Past Meetup

NYAI#5: Neural Nets (Jason Yosinski) & ML For Production (Ken Sanford)

This Meetup is past

186 people went

Location image of event venue



1) Fun With Neural Nets - (Jason Yosinski, Researcher at Geometric Intelligence)

Jason Yosinski is a researcher at Geometric Intelligence, where he uses neural networks and machine learning to build better AI. He was previously a PhD student and NASA Space Technology Research Fellow working at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab, the University of Montreal, the Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Google DeepMind. His work on AI has been featured on NPR, Fast Company, the Economist, TEDx, and on the BBC. When not doing research, Mr. Yosinski enjoys tricking middle school students into learning math while they play with robots.

Jason will talk about how deep neural networks have recently been making a bit of a splash, enabling machines to learn to solve problems that had previously been easy for humans but hard for machines, like playing Atari games or identifying lions or jaguars in photos. But how do these neural nets actually work? What do they learn? This turns out to be a surprisingly tricky question to answer — surprising because we built the darn things, but tricky because the networks are so large and have many millions of connections that effect complex computation which is hard to interpret. Trickiness notwithstanding, in this talk we’ll see what we can learn about neural nets by looking at a few examples of networks in action and experiments designed to elucidate network behavior.


2) Rapid Q/A


4) Machine Learning for Production - (Ken Sanford, Analytics Architect and Evangelist -

Ken is an Analytics Architect and Evangelist at Ken is a reformed academic economist who likes to empower customers to solve problems with data. Ken’s primary passion is teaching and explaining. He loves being the dumbest person in the room so he surrounds himself with smart people who he can learn from. He likes to simplify and tell stories.

Ken has spent time in academia (Middle Tennessee State University, U of Cincinnati, Peace College) consulting (Deloitte) and software development (SAS). He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Kentucky in Lexington and his work on price optimization has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

AI is all the rage today. The most vital component of a solid AI strategy is the ability to use the models in production. Ken will highlight some of the considerations for viable deployment strategies in AI as well as introduce the audience to a tool for large scale machine learning.

5) Rapid Q/A

6) Social Event (8:45PM): The Storehouse (downstairs) - 69 W 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010

*Flatbread pizza, beer and wine will be provided at the event. Please arrive early as the food and drinks are a first-come, first-serve basis. A special thanks to O'Reilly Media for the food and drinks!

**We will also be randomly selecting a winner to receive a free ticket to the O'Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference held in New York (September 26-27th)!

See you at the event!

-Rizwan, Maryam & Matt

O'Reilly AI Conference September 26-27 | New York, NY

Discover the real-world opportunities of applied artificial intelligence

AI is (finally) driving an explosion in intelligent software—bots, agents, voice and IoT interfaces. Learn how to implement AI in real-world projects today and explore what the future holds for intelligence engineering. Save 20% with discount code UGNYAI. Check out the impressive agenda and speaker lineup.

Rise New York ( is part of a global community of the world’s brightest thinkers and doers creating the future of financial technology. We listen, nurture and oxygenate through our international network of Rise spaces, and connect, co-create, and scale innovation, in partnership with Barclays. Rise New York also houses a world-class event space and is home to the U.S. cohort of the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars.