Deep Neural Networks for Sequence Modeling (Language + Time Series)


• What we'll do
Kicking off our 2018 Cape Town Deep Learning meetup series, Alex Conway will give a talk on:

> "Deep Neural Networks for Sequence Modeling".

• Description
Modeling language is hard. There are long-running dependencies with ideas that can span paragraphs and we also have to deal with the intricacies of expression including sarcasm, ambiguity and polysemy. There have been many remarkable results in computer vision - for example ImageNet where the state of the art has been beaten and the algorithms are more accurate than humans. Computer vision is also inherently easier to grasp because it is visual and the most common representation - “convolution" - is easy to visualize. The first obvious question when modeling language is how to represent it numerically so that you can fit a model. One topic that we will focus on is semantic vector spaces and Word2Vec. Then when we consider how to advance beyond a simple “bag of words” model that ignores word order, we will consider that language is actually a sequence (like time series) and we can apply deep learning models that perform well on sequences such as recurrent neural networks (LSTMs and GRUs) and 1-dimensional convolutional neural networks that do “backpropagation through time” to build powerful language and time series models. The talk will include code samples and practical examples. Beginners welcome. • Speaker Bio
Alex is the founder and lead data scientist of NumberBoost, a startup that solves problems using deep learning. He previously worked as a quantitative analyst for a boutique asset manager and as a data scientist for He has an honours degree in actuarial science and currently writing a Statistics MSc focused on Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing. He is one of the organizers of the Cape Town Deep Learning meet-up. He has given talks on deep learning at PyConZA, PyConDE, and a number of other conferences. He is on twitter at

• Important to know
Tuesday 20 February from 1900 - 2100
Zoona's offices just off Kloof Street
4-32 Darters Rd, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001