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AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Machines simulating human characteristics and intelligence.
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Practical AI Practical AI #158

Zero-shot multitask learning

In this Fully-Connected episode, Daniel and Chris ponder whether in-person AI conferences are on the verge of making a post-pandemic comeback. Then on to BigScience from Hugging Face, a year-long research workshop on large multilingual models and datasets. Specifically they dive into the T0, a series of natural language processing (NLP) AI models specifically trained for researching zero-shot multitask learning. Daniel provides a brief tour of the possible with the T0 family. They finish up with a couple of new learning resources.

Practical AI Practical AI #157

Analyzing the 2021 AI Index Report

Each year we discuss the latest insights from the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI), and this year is no different. Daniel and Chris delve into key findings and discuss in this Fully-Connected episode. They also check out a study called ‘Delphi: Towards Machine Ethics and Norms’, about how to integrate ethics and morals into AI models.

Practical AI Practical AI #156

Photonic computing for AI acceleration

There are a lot of people trying to innovate in the area of specialized AI hardware, but most of them are doing it with traditional transistors. Lightmatter is doing something totally different. They’re building photonic computers that are more power efficient and faster for AI inference. Nick Harris joins us in this episode to bring us up to speed on all the details.

Machine Learning cerebralab.com

Boring machine learning is where it's at

It surprises me that when people think of “software that brings about the singularity” they think of text models, or of RL agents. But they sneer at decision tree boosting and the like as boring algorithms for boring problems.

To me, this seems counter-intuitive, and the fact that most people researching ML are interested in subjects like vision and language is flabbergasting. For one, because getting anywhere productive in these fields is really hard, for another, because their usefulness seems relatively minimal.

Practical AI Practical AI #154

🌍 AI in Africa - Makerere AI Lab

This is the first episode in a special series we are calling the “Spotlight on AI in Africa”. To kick things off, Joyce and Mutembesa from Makerere University’s AI Lab join us to talk about their amazing work in computer vision, natural language processing, and data collection. Their lab seeks out problems that matter in African communities, pairs those problems with appropriate data/tools, and works with the end users to ensure that solutions create real value.

Practical AI Practical AI #151

Balancing human intelligence with AI

Polarity Mapping is a framework to “help problems be solved in a realistic and multidimensional manner” (see here for more info). In this week’s fully connected episode, Chris and Daniel use this framework to help them discuss how an organization can strike a good balance between human intelligence and AI. AI can’t solve everything and humans need to be in-the-loop with many AI solutions.

Practical AI Practical AI #150

From notebooks to Netflix scale with Metaflow

As you start developing an AI/ML based solution, you quickly figure out that you need to run workflows. Not only that, you might need to run those workflows across various kinds of infrastructure (including GPUs) at scale. Ville Tuulos developed Metaflow while working at Netflix to help data scientists scale their work. In this episode, Ville tells us a bit more about Metaflow, his new book on data science infrastructure, and his approach to helping scale ML/AI work.

Practical AI Practical AI #147

Anaconda + Pyston and more

In this episode, Peter Wang from Anaconda joins us again to go over their latest “State of Data Science” survey. The updated results include some insights related to data science work during COVID along with other topics including AutoML and model bias. Peter also tells us a bit about the exciting new partnership between Anaconda and Pyston (a fork of the standard CPython interpreter which has been extensively enhanced to improve the execution performance of most Python programs).

AI (Artificial Intelligence) github.com

Jina – build search-as-a-service powered by deep learning in just minutes

Jina calls itself a “cloud-native neural search framework”. What is neural search, exactly?

The core idea of neural search is to leverage state-of-the-art deep neural networks to build every component of a search system. In short, neural search is deep neural network-powered information retrieval. In academia, it’s often called neural IR.

And what can it do for you?

Thanks to recent advances in deep neural networks, a neural search system can go way beyond simple text search. It enables advanced intelligence on all kinds of unstructured data, such as images, audio, video, PDF, 3D mesh, you name it.

For example, retrieving animation according to some beats; finding the best-fit memes according to some jokes; scanning a table with your iPhone’s LiDAR camera and finding similar furniture at IKEA. Neural search systems enable what traditional search can’t: multi/cross-modal data retrieval.

This project looks quite established and collaborative. 172 contributors and counting…

The Verge Icon The Verge

OpenAI Codex translates english into code

Codex is a descendant of GPT-3 – its training data contains both natural language and billions of lines of source code from publicly available sources, including code in public GitHub repositories.

“We see this as a tool to multiply programmers,” OpenAI’s CTO and co-founder Greg Brockman told The Verge. “Programming has two parts to it: you have ‘think hard about a problem and try to understand it,’ and ‘map those small pieces to existing code, whether it’s a library, a function, or an API.’” The second part is tedious, he says, but it’s what Codex is best at. “It takes people who are already programmers and removes the drudge work.”

Practical AI Practical AI #146

Exploring a new AI lexicon

We’re back with another Fully Connected episode – Daniel and Chris dive into a series of articles called ‘A New AI Lexicon’ that collectively explore alternate narratives, positionalities, and understandings to the better known and widely circulated ways of talking about AI. The fun begins early as they discuss and debate ‘An Electric Brain’ with strong opinions, and consider viewpoints that aren’t always popular.

Practical AI Practical AI #145

NLP to help pregnant mothers in Kenya

In Kenya, 33% of maternal deaths are caused by delays in seeking care, and 55% of maternal deaths are caused by delays in action or inadequate care by providers. Jacaranda Health is employing NLP and dialogue system techniques to help mothers experience childbirth safely and with respect and to help newborns get a safe start in life. Jay and Sathy from Jacaranda join us in this episode to discuss how they are using AI to prioritize incoming SMS messages from mothers and help them get the care they need.

Practical AI Practical AI #144

SLICED - will you make the (data science) cut?

SLICED is like the TV Show Chopped but for data science. Competitors get a never-before-seen dataset and two-hours to code a solution to a prediction challenge. Meg and Nick, the SLICED show hosts, join us in this episode to discuss how the show is creating much needed data science community. They give us a behind the scenes look at all the datasets, memes, contestants, scores, and chat of SLICED.

SLICED on Practical AI

Mozilla Icon Mozilla

Mozilla Common Voice adds 16 new languages and 4,600 new hours of speech

That’s a big addition. Here’s what Hillary Juma (Common Voice’s community mgr) had to say about it:

Internet access is increasingly mediated through speech: Voice assistants and smart speakers give us directions, search for information, connect us to friends, used in assistive technology and much more. Yet this technology doesn’t work for millions of people. For example, neither Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, nor Google Home support a single native African language.

By giving individuals the ability to share their speech, we can help ensure all communities have access to voice technology and the opportunity it unlocks.

What a great initiative! (I first heard about Common Voice on Practical AI.)

Practical AI Practical AI #143

AI is creating never before heard sounds! 🎵

AI is being used to transform the most personal instrument we have, our voice, into something that can be “played.” This is fascinating in and of itself, but Yotam Mann from Never Before Heard Sounds is doing so much more! In this episode, he describes how he is using neural nets to process audio in real time for musicians and how AI is poised to change the music industry forever.

Licensing fsf.org

Free Software Foundations declares GitHub Copilot "unacceptable and unjust"

The FSF is funding white papers on “philosophical and legal questions around Copilot”. In their post announcing the fund, Donald Robertson states:

The Free Software Foundation has received numerous inquiries about our position on these questions. We can see that Copilot’s use of freely licensed software has many implications for an incredibly large portion of the free software community. Developers want to know whether training a neural network on their software can really be considered fair use. Others who may be interested in using Copilot wonder if the code snippets and other elements copied from GitHub-hosted repositories could result in copyright infringement. And even if everything might be legally copacetic, activists wonder if there isn’t something fundamentally unfair about a proprietary software company building a service off their work.

One thing is for sure: there are many open questions that need answering. How we (as a community / industry) go about answering those questions is much less clear. But it’ll probably take place on blogs, forums, GitHub Issues, and even court rooms over the next decade.

Practical AI Practical AI #142

Building a data team

Inspired by a recent article from Erik Bernhardsson titled “Building a data team at a mid-stage startup: a short story”, Chris and Daniel discuss all things AI/data team building. They share some stories from their experiences kick starting AI efforts at various organizations and weight the pro and cons of things like centralized data management, prototype development, and a focus on engineering skills.

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