In September 2016, the ReWork team organised another deep learning conference in London. This is the third of their conferences I have attended and each time they continue to be a fantastic cross section of academia, enterprise research and start-ups. As usual, I took a large amount of notes on both days and I’ll be putting these up as separate posts, this one covers the morning of day 1. For reference, the notes from previous events can be found here: Boston 2015, Boston 2016.
Day one began with a brief introduction from Neil Lawrence, who has just moved from the University of Sheffield to Amazon research in Cambridge. Rather strangely, his introduction finished with him introducing himself, which we all found funny. His talk was titled the “Data Delusion” and started with a brief history of how digital data has exploded. By 2002, SVM papers dominated NIPs, but there wasn’t the level of data to make these systems work. There was a great analogy with the steam engine, originally invented by Thomas Newcomen in 1712 for pumping out tin mines, but it was hugely inefficient due to the amount of coal required. James Watt took the design and improved on it by adding the condenser, which (in combination with efficient coal distribution) led to the industrial revolution1. Machine learning now needs its “condenser” moment.
When I attended the ReWork Deep Learning conference in Boston in May 2016, one of the most interesting talks was about the Echo and the Alexa personal assistant from Amazon. As someone whose day job is AI, it seemed only right that I surround myself by as much as possible from other companies. This week, after it being on back order for a while, it finally arrived. At £50, the Echo Dot is a reasonable price, with the only negative I was aware of before ordering being that the sound quality “wasn’t great” from a reviewer. Continue reading Amazon Echo Dot (second generation): Review
The day started with a great intro from Jana Eggers with a positive message about nurturing this AI baby that is being created rather than the doomsday scenario that is regularly spouted. We are a collaborative discipline of academia and industry and we can focus on how we use this for good. Continue reading ReWork DL Boston 2016 – Day 1
I first used the Surface Pro 3 on my trip to Boston to take notes at ReWorkDL rather than scribbling on bits of paper or taking a full laptop and found it to be a great replacement for an A4 notebook, but didn’t really use it to its full potential. At the start of November, I joined a new company and I’ve been using the Surface exclusively for all my note taking, as well as for studying for my OU Maths modules.
With the recent release of the Surface 4, there may be people wondering if they’re worth it, and what use they’d get out of it. There are plenty of technical reviews around so I’d suggest using those as a starting point, and if you’re headed out to the sales, you might find my experiences helpful. Continue reading Surface Pro: how I use it – a review
After somewhat mixed reviews of last week’s episode I was interested to see whether episode 2 of Girls Can Code had any more emphasis on the coding side.
It started with a comment that the girls were building a tech business rather than actually learning to code themselves. This justified one of the major criticisms of the show – that it was nothing about coding. While I’m sure that this was all fixed months ago, I did wonder if the voice over for the start of the show had been rerecorded after the response to the first episode. Continue reading Girls Can Code – episode 2 thoughts
As part of the BBC’s Make it Digital season, there was a great program on BBC3 showcasing that “Girls Can Code”. Such a shame it was on a minor channel at 9pm rather than BBC1 or BBC2 earlier. However, BBC3 is aimed at the youth market so I’m hoping that enough young women watched it to be inspired.
If you missed it, it’s available on iPlayer (UK only) for the next month, with the second episode next Monday.
This isn’t the apprentice – they don’t need to crush each other to get ahead – Alice Levine
Since my daughter was born in 2011, I can count the number of uninterrupted nights’ sleep I’ve had on a very small number of fingers. She has never subscribed to the 11-16 hours sleep a day that toddlers are supposed to need and has never wanted to miss a thing, stubbornly staying awake until past what I’d consider to be my bedtime, waking up during the night and then again pretty early. As a result I’ve got used to celebrating if she falls asleep before 11pm 1 and if I get a block of sleep lasting 6 hours or more.
We’ve tried pretty much everything we can think of2 to get her to sleep and, while she’s been well behaved (other than being awake when I’d like a bit of me time), it’s been frustrating all round. I’d said on multiple occasions that it would be great if I could hire Derren Brown for an evening just to hypnotise her3 and then I heard about a book that could put any child to sleep… Continue reading The Rabbit who wants to fall asleep – review
While on my flight to Boston for ReWorkDL I watched Ex Machina the “must see” latest AI film. I’d been warned that it wasn’t very good by my husband (who’d just flown home the day before!) but I thought that since he’d already seen it, I’d better take the chance to watch it since it’s unlikely to be something we’d watch together in the future. If you haven’t seen it, then please be aware that this post does contain spoilers so read on with caution. Continue reading Ex Machina – film review
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