One of the greatest elements of ScotSoft is the recognition of talent and innovation that comes from the Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards. The shortlisted projects are all drawn from final year students studying computer science and software engineering at universities across Scotland.
Last year we had a brilliant array of winners based on the innovation, relevance and technical difficulty of their projects. Judging takes place ‘blind’, our panel don’t know the name of the creator or what University the projects come from.
Stepan Brychta was awarded first place for developing an AI music creation assistant named “Fryderyk”, after composer Fryderyk Chopin.
Fryderyk, a web application, uses artificial intelligence to help human composers create music using a grid system. Composers can select from dozens of musical styles and can add notes to the system simply by playing their digital instruments. Brychta has taken Fryderyk through to the state of a promising prototype, and he has also developed a new method to evaluate artificial music generation systems.
In a study of 39 individuals, people were unable to reliably distinguish between fully human composed music and that created by using Fryderyk – suggesting the AI-powered composition was convincingly human-like.
Both our winners and potential employers find the Young Software Engineering of the Year Awards advantageous.
Graeme Smith, former winner and now Senior Director of Engineering at YouTube told us:
“I’ve seen the Young Software Engineer of the Year awards from both sides. The YSE award really helped me get attention from employers in the early stages of my career.
“As an employer, I’m proud to support the awards because it’s important to recognise upcoming talent and it’s been a great way for us to get introductions to these graduates, several of whom we have hired in the past.”
Much like the conference, we always try to bring you someone a little bit different as our YSE After Dinner Speaker. In the past, we’ve had everyone from Kevin Bridges to Sir Chris Hoy and so this year, we’re delighted to welcome former British Rally Championship driver, and leading authority on mental toughness, Penny Mallory to give us all a talk we need to hear.