Sep 9–12, 2019

Executive Briefing: What you must know to build AI systems that understand natural language

David Talby (Pacific AI)
4:00pm4:40pm Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Location: LL21 A/B
Secondary topics:  Text, Language, and Speech
Average rating: ***..
(3.33, 6 ratings)



New AI solutions in question answering, chatbots, structured data extraction, text generation, and inference all require deep understanding of the nuances of human language. David Talby outlines challenges, risks, and best practices for building natural language understanding (NLU)-based systems, drawing on examples and case studies from products and services built by Fortune 500 companies and startups over the past six years.

David also highlights some of the differences between language understanding and other machine learning and deep learning applications. You’ll learn about what gave NLU its reputation as an “AI complete” problem, the need to train domain-specific natural language processing (NLP) models for most systems because of the many languages we speak every day, the evolution from “traditional” machine learning and information retrieval techniques to current state-of-the-art systems, and guidelines to architecting a system that trains and serves large, current, and accurate domain-specific NLP models using open source software.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of AI (machine learning, deep learning, and NLP)

What you'll learn

  • Learn best practices, risks, and expectations from a variety of real-world industry NLU projects
Photo of David Talby

David Talby

Pacific AI

David Talby is a chief technology officer at Pacific AI, helping fast-growing companies apply big data and data science techniques to solve real-world problems in healthcare, life science, and related fields. David has extensive experience in building and operating web-scale data science and business platforms, as well as building world-class, agile, distributed teams. Previously, he led business operations for Bing Shopping in the US and Europe with Microsoft’s Bing Group and built and ran distributed teams that helped scale Amazon’s financial systems with Amazon in both Seattle and the UK. David holds a PhD in computer science and master’s degrees in both computer science and business administration.

  • Intel AI
  • O'Reilly
  • Amazon Web Services
  • IBM Watson
  • Dataiku
  • Dell Technologies
  • Intuit
  • Gamalon
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • MapR Technologies
  • Sisu Data
  • Intuit

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