eBay Makes a Bid for 2016 SXSW Interactive Festival

Alexis Goubran-Wang, eBay Communications

A pair of eBay employees have been nominated to share key insights into some of eBay’s industry-leading technologies.

While Austin’s famous South by Southwest festival is still seven months away, a pair of eBay employees is already lining up to share key insights into some of eBay’s industry-leading technologies. 

Hassan Sawaf and Jody Ford have submitted proposals to present at the 2016 SXSW Interactive Festival, which features five days of presentations and panels from the brightest minds in emerging technology.

Hassan Sawaf, senior director, Human Language Technology, proposes to explore how “deep learning” technology is changing the commerce industry, enhancing and simplifying the shopping experience. Deep learning involves complex layers of calculations that allow machines to understand what would normally be way beyond their capabilities, such as identifying items based on single images from various angles. In his session, Hassan will demonstrate how to utilize natural language processing and visual object recognition to understand users’ intent, and how this technology can distinguish whether users are buying or selling a pair of flip-flops or a pair of flats, when simply typing "footwear".   

Jody Ford, vice president, Global Growth, will share how we use data to drive meaningful customer engagement. The data that sits just under the hood at eBay has always provided a fascinating barometer of trends at the intersection of culture and commerce. As retail data science becomes more sophisticated, and as personalization and engagement become the cornerstones of successful shopping experiences both on and offline, Jody will explore how brands can use data to create rich, relevant, interesting, and totally shoppable content to generate more authentic and meaningful engagement with customers.

Ideas are selected by public votes (30 percent), the SXSW Advisory Board (40 percent), and the SXSW staff (30 percent). If you would like to hear more on these ideas– you can register your vote (after you create an account) for Hassan and for Jody.