AI Meetup (Chicago): Generative AI, LLMs and ML

Feb 20, 05:00 PM CST
  • Chicago AICamp
  • 176 RSVP

Welcome to the monthly in-person AI meetup in Chicago. Join us for deep dive tech talks on AI, GenAI, LLMs and machine learning, networking with speakers and fellow developers

* 5:00pm~5:30pm: Checkin, Food/drink and Networking
* 5:30pm~5:40pm: Welcome/community update
* 5:40pm~7:30pm: Tech talks and Q&A
* 7:30pm: Open discussion and Mixer

Tech Talk: AI in the Open: Why It Matters. How to Achieve It
Speaker: Dean Wampler (IBM LinkedIn)
Abstract: We all know the many benefits of open-source software, how it has changed the software industry for the better. What about AI? Should all or some aspects of our end-to-end AI technologies be open or not? What does "open" mean in the AI context? We will explore answers from different perspectives for the following topics: 1) AI involves more than just source code; 2) The arguments for and against keeping aspects of AI in the open; 3) How do we succeed with AI in the open?

Tech Talk: Securing the Unseen: BERT for PII Detection in NER
Speaker: Faris Habib (Spring Labs LinkedIn)
Abstract: Explore the cutting-edge intersection of natural language processing and privacy with me as we dive into training a BERT model for Named Entity Recognition (NER) specifically tailored for the detection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). This talk illuminates the path towards enhancing data privacy without compromising on the utility of sensitive information.

Tech Talk: Build A RAG Data Pipeline using RisingWave Stream Processor
Speaker: Mary Grygleski (LinkedIn)
Abstract: The movement of data is everywhere with ChatGPT apps. We will take a look at an example RAG data pipeline that is built with a powerful, yet painless to use Stream Processor: RisingWave (when you can continue using SQL that you are already familiar with), and we will see how the data will be enriched, then prepped with the proper vector embeddings to be sent as queries to the LLMs. We will explain this as we build the example so you will get a clear picture of the inner workings of a RAG data pipeline.

Tech Talk: Leveraging IBM Generative AI and Cloud Services for Real-World AI Applications: A Case Study in Retrieval Augmented Generative AI (RAG)
Speaker: David Bacarella (IBM LinkedIn)
Abstract: IBM suite of Generative AI technologies, coupled with its diverse range of cloud services, presents a robust platform for developing and deploying practical AI applications. This presentation provides an in-depth exploration of the development process behind one such implementation. Commencing from the perspective of an IBM Build Lab Architect, invaluable insights gleaned from hands-on experience are shared. The core AI offerings from IBM, notably,, and, are examined, along with an exploration of IBM Cloud services and their pivotal role in crafting a comprehensive solution.
Specific focus is directed towards IBM Cloud services such as watsonx Assistant, Discovery, and Code Engine, contextualized within the framework of a Retrieval Augmented Generative AI (RAG) solution. Through this lens, the synergistic interplay between IBM advanced AI capabilities and cloud infrastructure becomes evident, underscoring the efficacy of such integrative approaches in realizing tangible AI-driven outcomes.

Stay tuned as we are updating speakers and schedules. If you have a keen interest in speaking to our community, we invite you to submit topics for consideration: Submit Topics

IBM Conference Center (6th floor), 71 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL

We are actively seeking sponsors to support AI developers community.  Whether it is by offering venue spaces, providing food, or cash sponsorship. Sponsors will not only have the chance to speak at the meetups, receive prominent recognition, but also gain exposure to our extensive membership base of 10,000+ AI developers in Chicago or 300K+ worldwide.

Community on Slack/Discord
- Event chat: chat and connect with speakers and attendees
- Sharing blogs, events, job openings, projects collaborations
Join Slack (search and join the #chicago channel) | Join Discord

David Bacarella (IBM),Dean Wampler(IBM),+

Dean Wampler
Dean Wampler, Ph.D (Mastodon & Bluesky: @deanwampler) is an expert in AI/ML systems and general software engineering practices at IBM Research. He is IBM principal technical representative in the AI Alliance (
David Bacarella
As an AI Senior Architect and hands-on engineer at the IBM Build Lab, I am committed to delivering top-tier AI solutions for our valued partners. Armed with a bachelor degree in electrical engineering, my journey in the field has been marked by the generation of 14 patents, with 7 directly contributing to advancements in artificial intelligence.
Mary Grygleski
Mary is a Java Champion and an experienced, passionate Developer Advocate since 2018. Her most favorite topic areas include, most recently, GenAI/ML, Data, Open source, Cloud, Stream Processing, Distributed Systems. Besides Java, she is fluent in other languages such as Python and Javascript. She started as an engineer in Unix/C, then transitioned to Java around 2000 and has never looked back since then. She is an active tech community builder outside of her day job, and currently the President of the Chicago Java Users Group (CJUG), as well as the Chicago Chapter Co-Lead for AICamp.
Faris Habib
Faris is a dedicated software engineer at Spring Labs, where he specializes in leveraging advanced cryptography and tokenization solutions to protect sensitive data. With a passion for deploying AI to fortify data privacy, he is leading initiatives to develop secure, innovative technologies that address today most pressing cybersecurity challenges.
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