The Fifth Elephant 2017

On data engineering and application of ML in diverse domains

##Theme and format
The Fifth Elephant 2017 is a four-track conference on:

  1. Data engineering – building pipelines and platforms; exposure to latest open source tools for data mining and real-time analytics.
  2. Application of Machine Learning (ML) in diverse domains such as IOT, payments, e-commerce, education, ecology, government, agriculture, computational biology, social network analysis and emerging markets.
  3. Hands-on tutorials on data mining tools, and ML platforms and techniques.
  4. Off-the-record (OTR) sessions on privacy issues concerning data; building data pipelines; failure stories in ML; interesting problems to solve with data science; and other relevant topics.

The Fifth Elephant is a conference for practitioners, by practitioners.

Talk submissions are now closed.

You must submit the following details along with your proposal, or within 10 days of submission:

  1. Draft slides, mind map or a textual description detailing the structure and content of your talk.
  2. Link to a self-record, two-minute preview video, where you explain what your talk is about, and the key takeaways for participants. This preview video helps conference editors understand the lucidity of your thoughts and how invested you are in presenting insights beyond your use case. Please note that the preview video should be submitted irrespective of whether you have spoken at past editions of The Fifth Elephant.
  3. If you submit a workshop proposal, you must specify the target audience for your workshop; duration; number of participants you can accommodate; pre-requisites for the workshop; link to GitHub repositories and documents showing the full workshop plan.

##About the conference
This year is the sixth edition of The Fifth Elephant. The conference is a renowned gathering of data scientists, programmers, analysts, researchers, and technologists working in the areas of data mining, analytics, machine learning and deep learning from different domains.

We invite proposals for the following sessions, with a clear focus on the big picture and insights that participants can apply in their work:

  • Full-length, 40-minute talks.
  • Crisp, 15-minute talks.
  • Sponsored sessions, of 15 minutes and 40 minutes duration (limited slots available; subject to editorial scrutiny and approval).
  • Hands-on tutorials and workshop sessions of 3-hour and 6-hour duration where participants follow instructors on their laptops.
  • Off-the-record (OTR) sessions of 60-90 minutes duration.

##Selection Process

  1. Proposals will be filtered and shortlisted by an Editorial Panel.
  2. Proposers, editors and community members must respond to comments as openly as possible so that the selection processs is transparent.
  3. Proposers are also encouraged to vote and comment on other proposals submitted here.

Selection Process Flowchart

We will notify you if we move your proposal to the next round or reject it. A speaker is NOT confirmed for a slot unless we explicitly mention so in an email or over any other medium of communication.

Selected speakers must participate in one or two rounds of rehearsals before the conference. This is mandatory and helps you to prepare well for the conference.

There is only one speaker per session. Entry is free for selected speakers.

##Travel grants
Partial or full grants, covering travel and accomodation are made available to speakers delivering full sessions (40 minutes) and workshops. Grants are limited, and are given in the order of preference to students, women, persons of non-binary genders, and speakers from Asia and Africa.

##Commitment to Open Source
We believe in open source as the binding force of our community. If you are describing a codebase for developers to work with, we’d like for it to be available under a permissive open source licence. If your software is commercially licensed or available under a combination of commercial and restrictive open source licences (such as the various forms of the GPL), you should consider picking up a sponsorship. We recognise that there are valid reasons for commercial licensing, but ask that you support the conference in return for giving you an audience. Your session will be marked on the schedule as a “sponsored session”.

##Important Dates:

  • Deadline for submitting proposals: June 10
  • First draft of the coference schedule: June 20
  • Tutorial and workshop announcements: June 20
  • Final conference schedule: July 5
  • Conference dates: 27-28 July

For more information about speaking proposals, tickets and sponsorships, contact or call +91-7676332020.

Hosted by

The Fifth Elephant - known as one of the best data science and Machine Learning conference in Asia - has transitioned into a year-round forum for conversations about data and ML engineering; data science in production; data security and privacy practices. more

Subhashish Panigrahi


How to prepare your language for Machine Learning and NLP with an open audio documentation toolkit

Submitted May 28, 2017

Pronunciation libraries are a key to building machine learning tools and many Natural Language Processing research and product development. In the age of personal assistant apps, human voice-based apps can help people with visual disability and everyone else access information, and contribute back to the knowledge commons. There is a need for a range of native-language-based solutions—from talking dictionaries to educational games, to language learning applications and accessibility tools like text-to-speech and speech-to-text.

My talk will be focused on a project called Kathabhidhana, an open source audio documention toolkit that I started initially just as a tool to create a pronunciations for Wiktionary, Wikipedia’s sister project and a multilingual dictionary, and later grew into a full-fledged toolkit that can be used to document any language. It can help create recordings of a large word list, clean up the audio, and create both a pronunciation library and a curated dataset. Where a pronunciation library is key to building tools from text-to-speech engines to complex deep learning research, the dataset is equally valuable for the open data perspectives. Most importantly, it will focus on the need for building resources to help millions of people in this country with need for accessibility.


Currently, many Indian languages do not have many good quality pronunciation recordings. India is home to over 18 million people with visual impairment of which 7.8 million are fully blind. Similarly, 30% of India’s population is illiterate. India is home to the highest number of visually impaired and illiterate people in the entire world, and that’s not a good news. The recent Google-KPMG report states that over 70% of the internet users trust content in their native language as compared to the English content. However the native-language support is widely lacking across platforms—from government programs to various apps to several other public utitilities. Even politiical parties have not yet localized their public addresses in native languages. There is a great need for Free/Libre and open source tools that can not just help those with visual impairment or illiteracy access knowledge, but to more than 70% of India’s poppulation that is primarily monoligual. With the swiftly growing Internet and about 500 million Indians connected to the web alreadt, it is important that they get to access the wealth of information in their own language. Pronunciation libraries are key to develop content-centric tools that are useful for everyone. Thanks to AR/VR—the scope of education, entertainment, and other content-based applications are expanding really fast. This talk will detail about how the Indian languages can be empowered with the digital tools in an open way, and leverage the available technical innovations.


Laptops with (Linux/Mac preferred)

Speaker bio

Subhashish a logn time Community, Communications and Outreach Catalyst in Openness movement. His work—at global nonprofits like Mozilla, Centre for Internet and Society, and Wikimedia Foundation—specializes in shaping the communications, partnerships, educational outreach and building innovating products with openness in its core to help with the need in the global south. Subhashish has helped Mozilla shape its global communications strategy for the Campus Clubs program, structured Mozilla’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy across Asia, conducted a research across 20 top tech, law and business universities across India to assess the state of open source. He spearheaded more than 200 Wikimedia outreach programs that reached out to more than 6000 potential contributors to 23 Indian language-Wikipedias. This work helped increase Wikipedia’s reach (readers) by more than 60% (3x global readership), and participation (editors) by 50% [as compared to ~10% global growth]. He has spoken in many international conferences across 11 countries, and a few hundred more in India. He has been advising in personal capacity to some of the most notable nonprofits and other open collectives like Global Voices,, Open Knowledge International, and the OER Conference.



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Hosted by

The Fifth Elephant - known as one of the best data science and Machine Learning conference in Asia - has transitioned into a year-round forum for conversations about data and ML engineering; data science in production; data security and privacy practices. more