This Week in Machine Learning & AI Podcast

This Week in Machine Learning & AI Podcast


This Week in Machine Learning & AI is the most popular podcast of its kind. TWiML & AI caters to a highly-targeted audience of machine learning & AI enthusiasts. They are data scientists, developers, founders, CTOs, engineers, architects, IT & product leaders, as well as tech-savvy business leaders. These creators, builders, makers and influencers value TWiML as an authentic, trusted and insightful guide to all that’s interesting and important in the world of machine learning and AI. Technologies covered include: machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, natural language processing, neural networks, analytics, deep learning and more.


Reinforcement Learning: The Next Frontier of Gaming with Danny Lange - TWiML Talk #24  

My guest on the show this week is Danny Lange, VP for Machine Learning & AI at video game technology developer Unity Technologies. Danny is well traveled in the world of ML and AI, and has had a hand in developing machine learning platforms at companies like Uber, Amazon and Microsoft. In this conversation we cover a bunch of topics, including How ML & AI are being used in gaming, the importance of reinforcement learning in the future of game development, the intersection between AI and AR/VR and the next steps in natural character interaction. The notes for this show can be found at

Deep Robotic Learning - Sergey Levine - TWiML Talk #37  

This week we continue our Industrial AI series with Sergey Levine, an Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley whose research focus is Deep Robotic Learning. Sergey is part of the same research team as a couple of our previous guests in this series, Chelsea Finn and Pieter Abbeel, and if the response we’ve seen to those shows is any indication, you’re going to love this episode! Sergey’s research interests, and our discussion, focus in on include how robotic learning techniques can be used to allow machines to acquire autonomously acquire complex behavioral skills. We really dig into some of the details of how this is done and I found that our conversation filled in a lot of gaps for me from the interviews with Pieter and Chelsea. By the way, this is definitely a nerd alert episode! Notes for this show can be found at

Smart Buildings & IoT - Yodit Stanton - TWiML Talk #36  

After a brief hiatus, the Industrial AI Series is making its triumphant return! Our guest this week is Yodit Stanton, a self-described Data Nerd, and the Founder & CEO of is a real-time data exchange for IoT, that enables anyone to publish and subscribe to real time open data in order to build higher order smart systems and better understand the world around them. Our discussion focuses on Smart Buildings and how they’re enabled by IoT and machine learning techniques. The notes for this show can be found at

Enhancing Customer Experiences With Emotional AI - Rana El Kaliouby - TWiML Talk #35  

My guest for this show is Rana el Kaliouby. Rana is co-founder and CEO of Affectiva. Affectiva, as Rana puts it, "is on a mission to humanize technology by bringing in artificial emotional intelligence". If you liked my conversation about Emotional AI with Pascale Fung from last year’s O’Reilly AI conference, you’re going to love this one. My conversation with Rana kind of picks up where the previous one left off, with a focus on how her company is bringing Artificial Emotional Intelligence services to market. Rana and her team have developed a machine learning / computer vision platform that can use the camera on any device to read your facial expressions in real time, then maps it to an emotional state. Using data science to mine the world’s largest emotion repository, Affectiva has collected over 5.5 million pieces of emotional expression data to date, from laptop, driving, cellular interactions. Understanding the importance of personal privacy, Rana and her Co-Founder Rosalind Wright Picard have vowed to shy away from partnerships that would subject consumers to unknowing surveillance, a commendable effort. The notes for this show can be found at

Intel Nervana Update + Productizing AI Research - Naveen Rao And Hanlin Tang - TWiML Talk #31  

I talked about Intel’s acquisition of Nervana Systems on the podcast when it happened almost a year ago, so I was super excited to have an opportunity to sit down with Nervana co-founder Naveen Rao, who now leads Intel’s newly formed AI Products Group, for the first show in our O'Reilly AI series. We talked about how Intel plans to extend its leadership position in general purpose compute into the AI realm by delivering silicon designed specifically for AI, end-to-end solutions including the cloud, enterprise data center, and the edge; and tools that let customers quickly productize and scale AI-based solutions. I also spoke with Hanlin Tang, an algorithms engineer at Intel’s AIPG, about two tools announced at the conference: version 2.0 of Intel Nervana’s deep learning framework Neon and Nervana Graph, a new toolset for expressing and running deep learning applications as framework and hardware-independent computational graphs. Nervana Graph in particular sounds like a very interesting project, not to mention a smart move for Intel, and I’d encourage folks to take a look at their Github repo. The show notes for this page can be found at

Expressive AI - Generated Music With Google's Performance RNN - Doug Eck - TWiML Talk #32  

This series is packed with more interviews that I know you’ll love, including: Naveen Rao + Hanlin Tang of Intel Nervana Doug Eck of Google Brain; We discuss the intersection of AI and Art in general, and Google’s Performance RNN project in particular, which was demonstrated for the first time at the conference. Ben Vigoda of Gamalon; we discuss probabilistic programming. This one I think is Nerd Alert worthy. Reza Zadeh of Matroid; about how his company is scaling video object detection, and Rana el Kaliouby of Affectiva, about how her company uses emotional AI to allow brands to better measure the effectiveness of customer experiences.

The Power Of Probabilistic Programming - Ben Vigoda - TWiML Talk #33  

My guest for this third episode in the O'Reilly AI series is Ben Vigoda. Ben is the founder and CEO of Gamalon, a DARPA-funded startup working on Bayesian Program Synthesis. We dive into what exactly this means and how it enables what Ben calls idea learning in the show. Gamalon's first application structures unstructured data — input a paragraph or phrase of unstructured text and output a structured spreadsheet/database row or API call. This can be applicable to a wide range of data challenges, including enterprise product and customer information, AI or digital assistant, and many others. Before Gamalon, Ben was co-founder and CEO of Lyric Semiconductor, Inc., which created the first microprocessor architectures dedicated for statistical machine learning. The company was based on his PhD thesis at MIT and acquired by Analog Devices. In today’s talk we are discussing probabilistic programming, his new approach to deep learning, posterior distribution, and the difference between sampling methods and variational methods and how solvers work in the system. Nerd alert: We go pretty deep in this discussion. The notes for this show can be found at

Video Object Detection At Scale - Reza Zadeh - TWiML Talk #34  

My guest for the fourth show in the O'Reilly AI Series is Reza Zadeh. Reza is an adjunct professor of computational mathematics at Stanford University and founder and CEO of the startup Matroid. Reza has a background in machine translation and distributed machine learning, along with having helped build Apache Spark, and the"Who to Follow" feature on Twitter, which is based on a chapter from his PhD thesis. Our conversation focused on some of the challenges and approaches to scaling deep learning, both in general and in the context of his company’s video object detection service. Our conversation focused on some of the challenges and approaches to scaling deep learning, both in general and in the context of his company’s video object detection service. We also spoke about the advancement of computer vision technologies, using CPU's, GPU's, the upcoming shift to TPU's and we get below the surface on Apache Spark.

Natural Language Understanding for Amazon Alexa with Zornitsa Kozareva - TWiML Talk #30  

Our guest this week is Zornitsa Kozareva, Manager of Machine Learning with Amazon Web Services Deep Learning, where she leads a group focused on natural language processing and dialogue systems for products like Alexa and Lex, the latter of which we introduce in the podcast. We spend most of our time talking through the architecture of modern Natural Language Understanding systems, including the role of deep learning, and some of the various ways folks are working to overcome the challenges in this field, such as understanding human intent. If you’re interested in this field she mentions the AWS Chatbot Challenge, which you’ve still got a couple more weeks to participate in. The notes for this show can be found at

Robotic Perception and Control with Chelsea Finn - TWiML Talk #29  

This week we continue our series on industrial applications of machine learning and AI with a conversation with Chelsea Finn, a PhD student at UC Berkeley. Chelsea’s research is focused on machine learning for robotic perception and control. Despite being early in her career, Chelsea is an accomplished researcher with more than 14 published papers in the past 2 years, on subjects like Deep Visual Foresight , Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning and Visuomotor Learning to name a few, all of which we discuss in the show, along with topics like zero-shot, one-shot and few-shot learning. I’d also like to give a shout out to Shreyas, a listener who wrote in to request that we interview a current PhD student about their journey and experiences. Chelsea and I spend some time at the end of the interview talking about this, and she has some great advice for current and prospective PhD students but also independent learners in the field. During this part of the discussion I wonder out loud if any listeners would be interested in forming a virtual paper reading club of some sort. I’m not sure yet exactly what this would look like, but please drop a comment in the show notes if you’re interested. I'm going to once again deploy the Nerd Alert for this episode; Chelsea and I really dig deep into these learning methods and techniques, and this conversation gets pretty technical at times, to the point that I had a tough time keeping up myself. The notes for this page can be found at

Reinforcement Learning Deep Dive with Pieter Abbeel - TWiML Talk #28  

This week our guest is Pieter Abbeel, Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley, Research Scientist at OpenAI, and Cofounder of Gradescope. Pieter has an extensive background in AI research, going way back to his days as Andrew Ng’s first PhD student at Stanford. His research today is focused on deep learning for robotics. During this conversation, Pieter and I really dig into reinforcement learning, a technique for allowing robots (or AIs) to learn through their own trial and error. Nerd alert!! This conversation explores cutting edge research with one of the leading researchers in the field and, as a result, it gets pretty technical at times. I try to uplevel it when I can keep up myself, so hang in there. I promise that you’ll learn a ton if you keep with it. The notes for this show can be found at

Intelligent Autonomous Robots with Ilia Baranov - TWiML Talk #27  

Our first guest in the Industrial AI series is Ilia Baranov, engineering manager at Clearpath Robotics. Ilia is responsible for setting the engineering direction for all of Clearpath’s research platforms. Ilia likes to describe his role at the company as “both enabling and preventing the robot revolution.” He’s a longtime contributor to the Open Source Robotics Community and ROS, an open source robotic operating system. He is the also the managing engineer of the PR2 support team at Clearpath and leads the technical demonstration group. In our conversation we cover a lot of ground, including what it really means to field autonomous robots, the use of autonomous robots in research and industrial environments, the different approaches and challenges to achieving autonomy, and much more! The notes for this show are available at, and for more information on the Industrial AI Series, visit

Global AI Trends with Ben Lorica - TWiML Talk #26  

This week I’ve invited my friend Ben Lorica onto the show. Ben is Chief Data Scientist for O’Reilly Media, and Program Director of Strata Data & the O'Reilly A.I. conference. Ben has worked on analytics and machine learning in the finance and retail industries, and serves as an advisor for nearly a dozen startups. In his role at O’Reilly he’s responsible for the content for 7 major conferences around the world each year. In the show we discuss all of that, touching on how publishers can take advantage of machine learning and data mining, how the role of “data scientist” is evolving and the emergence of the machine learning engineer, and a few of the hot technologies, trends and companies that he’s seeing arise around the world. The notes for this show can be found at

Offensive vs Defensive Data Science with Deep Varma  

This week on the show my guest is Deep Varma, Vice President of Data Engineering at real estate startup Trulia. Deep has run data engineering teams in silicon valley for well over a decade, and is now responsible for the engineering efforts supporting Trulia’s Big Data Technology Platform, which encompasses everything from Data acquisition & management to Data Science & Algorithms. In the show we discuss all of that, with an emphasis on Trulia’s data engineering pipeline and their personalization platform, as well how they use computer vision, deep learning and natural language generation to deliver their product. Along the way, Deep offers great insights into what he calls offensive vs defensive data science, and the difference between data-driven decision making vs products. Another great interview, and i'm sure you’ll enjoy it. The notes for this show can be found at Subscribe! iTunes ➙ Soundcloud ➙ Google Play ➙ Stitcher ➙ RSS ➙ Lets Connect! ➙ Twitter ➙ Facebook ➙ Medium ➙

Integrating Psycholinguistics into AI with Dominique Simmons - TWiML Talk #23  

I think you’re really going to enjoy today’s show. Our guest this week is Dominique Simmons, Applied research Scientist at AI tools vendor Dimensional Mechanics. Dominique brings an interesting background in Cognitive Psychology and psycholinguistics to her work and research in AI and, well, to this podcast. In our conversation, we cover the implications of cognitive psychology for neural networks and AI systems, and in particular how an understanding of human cognition impacts the development of AI models for media applications. We also discuss her research into multimodal training of AI models, and how our understanding of the human brain has influenced this work. We also explore the debate around the biological plausibility of machine learning and AI models. It was a great conversation.

Deep Neural Nets for Visual Recognition with Matt Zeiler  

Today we bring you our final interview from backstage at the NYU FutureLabs AI Summit. Our guest this week is Matt Zeiler. Matt graduated from the University of Toronto where he worked with deep learning researcher Geoffrey Hinton and went on to earn his PhD in machine learning at NYU, home of Yann Lecun. In 2013 Matt’s founded Clarifai, a startup whose cloud-based visual recognition system gives developers a way to integrate visual identification into their own products, and whose initial image classification algorithm achieved top 5 results in that year’s ImageNet competition. I caught up with Matt after his talk “From Research to the Real World”. Our conversation focused on the birth and growth of Clarifai, as well as the underlying deep neural network architectures that enable it. If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you’ve heard me ask several guests how they go about evolving the architectures of their deep neural networks to enhance performance. Well, in this podcast Matt gives the most satisfying answer I’ve received to date by far. Check it out. I think you’ll enjoy it. The show notes can be found at

Engineering the Future of AI with Ruchir Puri - TWiML Talk #21  

Today we bring you the second of three interviews we did backstage from the NYU FutureLabs AI Summit, this time with Ruchir Puri. Ruchir is the Chief Architect at IBM Watson as well as an IBM Fellow. I caught up with Ruchir after his talk on “engineering the Future of AI for Businesses”. Our conversation focused on cognition and reasoning, and we explored what these concepts represent, how enterprises really want to consume them, and how IBM Watson seeks to deliver them. The show notes can be found at

Selling AI to the Enterprise with Kathryn Hume - TWiML Talk #20  

This week's guest is Kathryn Hume. Kathryn is the President of Fast Forward Labs, which is an independent machine intelligence research company that helps organizations accelerate their data science and machine intelligence capabilities. If Fast Forward Labs sounds familiar, that's because we had their founder, Hilary Mason on a few months ago. We’ll link to that in the show notes. My discussion with Kathryn focused on AI adoption within the enterprise. She shared several really interesting examples of the kinds of things she’s seeing enterprises do with machine learning and AI, and we discussed a few of the various challenges enterprises face and some of the lessons her company has learned in helping them. I really enjoyed our conversation and I know you will too! You can find the notes for todays show here:

From Particle Physics to Audio AI with Scott Stephenson - TWiML Talk #19  

This week my guest is Scott Stephenson. Scott is co-Founder & CEO of Deepgram, which has developed an AI-based platform for indexing and searching audio and video. Scott and I cover a ton of interesting topics including applying machine learning techniques to particle physics, his time in a lab 2 miles below the surface of the earth, applying neural networks to audio, and the Deep Learning Framework Kur that his company open-sourced. The show notes can be found at

(1/5) HelloVera - AI-Powered Customer Support  - TWiML Talk #18  

This week I'm on location at NYU/ffVC AI NexusLab startup accelerator, speaking with founders from the 5 companies in the program's inaugural batch. This interview is with HelloVera, a company applying artificial intelligence to the challenge of automating customer support experiences. The notes for this series can be found at Thanks to Future Labs at NYU Tandon and ffVenture Capital for sponsoring the series!

(2/5) Klustera - Location-Based Intelligence for Smarter Marketing - TWiML Talk #18  

This week I'm on location at NYU/ffVC AI NexusLab startup accelerator, speaking with founders from the 5 companies in the program's inaugural batch. This interview is with Klustera, a company applying location-based intelligence and machine learning to help brands execute smarter marketing campaigns. The notes for this series can be found at Thanks to Future Labs at NYU Tandon and ffVenture Capital for sponsoring the series!

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