“AI for Everyone” at the 2017 Microsoft MLADS Conference

The 2017 Microsoft Machine Learning, Analytics, and Data Science (MLADS) conference was held from Wednesday, June 7 through Friday, June 9, on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. MLADS is an internal event open only to employees.

There were about 100 sessions (talks, tutorials, workshops). Examples include “Scalable Machine Learning with Spark an R”, “Fine-Grained Sentiment Analysis for Better Customer Feedback Analysis”, and “Deep Learning for Machine Reading Comprehension”.

In January of 2017, Microsoft Executive Vice President Harry Shum announced the creation of the Microsoft AI School. It’s an internal organization that has a mandate to spread knowledge of machine learning and artificial intelligence throughout the company.

The AI School team delivered a session titled “AI for Everyone”. I acted as one of the hosts, and as one of the technical experts for the question and answer session following the talk (along with Ken and Roland). The two main speakers were Rick and Ani. Rick has a unique perspective while Ani is more traditional in his approach. Rick talked about the history of AI and gave a broad overview. Ani explained simple neural networks.

I estimate there were approximately 150 people attending the session. There is tremendous energy, enthusiasm, and thirst for knowledge about machine learning and AI. It’s a very exciting time to be a researcher or engineer who works with ML/AI.





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