Sysco LABS hosts first Machine Learning Hackathon

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Sysco LABS hosts first Machine Learning Hackathon: OVERCLOCKED 2019

Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are justbeginning to see widespread adoption, development and application.As a result,we are beginning to see the innovations it powersmorphing large-scale industries across the world, unveiling benefits and value additions to organizations and the final consumer and completely transforming the marketplace. It is against this backdrop that Sysco LABS hosted its inaugural Hackathon, “OVERCLOCKED 2019” for developers across its offices with a focus on machine learning.Thefinale saw teams developing and presenting their solutions to an esteemed panel of judges consisting of UthayasankerThayasivam, Ph.D., an expert in machine learning and how it applies to data science and big data mining;SankhaMuthuPoruthotage, Ph.D., co-founder of Linear Squared and a force behind many of Sri Lanka’s large-scale analytics initiatives; and HiranyaSamarasekera, VP Engineering – Head of Enterprise Architecture Group (EAG) at Sysco LABS.

“OVERCLOCKED 2019 was a phenomenal success, with the participation of more than 80 software engineers divided into14 teams, competing against each other to solve challenges in the foodservice industry using machine learning,” Hiranya said. “This event gave our engineers an opportunity to showcasetheir business problem solvingacumen and prowess in the use of machine learning’s techniques and latest tools.”

Winning Concepts

Team ‘Rotis’ consisting of KeetSugathadasa, RoshanAlwis, DulajAtapattu, IndunilAsanka, HeshanSandamal and ChaminWickramarathnaemerged as winners, with their intelligent customer support and incident manager that can learn from all its interactions with customers, continuously improving its service. The solution relieves the strain that support requirements play on organizations as they try to scale.

Team “We Are Here for the Hoodie” which included JeyanthasingamJegasingam, TharmarajasingamThuvarakan, DeshaniGeethika, RashindriePerera, KailayapathySuthagar and Isham Mohamed, received the runners-up title for their development of a customer/potential customer profiling solution.A profilesolution that predicts future trends in customer eating habitscould have massive impacts on Sysco’s business, allowing the development of better long-term relationships with customers.

Hackathon Benefits

Hackathons present participants with a valuable opportunity to demonstrate their creativity and skill outside of just the regular work context, allowing them to solve problems in an area pertaining to the chosen industry.

“I believe the greatest danger of artificial intelligence is the fact that people assume they understand it very early on,” said Team ‘Rotis’ member Keet.“Learning is a never-ending process. The hackathon definitely involved a great deal of learning and tested our ability to use machine learning to solve the problems we face in the industry.”

On the back of a successful inaugural event, Sysco LABS aims to make hackathons a permanent fixture in its annual event calendar.

Sysco 1 – The Winners of OVERCLOCKED 2019 “Team Rotis”

Sysco 3 –The Runners-up “Team WeAreHereForTheHoodie” working on their development – a customer/potential customer profiling solution

Sysco 5 –The Winners “Team Rotis” pitching their solution to the judges

Sysco 7 – Top-  Participants of OVERCLOCKED 2019 along with the organizing committee