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Daniel Whitenack

256 episodes

Practical AI Practical AI #248

Suspicion machines ⚙️

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2023-12-05T21:45:00Z #ai +1 🎧 26,297

In this enlightening episode, we delve deeper than the usual buzz surrounding AI’s perils, focusing instead on the tangible problems emerging from the use of machine learning algorithms across Europe. We explore “suspicion machines” — systems that assign scores to welfare program participants, estimating their likelihood of committing fraud. Join us as Justin and Gabriel share insights from their thorough investigation, which involved gaining access to one of these models and meticulously analyzing its behavior.

Practical AI Practical AI #246

Generating product imagery at Shopify

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2023-11-21T18:45:00Z #ai +1 🎧 26,909

Shopify recently released a Hugging Face space demonstrating very impressive results for replacing background scenes in product imagery. In this episode, we hear the backstory technical details about this work from Shopify’s Russ Maschmeyer. Along the way we discuss how to come up with clever AI solutions (without training your own model).

Practical AI Practical AI #245

AI trailblazers putting people first

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2023-11-14T17:45:00Z #ai +2 🎧 24,964

According to Solana Larsen: “Too often, it feels like we have lost control of the internet to the interests of Big Tech, Big Data — and now Big AI.” In the latest season of Mozilla’s IRL podcast (edited by Solana), a number of stories are featured to highlight the trailblazers who are reclaiming power over AI to put people first. We discuss some of those stories along with the issues that they surface.

Practical AI Practical AI #244

Government regulation of AI has arrived

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2023-11-07T14:00:00Z #ai +2 🎧 29,073

On Monday, October 30, 2023, the U.S. White House issued its Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence. Two days later, a policy paper was issued by the U.K. government entitled The Bletchley Declaration by Countries Attending the AI Safety Summit, 1-2 November 2023. It was signed by 29 countries, including the United States and China, the global leaders in AI research.

In this Fully Connected episode, Daniel and Chris parse the details and highlight key takeaways from these documents, especially the extensive and detailed executive order, which has the force of law in the United States.

Practical AI Practical AI #243

Self-hosting & scaling models

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2023-10-31T18:00:00Z #ai +2 🎧 29,402

We’re excited to have Tuhin join us on the show once again to talk about self-hosting open access models. Tuhin’s company Baseten specializes in model deployment and monitoring at any scale, and it was a privilege to talk with him about the trends he is seeing in both tooling and usage of open access models. We were able to touch on the common use cases for integrating self-hosted models and how the boom in generative AI has influenced that ecosystem.

Practical AI Practical AI #242

Deep learning in Rust with Burn 🔥

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2023-10-24T20:40:00Z #ai +2 🎧 29,293

It seems like everyone is interested in Rust these days. Even the most popular Python linter, Ruff, isn’t written in Python! It’s written in Rust. But what is the state of training or inferencing deep learning models in Rust? In this episode, we are joined by Nathaniel Simard, the creator burn. We discuss Rust in general, the need to have support for AI in multiple languages, and the current state of doing “AI things” in Rust.

Practical AI Practical AI #240

Generative models: exploration to deployment

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2023-10-03T19:00:00Z #ai +2 🎧 35,238

What is the model lifecycle like for experimenting with and then deploying generative AI models? Although there are some similarities, this lifecycle differs somewhat from previous data science practices in that models are typically not trained from scratch (or even fine-tuned). Chris and Daniel give a high level overview in this effort and discuss model optimization and serving.

Practical AI Practical AI #238

Fine-tuning vs RAG

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2023-09-06T12:30:00Z #ai +1 🎧 37,791

In this episode we welcome back our good friend Demetrios from the MLOps Community to discuss fine-tuning vs. retrieval augmented generation. Along the way, we also chat about OpenAI Enterprise, results from the MLOps Community LLM survey, and the orchestration and evaluation of generative AI workloads.

Practical AI Practical AI #237

Automating code optimization with LLMs

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2023-08-29T21:30:00Z #ai +1 🎧 33,105

You might have heard a lot about code generation tools using AI, but could LLMs and generative AI make our existing code better? In this episode, we sit down with Mike from TurinTech to hear about practical code optimizations using AI “translation” of slow to fast code. We learn about their process for accomplishing this task along with impressive results when automated code optimization is run on existing open source projects.

Practical AI Practical AI #236

The new AI app stack

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2023-08-23T12:00:00Z #ai +2 🎧 34,864

Recently a16z released a diagram showing the “Emerging Architectures for LLM Applications.” In this episode, we expand on things covered in that diagram to a more general mental model for the new AI app stack. We cover a variety of things from model “middleware” for caching and control to app orchestration.

Practical AI Practical AI #235

Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights

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2023-08-09T16:20:00Z #ai +3 🎧 32,595

In this Fully Connected episode, Daniel and Chris kick it off by noting that Stability AI released their SDXL 1.0 LLM! They discuss its virtues, and then dive into a discussion regarding how the United States, European Union, and other entities are approaching governance of AI through new laws and legal frameworks. In particular, they review the White House’s approach, noting the potential for unexpected consequences.

Practical AI Practical AI #234

Vector databases (beyond the hype)

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2023-08-01T18:30:00Z #ai +1 🎧 37,267

There’s so much talk (and hype) these days about vector databases. We thought it would be timely and practical to have someone on the show that has been hands on with the various options and actually tried to build applications leveraging vector search. Prashanth Rao is a real practitioner that has spent and huge amount of time exploring the expanding set of vector database offerings. After introducing vector database and giving us a mental model of how they fit in with other datastores, Prashanth digs into the trade offs as related to indices, hosting options, embedding vs. query optimization, and more.

Practical AI Practical AI #233

There's a new Llama in town

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2023-07-25T19:00:00Z #ai 🎧 31,210

It was an amazing week in AI news. Among other things, there is a new NeRF and a new Llama in town!!! Zip-NeRF can create some amazing 3D scenes based on 2D images, and Llama 2 from Meta promises to change the LLM landscape. Chris and Daniel dive into these and they compare some of the recently released OpenAI functionality to Anthropic’s Claude 2.

Practical AI Practical AI #232

Legal consequences of generated content

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2023-07-18T18:30:00Z #ai +2 🎧 31,316

As a technologist, coder, and lawyer, few people are better equipped to discuss the legal and practical consequences of generative AI than Damien Riehl. He demonstrated this a couple years ago by generating, writing to disk, and then releasing every possible musical melody. Damien joins us to answer our many questions about generated content, copyright, dataset licensing/usage, and the future of knowledge work.

Practical AI Practical AI #230

Cambrian explosion of generative models

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2023-07-06T17:30:00Z #ai +3 🎧 29,879

In this Fully Connected episode, Daniel and Chris explore recent highlights from the current model proliferation wave sweeping the world - including Stable Diffusion XL, OpenChat, Zeroscope XL, and Salesforce XGen. They note the rapid rise of open models, and speculate that just as in open source software, open models will dominate the future. Such rapid advancement creates its own problems though, so they finish by itemizing concerns such as cybersecurity, workflow productivity, and impact on human culture.

Practical AI Practical AI #229

Automated cartography using AI

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2023-06-28T14:30:00Z #ai +1 🎧 29,043

Your feed might be dominated by LLMs these days, but there are some amazing things happening in computer vision that you shouldn’t ignore! In this episode, we bring you one of those amazing stories from Gabriel Ortiz, who is working with the government of Cantabria in Spain to automate cartography and apply AI to geospatial analysis. We hear about how AI tooling fits into the GIS workflow, and Gabriel shares some of his recent work (including work that can identify individual people, invasive plant species, building and more from aerial survey data).

Practical AI Practical AI #228

From ML to AI to Generative AI

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2023-06-21T13:30:00Z #ai +2 🎧 35,865

Chris and Daniel take a step back to look at how generative AI fits into the wider landscape of ML/AI and data science. They talk through the differences in how one approaches “traditional” supervised learning and how practitioners are approaching generative AI based solutions (such as those using Midjourney or GPT family models). Finally, they talk through the risk and compliance implications of generative AI, which was in the news this week in the EU.

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