Saturday, August 28, 2021

Amazing: Carbon Robotics Weeder - Deep Learning for Organic Weed Control!

 This is totally amazing: 

As someone who works on manufacturing automation with robotics and vision, I can say this is a very complicated task since the robot has to distinguish by a 2D image between the right crop and weeds. Also the laser shooting of the weeds is awesome!

After one minute of digging I found out I know Nick Kirsch who is a director at Carbon Robotics and was an executive intern in our startup Turi in 2016! This is a Seattle based company, I can't wait to talk to Nick and learn more. 

What is MBZUAI ?

 Today I found (slightly late) that Prof. Eric Xing from Carnegie Mellon MBZUAI (Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence) as their President late last year. Eric is a well known professor which I know from my CMU days, who was the CEO of Petuum, a Parameter Server like implementation for scaling up machine learning. 

From MBZUAI website: MBZUAI is the world’s first graduate-level, research-based artificial intelligence (AI) university. Launched in October 2019 and located in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, the University aims to empower students, businesses and governments to advance artificial intelligence as a global force for positive progress. 

When reading this news I also found that the Israeli Weizman Institute is collaborating with MBZUAI for a joint AI program. This is a great fruit of the recent peace treaty of Israel and Abu Dhabi.

Another interesting organization is which is OpenAI like org from Abu Dahbi. 

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Israeli AI21 Launches the Biggest NLP Model So Far

 AI21 is a research lab is the Israeli equivalent OpenAI, founded by several machine learning luminaries including Prof. Amnon Shashua (MobileEye, Orcam, Digial Bank) who is a Prof at the Hebrew University. (Amnon was my lecturer for the ML course, which was an amazing course and he is an amazing person as well). 

This week AI21 announced the release of the largest NLP model called Jurassic-1. It is a comparable model to GPT-3. The is no objective evaluation of the two models, but AI21 mentions that the number of word tokens used to train the models is 250K (compared to around 50K of GPT-3) which gives more flexibility in answering questions regarding common phrases, named entities etc. A great tutorial for GPT-3 is given in Yannic's Youtube Channel:

Building such a large NLP model is challenging, since the model has around 170B parameters and you need weeks of training with hundreds of GPUs, a cost that typically only the biggest companies can afford. Another interesting company I recently met is LightOn which builds photon based hardware to training language models, they recently announced the largest French based model.

It will be interesting to see when AI21 and similar companies will move to training non-English corpuses which is the place such companies can shine. 

An interesting conference coming up soon is the NLP Summit (An online event Oct 5-7).

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Yannic Kilchner - The Man and the Legend

 I recently stumbled upon Yannic's Youtube Channel and I was totally blown away. Yannic is a fresh PhD out of ETH Zurich and he has few dozens of recent deep learning papers explained amazingly well. Both the selection of papers is smart, as well as the explanation of the content. In addition for some of the papers he adds personal comments and critics about the papers claims which really make sense. The audience for those tutorials is advanced deep learning audience and they cover advanced topics which Coursera courses mostly did not catch up yet. For example great coverage of transformers for both language and image models. 

According to his LinkedIn, Yannic recently started a company along with 3 other ETH PhDs called DeepJudge which deploys deep learning NLP models in the legal domain. The company is 4 months old and according to CrunchBase raised a small seed round. 

Based on the brains of the DeepJudge team, I call all the VCs, headhunters, university recruiters and everyone else to wake up! I am pretty sure we will here a lot of those guys.