Put AI to work
June 26-27, 2017: Training
June 27-29, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Schedule: Natural Language sessions

The ability to converse with machines as if they were people has been a major ambition for AI. That reality is rapidly approaching as a combination of new developments has brought natural language towards human-level performance.

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9:00am - 5:00pm Monday, June 26 & Tuesday, June 27
Location: Clinton
Delip Rao (R7 Speech Science)
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 3 ratings)
Delip Rao explores natural language processing using a set of machine learning techniques known as deep learning. Delip walks you through neural network architectures and NLP tasks and teaches you how to apply these architectures for those tasks. Read more.
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9:00am12:30pm Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Interacting with AI
Location: Beekman Level: Intermediate
Galiya Warrier (Microsoft), Gary Short (Microsoft)
Galiya Warrier and Gary Short walk you through creating a quantitative graph model from qualitative written information and demonstrate how to add a conversational frontend using the Microsoft Bot Framework. Read more.
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9:05am9:20am Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Location: Grand Ballroom
Richard Socher (Salesforce)
Average rating: ***..
(3.67, 9 ratings)
AI presents a huge opportunity for businesses to personalize and improve customer experiences and improve efficiency, but the technical complexity of AI puts it out of reach for most companies. Richard Socher explains how Salesforce is doing the heavy lifting to deliver seamless and scalable AI to its customers. Read more.
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9:50am10:05am Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Location: Grand Ballroom
David Ferrucci (Elemental Cognition)
Average rating: ****.
(4.43, 14 ratings)
AI systems should not only propose solutions or answers but also explain why they make sense. Statistical machine learning is a powerful tool for discovering patterns in data, but, David Ferrucci asks, can it produce understanding or enable humans to justify and take reasoned responsibility for individual outcomes? Read more.
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11:05am11:45am Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Implementing AI
Location: Sutton South/Regent Parlor
Jennifer Chu-Carroll (Elemental Cognition)
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 4 ratings)
Why is reading comprehension hard? Jennifer Chu-Carroll offers an overview of current approaches, explaining where they fall short and what our ultimate expectations should be. Read more.
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11:55am12:35pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Location: Sutton South/Regent Parlor
Delip Rao (R7 Speech Science)
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 5 ratings)
Not a single day goes by without a mention of "fake news" or the problems it causes. Delip Rao offers a nonpartisan overview of fake news, briefly exploring the technology landscape surrounding the content verification and validation problem and diving deeper into the Fake News Challenge and the stance detection problem. Read more.
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1:45pm2:25pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Interacting with AI
Location: Sutton South/Regent Parlor Level: Intermediate
Kristian Hammond (Northwestern Computer Science)
Average rating: ***..
(3.83, 6 ratings)
Kristian Hammond offers an overview of advanced natural language generation (NLG), a subfield of artificial intelligence, and the assorted technical systems involved with this emerging technology, along with the mechanisms that drive them. Read more.
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2:35pm3:15pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Interacting with AI
Location: Sutton South/Regent Parlor Level: Beginner
Yishay Carmiel (IntelligentWire)
There has been a quantum leap in the performance of conversational AI. From speech recognition to machine translation and language understanding, deep learning made its mark. However, scaling and productizing these breakthroughs remains a big challenge. Yishay Carmiel shares techniques and tips on how to take advantage of large datasets, accelerate training, and create an end-to-end product. Read more.
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2:35pm3:15pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Impact of AI on business and society
Location: Beekman Level: Beginner
Ben Medlock (Microsoft)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Ben Medlock explores the future of AI, explaining why the potential it holds is not at all frightening. Ben argues that the key to achieving elusive human-like AI lies in a central piece of the puzzle: embodiment. Read more.
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4:00pm4:40pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Interacting with AI
Location: Sutton South/Regent Parlor Level: Beginner
Mohamed Musbah (Maluuba Inc.)
Average rating: ****.
(4.75, 4 ratings)
AI research in comprehension, communication, and modeling human-like thinking skills is heralding the dawn of literate machines. Although there has been a lot of recent hype around bots, we’re only just beginning to see the potential for language understanding. Mohamed Musbah explores key research areas and explains how they will power new products and services in language understanding. Read more.
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4:50pm5:30pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Impact of AI on business and society
Location: Beekman Level: Non-technical
Tim Estes (Digital Reasoning)
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 2 ratings)
As AI moves from concept to reality, debates about ethics are evolving into excitement and the desire to learn more about AI and its promise of a better world. Tim Estes discusses two customer use cases: Nasdaq, which found a way to use AI to help safeguard financial markets, and Thorn, which found a way to use AI to combat human trafficking and rescue children. Read more.
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4:50pm5:30pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Verticals and applications
Location: Sutton South/Regent Parlor Level: Beginner
Francisco Webber (Cortical.io)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Financial industries are under increased pressure due to regulations that demand extended information management capabilities. Information largely consists of text data, which forces companies to increase headcount to keep up with the growing workload. Francisco Webber demonstrates how Cortical.io’s semantic folding, a neuroscience-based approach to NLU, helps automate these uses cases. Read more.
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11:05am11:45am Thursday, June 29, 2017
Verticals and applications
Location: Gramercy East/West Level: Beginner
Michael Nova (Pathway Genomics)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Precision medicine is largely a big data and systems problem, especially with many different types of "siloed" healthcare information, such as lab results, genetic tests, IoT and wearables data, and insurance information. Michael Nova explains why cognitive computing and artificial intelligence that can dynamically learn using any healthcare data will dramatically impact precision healthcare. Read more.
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11:55am12:35pm Thursday, June 29, 2017
Implementing AI
Location: Sutton Center/North Level: Intermediate
Jason Laska (Clara Labs)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Clara Labs is fusing machine learning (ML) with distributed human labor for natural language tasks. The result is a virtuous cycle: ML predictions improve workers’ efficiency, and workers help improve prediction models. Jason Laska explores the challenges of building a real-time(ish) knowledge workforce, how to integrate automation, and key strategies Clara Labs learned that enable scale. Read more.
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2:35pm3:15pm Thursday, June 29, 2017
Impact of AI on business and society
Location: Sutton Center/North Level: Non-technical
Codruta Gamulea (Bakken & Bæck)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 1 rating)
The promise of AI in the newsroom is contradictory: NLG revolutionizes news writing, but robot journalists threaten jobs; NLP improves fact-checking but requires investments that slimmed-down newsrooms cannot afford. Drawing on Norwegian AI startup Orbit’s experience, Codruta Gamulea explains how AI can help solve the industry resource constraints and improve the quality of journalism. Read more.
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4:00pm4:40pm Thursday, June 29, 2017
Implementing AI
Location: Gramercy East/West Level: Intermediate
Jan Neumann (Comcast), Ferhan Ture (Comcast), Shahin Sefati (Comcast)
AI plays an essential role in creating the Comcast X1 entertainment experience and is how millions of its customers access their content on the TV. Jan Neumann, Ferhan Ture, and Shahin Sefati explain how AI enables Comcast to understand what you are looking for when you talk to the X1 voice remote and how Comcast scaled the voice interface to answer millions of voice queries every single night. Read more.
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4:50pm5:30pm Thursday, June 29, 2017
Implementing AI
Location: Sutton South/Regent Parlor Level: Intermediate
Jonathan Mugan (DeepGrammar)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
Jonathan Mugan surveys the field of natural language processing (NLP), both from a symbolic and a subsymbolic perspective, arguing that the current limitations of NLP stem from computers having a lack of grounded understanding of our world. Jonathan then outlines ways that computers can achieve that understanding. Read more.
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4:50pm5:30pm Thursday, June 29, 2017
Verticals and applications
Location: Gramercy East/West Level: Non-technical
Paco Nathan (derwen.ai)
Paco Nathan explains how O'Reilly employs AI, from the obvious (chatbots, case studies about other firms) to the less so (using AI to show the structure of content in detail, enhance search and recommendations, and guide editors for gap analysis, assessment, pathing, etc.). Approaches include vector embedding search, summarization, TDA for content gap analysis, and speech-to-text to index video. Read more.