Deep Learning Summit (Feb 14)

Being chair of the Deep Learning Summit 2015 in San Francisco was exhausting. Who knew telling dumb jokes staegically designed to bridge two unrelated talks could be so much work. From my experience, MCing and moderating are much more work and stress than speaking (which I also did). You’re responsible for making all of the speakers look good, not just yourself…which is hard enough.

The upside of Chairing the event was that I was forced to pay attention the whole time — I’ve gotten very bad about that at other conferences — giving me the chance to see some amazing work. As a scientist I loved all of the research talks but I’ll highlight a few of the demos:

  • MetaMind’s fast, trainable deep learning platform was something I intend to leverage.
  • On-chip deep neural networks from TerraDeep bring ubiquitous sensors into the mix.
  • Can DNNs “understand” beauty and creativity? Researchers from Flickr and Yahoo showed their results in this area.

Tech Industry & the LGBT Community: Bloomberg Panel (Jan 22)

I had an amazing time talking at Bloomberg’s West Coast headquarters about the good and bad of the tech industries relationship with LGBT workers and entrepreneurs. The panel included Sarah Kate Ellis, chief executive officer of GLAAD, Kiva Wilson, diversity manager at Facebook Inc.,Patrick Chung, founding partner of Xfund, and Dominique DeGuzman, software engineer at Twilio Inc. Bloomberg’s Peter Burrows was a wonderful moderator the panel.