Heroes of Deep Learning: Ruslan Salakhutdinov


“In academia, I feel like you have more freedom to work on long-term problems. At the same time, the research you do in industry is also very exciting because, in many cases, you can impact millions of users if you develop a core AI technology.”

Ruslan Salakhutdinov is the current Director of AI Research at Apple. He completed his PhD at the University of Toronto under Geoffrey Hinton and specializes in the field of statistical machine learning. Ruslan is also a Professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon.

Andrew and Salakhutdinov chat about his early work on Restricted Boltzmann Machines, his thoughts on working in academia and industry, and some of the most exciting research frontiers.

Here’s what you’ll learn in the interview:

  • 1:49: The story behind Salakhutdinov’s early paper on Restricted Boltzmann Machines
  • 3:40: What’s happening currently in the research on Boltzmann Machines
  • 7:34: How Salakhutdinov’s thinking about deep learning has changed over time
  • 9:45: Salakhutdinov’s thoughts on supervised learning versus unsupervised learning approaches
  • 10:46: Salakhutdinov’s advice for breaking into AI
  • 13:07: The pros and cons of doing a PhD versus working in industry
  • 15:05 The research topics Salakhutdinov is most excited about

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