Cat sleeping
Jul 22, 2020

The Batch: Corporate Deepfakes, Robot Chemists, Smart Boutiques, Curvy Neural Nets

I received a copy of Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams as a Christmas gift — back in the pre-Covid era — and finished it last weekend. This book by Matthew Walker, director of UC Berkeley’s sleep and neuroimaging lab...
People holding a "No student ban, no deportations" sign
Jul 15, 2020

The Batch: Easier Shopping, Smarter Manufacturing, Scarier Monsters, Sharper Headlines

Last week, I wrote about the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy that would have forced international students to leave the country if their university went fully online to manage the risk of Covid-19.
Andrew Ng's Certificate of Elegibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student
Jul 08, 2020

The Batch: Biased Datasets, AI for Footballers, Transformers for Object Detection, Photorealistic Faces From History

I am appalled by the policy, announced on Monday by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), that international students in the country on an F-1 visa must leave if their school goes fully online to cope with Covid-19.
The word "bias" with a forbidden sign over it
Jul 01, 2020

The Batch: Bias in Plain Sight, Apple's New AI, Amazon's Virtual Fitting Room, Bot Besties, Researchers Go Ape

We know that biased data leads to biased machine learning. But does the problem go beyond that? A few colleagues asked about this after a heated exchange on Twitter between Yann LeCun and Timnit Gebru (see “Image Resolution in Black and White” below).
US Notice of Action
Jun 24, 2020

The Batch: Who Still Sells Face Recognition to Police?, AI's Talent Pipeline, Misleading Research, Scaling Models from Serve

I was dismayed on Monday to read that the U.S. is suspending the H1-B visa program at least through the end of the year. This effort to discourage immigration can only bring distress to workers from other countries and harm to the U.S.
Speech bubble with binary code inside
Jun 17, 2020

The Batch: NLP Special Issue! Powerful techniques from Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce

I’m thrilled to announce our new Natural Language Processing Specialization! Courses 1 and 2 are available on Coursera. We expect to release Courses 3 and 4 soon.
Students and associates of AI4US
Jun 10, 2020

The Batch: AI's Progress Problem, Recognizing Masked Faces, Mapping Underwater Ecosystems, Augmenting Features

Last week, I wrote about the diversity problem in AI and why we need to fix it. I asked you to tell us about your experiences as a Black person in AI or share the names of Black colleagues you admire.
Posters of George Floyd stuck on a glass door
Jun 03, 2020

The Batch: Facebook’s Unruly Algorithm, AI That Does the Dishes, New Life for Old Data, Models That Take Shortcuts, YOLO

Like many of you, I’m deeply saddened by the events of the past week. I’m horrified by the senseless violence perpetrated against Black communities and appalled by the persistent racial injustice of our society. It’s long past time to right these terrible wrongs.
Photos of different Pie & AI events
May 27, 2020

The Batch: AI's New Supercomputer, GANs as Simulators, Giant Chatbot Shootout, Big Tech Meets Big Oil

I’m proud to announce that we held the 100th Pie & AI last Friday. Pie & AI is our meetup series that brings together members of the AI community worldwide for education, conversation, and a slice of pie.
People's fingers forming a triangle
May 20, 2020

The Batch: Covid-19 Infects AI, Learning from Small Data, Generated Music Goes Mainstream, Fighting Pandemic Disinformation

I recently received an email from one of you who lives far from the major AI hubs, saying, “I feel like I’m all alone.” I want to tell you all: Even if it sometimes feels like you’re facing the challenges of work and life in isolation, you are not alone!
Men on either side of Blue Nile River in Ethiopia pull each other across the broken bridge by a rope
May 13, 2020

The Batch: Covid Mask Detection, Brain To Text Translation, AI Chooses Tax Brackets, Neural Network Security

Inflection points in society create opportunities. The rise of online video was an inflection point that enabled scalable online education. The rise of the GPS-enabled smartphones similarly enabled Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, and many other services.
Two partial images of a retina
May 06, 2020

The Batch: Pandemic Triage, Asia's AI Advantage, Detecting Deepfakes, Cleaning Oceans, Music Industry in a Box

There has been a lot of excitement about the idea of using deep learning to diagnose diabetic retinopathy: That is by taking a photo of the retina and using AI to detect signs of disease.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai
Apr 29, 2020

The Batch: Tesla Parts the Curtain, Detecting Dangerous Bugs, Mapping Disaster Zones, Detecting Humans from Wi-Fi

In an earlier letter, I wrote about the challenge of robustness: A learning algorithm that performs well on test data often doesn’t work well in a practical production environment because the real world turns out to be different than the test set.
Slide with info about school closures as of April 20, 2020
Apr 22, 2020

The Batch: AI Versus Covid Wake-Up Call, Straight Poop from a Smart Toilet, Sharper Image Inputs, Predicting Farm Yields

I spoke on Tuesday at Coursera’s annual conference. It was the company’s most well-attended conference yet, and the first to be held online. Higher education is in for turbulent times. With campuses shut down indefinitely...
Neural network with the Caduceus sign
Apr 15, 2020

The Batch: AI For Medicine Special! Eric Topol’s Planetary Health System, Discovering Drugs, Diagnosing Heart Disease

This week’s issue of The Batch is all about medical applications of AI. Amid the current pandemic, the marriage of AI and medicine is more urgent than ever. My father is a practicing doctor, and I grew up seeing firsthand how the right...

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