Bharat Sandhu, Director of Azure AI and Mixed Reality at Microsoft, joins Chris and Daniel to talk about how Microsoft is making AI accessible and productive for users, and how AI solutions can address real world challenges that customers face. He also shares Microsoft’s research-to-product process, along with the advances they have made in computer vision, image captioning, and how researchers were able to make AI that can describe images as well as people do.
Graph neural networks (GNNs) belong to a category of neural networks that operate naturally on data structured as graphs. Despite being what can be a confusing topic, GNNs can be distilled into just a handful of simple concepts.
Practical uses of GNNS include making traffic predictions, search rankings, drug discovery, and more.
Unsplash has released the world’s largest open library dataset, which includes 2M+ high-quality Unsplash photos, 5M keywords, and over 250M searches. They have big ideas about how the dataset might be used by ML/AI folks, and there have already been some interesting applications. In this episode, Luke and Tim discuss why they released this data and what it take to maintain a dataset of this size.
Machine learning is a trendy topic, so naturally it’s often used for inappropriate purposes where a simpler, more efficient, and more reliable solution suffices. The other day I saw an illustrative and fun example of this: Neural Network Cars and Genetic Algorithms. The video demonstrates 2D cars driven by a neural network with weights determined by a generic algorithm. However, the entire scheme can be replaced by a first-degree polynomial without any loss in capability. The machine learning part is overkill.
Yet another example of a meta-trend in software: You might not need
$X is a popular tool or technique that is on the upward side of the hype cycle).
Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, cohost of the Casual Inference Podcast and a professor at Wake Forest University, joins Daniel and Chris for a deep dive into causal inference. Referring to current events (e.g. misreporting of COVID-19 data in Georgia) as examples, they explore how we interact with, analyze, trust, and interpret data - addressing underlying assumptions, counterfactual frameworks, and unmeasured confounders (Chris’s next Halloween costume).
What’s it like to try and build your own deep learning workstation? Is it worth it in terms of money, effort, and maintenance? Then once built, what’s the best way to utilize it? Chris and Daniel dig into questions today as they talk about Daniel’s recent workstation build. He built a workstation for his NLP and Speech work with two GPUs, and it has been serving him well (minus a few things he would change if he did it again).
Weights & Biases is coming up with some awesome developer tools for AI practitioners! In this episode, Lukas Biewald describes how these tools were a direct result of pain points that he uncovered while working as an AI intern at OpenAI. He also shares his vision for the future of machine learning tooling and where he would like to see people level up tool-wise.
Craig Kerstiens told me about this on our recent Postgres episode of The Changelog and my jaw about dropped out of my mouth.
… earlier today I was starting to wonder why couldn’t I do more machine learning directly inside [Postgres]. Yeah, there is madlib, but what if I wanted to write my own recommendation engine? So I set out on a total detour of a few hours and lo and behold, I can probably do a lot more of this in Postgres than I realized before. What follows is a quick walkthrough of getting a recommendation engine setup directly inside Postgres.
Craig doesn’t necessarily suggest you put this kind of solution in production, but he doesn’t come out and say don’t do it either. 😉
Hamish from Sajari blows our mind with a great discussion about AI in search. In particular, he talks about Sajari’s quest for performant AI implementations and extensive use of Reinforcement Learning (RL). We’ve been wanting to make this one happen for a while, and it was well worth the wait.
Adrian Colyer walks us through a paper from SageDB that’s taking machine learning and applying it to old Computer Science problems such as sorting. Here’s the big idea:
Suppose you had a model that given a data item from a list, could predict its position in a sorted version of that list. 0.239806? That’s going to be at position 287! If the model had 100% accuracy, it would give us a completed sort just by running over the dataset and putting each item in its predicted position. There’s a problem though. A model with 100% accuracy would essentially have to see every item in the full dataset and memorise its position – there’s no way training and then using such a model can be faster than just sorting, as sorting is a part of its training! But maybe we can sample a subset of the data and get a model that is a useful approximation, by learning an approximation to the CDF (cumulative distribution function).
Rajiv Shah teaches Daniel and Chris about data leakage, and its major impact upon machine learning models. It’s the kind of topic that we don’t often think about, but which can ruin our results. Raj discusses how to use activation maps and image embedding to find leakage, so that leaking information in our test set does not find its way into our training set.
And if you’re wondering what ML Ops is…
With Machine Learning Model Operationalization Management (MLOps), we want to provide an end-to-end machine learning development process to design, build and manage reproducible, testable, and evolvable ML-powered software.
Suju Rajan from LinkedIn joined us to talk about how they are operationalizing state-of-the-art AI at LinkedIn. She sheds light on how AI can and is being used in recruiting, and she weaves in some great explanations of how graph-structured data, personalization, and representation learning can be applied to LinkedIn’s candidate search problem. Suju is passionate about helping people deal with machine learning technical debt, and that gives this episode a good dose of practicality.
A team of scientists at LMU Munich have developed Pattern-Exploiting Training (PET), a deep-learning training technique for natural language processing (NLP) models. Using PET, the team trained a Transformer NLP model with 223M parameters that out-performed the 175B-parameter GPT-3 by over 3 percentage points on the SuperGLUE benchmark.
In anticipation of the upcoming NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC), Will Ramey joins Daniel and Chris to talk about education for artificial intelligence practitioners, and specifically the role that the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute plays in the industry. Will’s insights from long experience are shaping how we all stay on top of AI, so don’t miss this ‘must learn’ episode.
So, you trained a great AI model and deployed it in your app? It’s smooth sailing from there right? Well, not in most people’s experience. Sometimes things goes wrong, and you need to know how to respond to a real life AI incident. In this episode, Andrew and Patrick from BNH.ai join us to discuss an AI incident response plan along with some general discussion of debugging models, discrimination, privacy, and security.
Many people are excited about creating usable speech technology. However, most of the audio data used by large companies isn’t available to the majority of people, and that data is often biased in terms of language, accent, and gender. Jenny, Josh, and Remy from Mozilla join us to discuss how Mozilla is building an open-source voice database that anyone can use to make innovative apps for devices and the web (Common Voice). They also discuss efforts through Mozilla fellowship program to develop speech tech for African languages and understand bias in data sets.
Waymo’s mission is to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going.
After describing the state of the industry, Drago Anguelov - Principal Scientist and Head of Research at Waymo - takes us on a deep dive into the world of AI-powered autonomous driving. Starting with Waymo’s approach to autonomous driving, Drago then delights Daniel and Chris with a tour of the algorithmic tools in the autonomy toolbox.
Hilary Mason is building a new way for kids and families to create stories with AI. It’s called Hidden Door, and in her first interview since founding it, Hilary reveals to Chris and Daniel what the experience will be like for kids. It’s the first Practical AI episode in which some of the questions came from Chris’s 8yo daughter Athena.
Hilary also shares her insights into various topics, like how to build data science communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic, reasons why data science goes wrong, and how to build great data-based products. Don’t miss this episode packed with hard-won wisdom!
We’re so excited to see Chris and Daniel take this show to 100 episodes, and that’s exactly why we’re rebroadcasting Practical AI #100 here on The Changelog. They’ve had so many great guests and discussions about everything from AGI to GPUs to AI for good. In this episode, we circle back to the beginning when Jerod and I joined the first episode to help kick off the podcast. We discuss how our perspectives have changed over time, what it has been like to host an AI podcast, and what the future of AI might look like. (GIVEAWAY!)
They’ve split the dataset up into two bundles:
- Lite, which you can download w/ a click, but is limited to 25K image
- Full, which you have to request access to and is limited to non-commercial use
This is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a great resource for anyone training models for image classification, etc. Second, it’s a nice business model for Unsplash as a startup.
We made it to 100 episodes of Practical AI! It has been a privilege to have had so many great guests and discussions about everything from AGI to GPUs to AI for good. In this episode, we circle back to the beginning when Jerod and Adam from The Changelog helped us kick off the podcast. We discuss how our perspectives have changed over time, what it has been like to host an AI podcast, and what the future of AI might look like. (GIVEAWAY!)
Come hang with the bad boys of natural language processing (NLP)! Jack Morris joins Daniel and Chris to talk about TextAttack, a Python framework for adversarial attacks, data augmentation, and model training in NLP. TextAttack will improve your understanding of your NLP models, so come prepared to rumble with your own adversarial attacks!
DevOps for deep learning is well… different. You need to track both data and code, and you need to run multiple different versions of your code for long periods of time on accelerated hardware. Allegro AI is helping data scientists manage these workflows with their open source MLOps solution called Trains. Nir Bar-Lev, Allegro’s CEO, joins us to discuss their approach to MLOps and how to make deep learning development more robust.