personal summary of what stood out the most for me. I focussed my time mainly by talking to people, networking. The only presentation I was able to see was Eljas giving a demo of the Aito predictive database during the Showcase Studio demo, so that should say enough. And another one where I was participating at an AI panel discussion.

Eljas Linna demoing Aito for a huge crowd at Showcase Studio.

Being in a relevant place to create impact

Why Slush matters? Why we selected to invest on it? First of all, the investment is relatively low since it is a local event for us. The organizers have different price ranges for startups, investors and media. Most of all, I know I would be meeting a large enough group of relevant people. Slush provides consistent quality with 25 000 participants who all want to learn about new tools and technologies.

Finland, Finland, Finland, the country where I want to be…

As Monty Python was singing on the common nominator of both Slush and Aito. However the Finnish attitude goes deeper than pony trekking or camping.

Antti, co-founder and the father of combining ML and DB. Demoing the Project success prediction use case. Photo credit: Fiona Kaihari
Part of the Aito team at Business Finland booth

See through the hype and ask the right questions

The Verge media network revealed a study that 40% of the startups in Europe who claims to offer AI, don’t actually have it. Of course by now we know that it is unlikely that any Finn would describe her company in such a wrong way even if it might make sense to put a bit of colour to the marketing story. The 40% figure is sad, but understandable if people are not honest to themselves asking the most relevant question.

We also simply and honestly can have fun and not get too overwhelmed by the Startup life. Aito Predictive Database rocket launching at afterparty.



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