Road sign with the text "new way"
Nov 20, 2019

The Batch: Artificial Noses, Surveillance on Wheels, Unwelcome Researchers, Privacy Problems, Beyond Bounding Boxes

My last two letters explored robustness and small data as common reasons why AI projects fail. In the final letter of this three-part series, I’d like to discuss change management. Change management isn’t an issue specific to AI, but given the technology’s disruptive nature...
Charts with data explaining how ML works with data distribution
Nov 13, 2019

The Batch: Self-Driving Cars That Can't See Pedestrians?! Evolutionary Algorithms, Fish Recognition, Fighting Fraud

In this series exploring why machine learning projects fail, let’s examine the challenge of “small data.” Given 1 million labeled images, many teams can build a good classifier using open source.
Diagram showing what's needed to build a machine learning product
Nov 06, 2019

The Batch: DeepMind Masters StarCraft 2, AI Attacks on Amazon, A Career in Robot Management, Banks Embrace Bots

Building AI systems is hard. Despite all the hype, AI engineers struggle with difficult problems every day. For the next few weeks, I’ll explore some of the major challenges. Today’s topic: The challenge of building AI systems that are robust to real-world conditions.
Illustration of a ghost
Oct 30, 2019

The Batch: Daemon Spawn, AGI Takeover, Deepfake Deluge, Bias Crisis - How Scared Should You Be?

Welcome to the Halloween edition of The Batch! I promised last week to share some common reasons for AI project failures. But first, let’s start with some of the least common reasons.
Pie & AI and IASI AI cupcakes
Oct 23, 2019

The Batch: Robot Hand Works Rubik’s Cube, Self-Driving Tanks Roll Toward Battle, Face Rec Dataset Sparks Lawsuit, Bayes Finds

I’ve heard this conversation in multiple companies: Machine learning engineer: Look how well I did on the test set! Business owner: But your ML system doesn’t work. This sucks! Machine learning engineer: But look how well I did on the test set!
Drone race
Oct 16, 2019

The Batch: TensorFlow Versus PyTorch, Autonomous Drone Races, State-of-the-Art with Less Compute, NLP for Rare Languages

I just replaced my two-year-old phone with a new one and figured out how to take long-exposure photos of Nova even while she’s asleep and the lights are very low. This piece of technology brought me a surprising amount of joy!
DeepScale's automated vehicle technology
Oct 09, 2019

The Batch: Tesla Acquires DeepScale, France Backs Face Recognition, Robots Learn in Virtual Reality, Acquirers Snag AI Startups

Last week, I saw a lot of social media discussion about a paper using deep learning to generate artificial comments on news articles. I’m not sure why anyone thinks this is a good idea. At best, it adds noise to the media environment.
"No silver bullet" book cover
Oct 02, 2019

The Batch: Google Achieves Quantum Supremacy, Amazon Aims To Sway Lawmakers, AI Predicts Basketball Plays, Face Detector

Thinking about the future of machine learning programming frameworks, I recently reread computer scientist Fred Brooks’ classic essay, “No Silver Bullet: Essence and Accidents of Software Engineering.” Three decades after...
Measuring actual learning versus feeling of learning in response to being actively engaged in the classroom
Sep 25, 2019

The Batch: Global Surveillance Survey, AI’s Crisis of Reproducibility, Construction Drones, Bots Cheat at Hide-and-Seek

I read an interesting paper comparing the results of traditional passive learning (sitting in a lecture) versus active methods like the flipped classroom, where students watch videos at home and work on exercises in class.
Photos from Pie & AI meetup in Kuala Lumpur
Sep 18, 2019

Robot Farm Workers, Making Algorithms Rock, Automating Contract Negotiations, Recognizing Accented Speech

Over the weekend, we hosted our first Pie & AI meetup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in collaboration with the AI Malaysia group, MDEC, and ADAX. The event was part of Malaysia’s AI & Data Week 2019. Several people traveled from neighboring southeast Asian countries to attend!
Photo of Omoju Miller, senior ML engineer at Github
Sep 11, 2019

The Batch: Autonomous Nuclear Weapons?!, Fighting Deepfakes, Recognizing Chimps, Automating Fast Food

When it comes to artificial intelligence, one of the biggest mistakes large companies make is thinking tactically rather than strategically. What’s the difference? Some taxi companies thought they had the internet revolution...
Group picture with Taiwan AI Labs featuring Andrew Ng
Sep 04, 2019

The Batch: Taming Dangerous AI, Microscopes Spot Tumors, NLP Grades Standardized Tests, Viz Without Mesh

I traveled to Taiwan last week, where I met many CEOs interested in AI transformation of traditional companies. I also visited Taiwan AI Labs which, similar to OpenAI, started as a nonprofit AI research institute.
Photos from Pie & AI meetup in Medellin, Colombia
Aug 28, 2019

The Batch: Gunning for GPUs, Football for DRL, Navigation for the Blind, Mystery Signals From Outer Space

We ended a busy week in Colombia hosting a Pie & AI meetup in Medellín. I met hundreds of engineers and business professionals excited to take the next step in their AI careers. I was energized by the enthusiasm the Colombia community had for collaborating...
Andrew Ng with a group of engineers in Medellin, Colombia
Aug 21, 2019

The Batch: Clothes That Thwart Surveillance, DeepMind in the Hot Seat, BERT’s Revenge, Federal AI Standards

I am writing to you from Colombia today, and am excited to announce the opening of our office in Medellín. The office will serve as the Latin American headquarters for three of the companies in our AI ecosystem: Landing AI,, and AI Fund.
Photos from Pie & AI meetup at Google’s office in Sunnyvale
Jul 31, 2019

The Batch: AI for Artists, Relief for Programmers, Diagnosing Heart Disease, Emotional Un-Intelligence, Multilingual Text-to-Speech

Shortly after Pi day (3/14), I announced our Pie & AI series of meetups. We held them in Seattle in March and London in April. We just hosted our third Pie & AI meetup to celebrate the launch of the final course in the TensorFlow Specialization.

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