I Give a Talk about the CNTK Library

I gave a talk about the Microsoft CNTK v2.0 code library. CNTK (which formerly stood for “computational network tool kit”) is a sophisticated code library that software developers can use to create deep neural networks. You call the library functions using the Python language.

Among my developer colleagues there is great interest in gaining machine learning skills. So, I wasn’t surprised when a lot of people showed up in person for my talk, and over 600 people viewed the talk as it was streamed live.

My talk had two parts. In the first part I showed how to install CNTK. In the second part I showed how to use CNTK. I don’t feel guilty about spending time showing attendees exactly how to install CNTK, step by step. Too many times speakers think they have to show off by saying something like, “The installation process isn’t worth our time.”

Well, yes, the installation process is worth spending time on, because it can be quite tricky, and there are several useful things revealed when going over an installation carefully.

In the second part of my talk, I showed exactly how to set up data, create a single hidden layer neural network, train the network, evaluate the quality of the trained model, use the model to make a prediction, and described how you’d go about transferring a trained CNTK model to another system, such as a C# program.

As usual, the audience asked a lot of very interesting questions. No matter how well anyone thinks they know a topic, when you present that topic, the audience is sure to ask some great questions that help clarify the topic.

I really like CNTK. I think I know it pretty well, considering that v2 was just released a few weeks ago as I write this post. But CNTK is very complex so there’s a lot more for me to learn. You can check out my July 2017 article on CNTK in MSDN Magazine at: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/mt784662.

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