Google hosted the I/O 2024 Demo Slam and opened an employee hackathon

Compared to previous years, I/O 2024 looked more like a two-day developer conference. There was actually a third day of I/O, where Google hosted a new employee-only “Demo Slam” event today where the internal Gemini hackathon was announced.

There was no I/O conference in 2020, as 2021 was broadcast to a very limited live audience in Mountain View. One-day attendees are invited in 2022 and 2023. Following the keynote in 2024, Google hosted live sessions for in-person attendees, as well as after-hours social events.

I/O 2024 looked like a three-day event, as pre-recorded live sessions were released on YouTube Thursday morning, but there was actually another day of programming just for Google employees at Shoreline Amphitheater.

In an internal email we saw this afternoon, CEO Sundar Pichai — who hosted the event — said thousands of Google employees attended, while others were able to stream it internally. Also share the photos on LinkedIn:

Vice President of Android Engineering Dave Burke and others from Google DeepMind, Search, and Labs reviewed what was announced earlier in the week. The Astra project was demoed again, and some of these announcements were then made available to employees to apply to the demo app.

Meanwhile, at the I/O Demo Slam, Pichai announced an internal hackathon encouraging Googlers to try out Gemini.

Google employees can work in teams, and this project aims to encourage AI experiments that could eventually lead to new products. Google executives will select finalists who will present demos at a company-wide meeting, and this hackathon also offers a cash prize to the winning teams.

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Pichai said Google wants to “create more opportunities for us to come together as a company in the spirit of innovation and problem solving, focusing on the biggest opportunities available to us like artificial intelligence.”

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