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For our kick-off meetup, we are going to have a general Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with three awesome talks. Some of the details are still being finalized so check back on this page in the coming weeks for updates.

Important notes:

• Amazon requires that we send them the first and last names of all attendees 48 hours before the meetup. Please have any guests you want to attend to sign up themselves.

• We have a strict limit of 140 people at Amazon, so I am going to please be sure to remove your RSVP if you don't think you are going to be able to make it.

• There is both street parking and several garages in Kendall Square, but both can be busy at times so plan ahead accordingly.

• We will record all talks and have the recordings as well as all the presentation material available afterwords on our website,

• We have a slack channel ( for this meetup where we will discuss the meetups and other AI topics. You can register for the Boston AI slack channel from .

• This meetup will rotate between a few different locations. Make sure you take note of the location in future months.


Speaker: Jeff Whelpley

Talk: Intro to the AI Landscape

Bio: CTO at GetHuman, Google Developer Expert, AI meetup co-organizer, Angular meetup co-organizer

Details: What is AI? A simple question, but depending on who you ask you may get a one sentence simple reply or a long dissertation on the state of humanity. In this talk, we will go over all the common terminology and provide a high level view of the technical landscape for building intelligent systems.


Speaker: Colin Carroll

Talk: Intro to Machine Learning and Probabilistic Programming

Bio: Software Engineer at Kensho, developer on pymc3


Speaker: Alborz Geramifard

Talk: Speech Recognition and Natural Language Processing

Bio: Alborz Geramifard is currently a machine learning manager at Amazon working on conversation AI for Alexa. Before joining Amazon, he was a postdoctoral associate at MIT's Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems. Alborz received his PhD from MITworking on representation learning and safe exploration in large scale sensitive sequential decision-making problems in 2012. He finished his MSc at University of Alberta in 2008, where he worked on data efficient online reinforcement learning techniques. His research interests lie at machine learning with the focus on reinforcement learning, natural language understanding, planning, and brain and cognitive sciences. Alborz was the recipient of the NSERC postgraduate scholarships[masked] program.

Details: Echo is high performance fully voice controlled wireless speaker created by Amazon that is designed for the home. It is very convenient, always plugged in and ready to use. The technology behind Echo lives on device as well as in the cloud and represents some of the best inNatural Language Processing (NLP) technologies today. Echo is extensible and supports a broad range of functionalities out-of-the-box, such as music playing, control of select home appliances, timers and alarms, wikipedia, to-do and shopping lists, sports and weather information, generic question answering and more. It features high performance keyword spotting, automatic speech recognition, natural language understanding, question answering and text-to-speech. This talk provides an overview of speech and natural language processing activities at Amazon around Echo and describe some of the core technologies and research challenges our teams are facing.



6:00pm - Doors open for everyone; pizza and beverages available

6:15pm - Welcome

6:30pm - Jeff Whelpley, AI Landscape

7:00pm - Colin Carroll, ML

7:30pm - Alborz Geramifard, NLP

8:00pm to 8:15pm - Networking, clean-up, bye!