The Revolution has been won.

We’re excited to announce that Lucene/Solr Revolution is expanding its coverage this year to include more talks about applied artificial intelligence in the realm of search and discovery, in addition to the already rich coverage of Apache Lucene/Solr everyone has grown to love.

As the fields of Search and Artificial Intelligence mature and collide, there are many opportunities to deliver more personalized and relevant user experiences by incorporating AI into our search applications.  We feel it is a natural step in the evolution of the conference and also important to those working in the Lucene/Solr community that we explicitly expand the scope of the conference to fully embrace this deeper focus. To highlight the way that the convergence of Search & AI is increasingly activating relevancy and insights to enable the interaction of users with data in a smarter way, we’re changing the conference name from Lucene/Solr Revolution to Activate.

Activate will be positioned as the premier Search and AI conference, bringing the best of the open source Lucene/Solr project, applied AI techniques for driving enhanced relevancy and personalization, and the complementary research, technologies, and innovations happening within the industry to drive the cutting edge in search and information retrieval. The conference will be held October 15-18, 2018 in Montreal, Canada.

A Look Back

When Lucene/Solr Revolution started back in 2010, we truly were at the forefront of a revolution. Open source search was really beginning to take hold as a viable replacement for legacy black-box search vendors, and the Big Data era was still in its infancy. Lucidworks started Lucene/Solr Revolution as a way to bring the Lucene and Solr communities together to meet, network, and drive innovation to the open source projects.

This conference has always held a place near and dear to my heart – I attended from the very first conference, have spoken every year since, recruited for my previous team at CareerBuilder, found my new home at Lucidworks, and met many fascinating and smart people along the way.

Fast forward 8 years from that first conference, and Apache Solr has been adopted to power many of the most critical applications at the world’s most innovative companies. Companies like Apple, Reddit, and Salesforce have taken the main stage at Revolution to show us how they are building tools with Solr to power their most important applications. In all of these cutting-edge use cases for Solr, there are consistent themes. Legacy search technologies have been replaced with open source Solr-based platforms, these platforms have to be able to scale well beyond all the platforms they have displaced and to enable many more use cases, and there is now an ever-increasing demand for smarter, AI-powered search capabilities to drive relevancy and insights.

The Revolution has been won

Today, Lucene/Solr are the de-facto standard for running search across most organizations. The revolution we started back in 2010 has been a wild success –  the Revolution has been won!  With the overall focus on core Lucene having declined over the years as people have increasingly embraced Solr to build more sophisticated search solutions, and with the realization that the revolution has accomplished its mission, the name “Lucene/Solr Revolution” is ripe for this branding facelift to “Activate, the Search & AI conference”. While continuing to keep you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in Solr, we also want to drive innovation around the larger ecosystem surrounding Solr, including complementary technologies (Spark, Fusion, NLP, Machine Learning, UX, etc.) and to ensure that as a community we increasingly attract and embrace a much larger, diverse set of participants interested in tackling many of these emerging interdisciplinary problems in search and relevancy.

What to Expect from Activate

Although we’ve always had a diverse set of sessions at the conference, based upon feedback from last year and our expectation of an expanded audience this year, we will be more clearly segmenting sessions for attendees based upon areas of interest: talks dedicated specifically to deep dives into evolving capabilities in open source Solr, sessions for developers and operators harnessing the power of Solr along with complementary technologies, demonstrations of applied Artificial Intelligence and advanced relevancy techniques, and additional presentations covering new and evolving applications for search on the horizon.

In addition to talks from the brightest committers and contributors to the Apache Lucene/Solr project – including more than a dozen full-time committers working on the open source project at Lucidworks – you can expect to find more extensive content around techniques like NLP, Entity Extraction, Text Analytics, ML Algorithms, and Knowledge Graphs, as well as practical examples of the enhancement of search applications with AI.

I am very excited for this change and I think the Solr community will greatly benefit from the expanded content we will offer at Activate. Save the Dates: October 15-18 in Montreal.

We’ll be announcing more details and a call for speakers very soon. Details will be available at https://activate-conf.com/.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Trey Grainger
SVP of Engineering
Lucidworks