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Machine Learning

Machine Learning is a way of modeling and interpreting data that allows a piece of software to respond intelligently.
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A research framework for reinforcement learning

Acme is a library of reinforcement learning (RL) agents and agent building blocks. Acme strives to expose simple, efficient, and readable agents, that serve both as reference implementations of popular algorithms and as strong baselines, while still providing enough flexibility to do novel research. The design of Acme also attempts to provide multiple points of entry to the RL problem at differing levels of complexity.

Practical AI Practical AI #89

AI for Good: clean water access in Africa

Chandler McCann tells Daniel and Chris about how DataRobot engaged in a project to develop sustainable water solutions with the Global Water Challenge (GWC). They analyzed over 500,000 data points to predict future water point breaks. This enabled African governments to make data-driven decisions related to budgeting, preventative maintenance, and policy in order to promote and protect people’s access to safe water for drinking and washing. From this effort sprang DataRobot’s larger AI for Good initiative.

Practical AI Practical AI #87

Reinforcement learning for chip design

Daniel and Chris have a fascinating discussion with Anna Goldie and Azalia Mirhoseini from Google Brain about the use of reinforcement learning for chip floor planning - or placement - in which many new designs are generated, and then evaluated, to find an optimal component layout. Anna and Azalia also describe the use of graph convolutional neural networks in their approach.

Practical AI Practical AI #86

Exploring the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Daniel and Chris have a timely conversation with Lucy Lu Wang of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence about COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). She relates how CORD-19 was created and organized, and how researchers around the world are currently using the data to answer important COVID-19 questions that will help the world through this ongoing crisis.


A modular toolbox for accelerating meta-learning research

Meta-Blocks is a modular toolbox for research, experimentation, and reproducible benchmarking of learning-to-learn algorithms. The toolbox provides flexible APIs for working with MetaDatasets, TaskDistributions, and MetaLearners (see the figure below). The APIs make it easy to implement a variety of meta-learning algorithms, run them on well-established and emerging benchmarks, and add your own meta-learning problems to the suite and benchmark algorithms on them.

This repo is still under “heavy construction” (a.k.a. unstable) so downloader beware, but it’s worth a star/bookmark for later use.

A modular toolbox for accelerating meta-learning research

Practical AI Practical AI #85

Achieving provably beneficial, human-compatible AI

AI legend Stuart Russell, the Berkeley professor who leads the Center for Human-Compatible AI, joins Chris to share his insights into the future of artificial intelligence. Stuart is the author of Human Compatible, and the upcoming 4th edition of his perennial classic Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, which is widely regarded as the standard text on AI. After exposing the shortcomings inherent in deep learning, Stuart goes on to propose a new practitioner approach to creating AI that avoids harmful unintended consequences, and offers a path forward towards a future in which humans can safely rely of provably beneficial AI.

Practical AI Practical AI #83

Mapping the intersection of AI and GIS

Daniel Wilson and Rob Fletcher of ESRI hang with Chris and Daniel to chat about how AI powered modern geographic information systems (GIS) and location intelligence. They illuminate the various models used for GIS, spatial analysis, remote sensing, real-time visualization, and 3D analytics. You don’t want to miss the part about their work for the DoD’s Joint AI Center in humanitarian assistance / disaster relief.

Practical AI Practical AI

Welcome to Practical AI

Practical AI is a weekly podcast that’s marking artificial intelligence practical, productive, and accessible to everyone. If world of AI affects your daily life, this show is for you.

From the practitioner wanting to keep up with the latest tools & trends…

(clip from episode #68)

To the AI curious trying to understand the concepts at play and their implications on our lives…

(clip from episode #39)

Expert hosts Chris Benson and Daniel Whitenack are here to keep you fully-connected with the world of machine learning and data science.

Please listen to a recent episode that interests you and subscribe today. We’d love to have you as a listener!

Practical AI Practical AI #82

Speech recognition to say it just right

Catherine Breslin of Cobalt joins Daniel and Chris to do a deep dive on speech recognition. She also discusses how the technology is integrated into virtual assistants (like Alexa) and is used in other non-assistant contexts (like transcription and captioning). Along the way, she teaches us how to assemble a lexicon, acoustic model, and language model to bring speech recognition to life.

The Changelog The Changelog #380

Productionising real-world ML data pipelines

Yetunde Dada from QuantumBlack joins Jerod for a deep dive on Kedro, a workflow tool that helps structure reproducible, scaleable, deployable, robust, and versioned data pipelines. They discuss what Kedro’s all about and how it’s “changing the landscape of data pipelines in Python”, the ins/outs of open sourcing Kedro, and how they found early success by sweating the details. Finally, Jerod asks Yetunde about her passion project: a virtual reality film which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Practical AI Practical AI #75

Insights from the AI Index 2019 Annual Report

Daniel and Chris do a deep dive into The AI Index 2019 Annual Report, which provides unbiased rigorously-vetted data that one can use “to develop intuitions about the complex field of AI”. Analyzing everything from R&D and technical advancements to education, the economy, and societal considerations, Chris and Daniel lay out this comprehensive report’s key insights about artificial intelligence.


Efficient, reusable components for 3D computer vision research with PyTorch

PyTorch3d is designed to integrate smoothly with deep learning methods for predicting and manipulating 3D data. For this reason, all operators in PyTorch3d:

  • Are implemented using PyTorch tensors
  • Can handle minibatches of hetereogenous data
  • Can be differentiated
  • Can utilize GPUs for acceleration

Get started with tutorials on deforming a sphere mesh into a dolphin, rendering textured meshes, camera position optimization, and more.

Practical AI Practical AI #74

Testing ML systems

Production ML systems include more than just the model. In these complicated systems, how do you ensure quality over time, especially when you are constantly updating your infrastructure, data and models? Tania Allard joins us to discuss the ins and outs of testing ML systems. Among other things, she presents a simple formula that helps you score your progress towards a robust system and identify problem areas.

Uber Engineering Icon Uber Engineering

Uber's new GTN algorithm speeds up deep learning by 9x

Here’s a new acronym for you: Generative Teaching Networks (GTN)

GTNs are deep neural networks that generate data and/or training environments on which a learner (e.g., a freshly initialized neural network) trains before being tested on a target task (e.g., recognizing objects in images). One advantage of this approach is that GTNs can produce synthetic data that enables other neural networks to learn faster than when training on real data. That allowed us to search for new neural network architectures nine times faster than when using real data.

Fake data, real results? Sounds pretty slick.

Victor Zhou

A gentle introduction to Visual Question Answering using neural networks

Show us humans a picture of someone in uniform on a mound of dirt throwing a ball and we will quickly tell you we’re looking at baseball. But how do you make a computer come to the same conclusion?

Visual Question Answering

In this post, we’ll explore basic methods for performing VQA and build our own simple implementation in Python

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