We are live with Jenna Sudds Kanata North Business Association - BIA, Grant Courville QNX Software Systems BlackBerry and Barrie Kirk #Cavcoe to talk #AutonomousVehicles and the upcoming #2017AutonomousVehicleSummit in Ottawa! Ask your questions in the comments below! Visit: techopia.ca
Conferences and events can be a death trap time-suck for founders. Having been to a few, I've found CES to be one of the most valuable for B2B founders and sales people. Great ROI as virtually every big lead, prospect, potential partner and customer is in the same city at once. I got a lot of value out of it so wrote this post last week.
Love these hyper-efficient biz-dev events - any others stand out? ... See MoreSee Less
Many of us hear about AI/ML startups - but the specific "breakthrough" technology is deep learning neural networks. Its here, and its thanks to the pioneering work done by Toronto's Geoffrey Hinton. I am convinced this will have the widest tech impact in the world over the next decade. Machines which are able to learn themselves -- not intelligent in general, not AI quite yet, but smart enough for individual tasks and able to predict. Not pre-set programming rules driven, but trained by data to formulate their own rules.
I hope somebody nominates Geoffrey Hinton for the Order of Canada (it requires nomination from 3 credible sources) and that AI institute in Toronto becomes a reality. Read the New York Times article linked within which explains in pristine detail the role he played in this and the respect he commands from other deep learning researchers.
For the record, I am very envious of startups which are curating massive specific datasets which would be prime beneficiaries of deep learning neural networks (Figure1 - I am looking at you).
I tried to distill this down after reading several resources - from mathematical, to implementation, to a VC's take. Here is an abbreviated version. Pass the popcorn...
David QuailYoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton and Rich Sutton are really putting Canada on the AI map.
Deep neural nets are cool. But they they themselves don't create machines that "learn themselves." That's the problem with deep learning (and supervised learning in general.) They need a teacher. A human expert that tells them the millions or billions of right answers a single question. It's obviously incredibly effective. But it's rote learning, it doesn't scale to other predictions. And it's hardly learning on it's own.
This is why people are so excited about reinforcement learning paired with deep learning. True experience based learning of general predictions without requiring a human expert to tell the system millions and millions and millions of times, what the right answer is.
Yann Lecun, Facebook's AI guru, keynoted NIPs this year talking about this type of learning being at the heart of what's next in AI. It's worth a read for anyone interested in this area. drive.google.com/file/d/0BxKBnD5y2M8NREZod0tVdW5FLTQ/view
9 hours ago
Varun MathurHi David Quail - Thanks for this insight. I read through this and also your blog - fascinating stuff! I added this in an additional section on my post since I would be syndicating it shortly and linked back to your blog.
With the deep learning neural networks, my sense is that they are here, today, and are "good enough" for now in the sense that they provide significant benefits. While they don't work for crop farming as you describe in your blog and can't "think" - where large amounts of data can be fed to them, they are useful. What we see - we can capture as an image - and have it analyzed. The possibilities here are too exciting - for eg an AR-enabled app which can quickly identify the content of a food plate - which can then help with eating healthy or watching out for food allergies. Not a 100% effective, but good enough and better than the current options. Likewise for sports - analyze a team or player's tens of thousands of videos and predict strategy/movement - and provide that to the coach/players.
Also, with AI developing at more advanced levels - there is also the question of if everybody from a programmer to a retail salesperson to a taxi driver to a customer service agent to even a lawyer can be replaced by a better and eventually cheaper AI agent - how will people earn their living..
I first met Danielle at Startupfest in the summer. She does community engagement at the DMZ at Ryerson University. One of the super-connectors in our Toronto/Canadian tech community, she's helpful to founders, investors, event organizers, journalists, job seekers... all of us
Jodi EchakowitzGreat timing for your post. Danielle and I connected later this afternoon and we're going to meet in a few weeks. Of course, if I was in town next week I would be at Resolve. Sounds like it should be a great event.
Mohammed AsaduallahIs the speaker list final? About a third may identify as women, but not even a quarter would identify as PoC. Sucks to see another year starting off with such poor representation of women and PoC at tech events in Toronto.
Anyone in the K12 Educational Technology space out there? Looking to create a group to share experiences and best practices working with schools, districts, educators and leaders in K12 education in North America.
Thank you for tagging anyone you know who fits the bill!
Just need to throw out a shout out to the SN community. This is a medium that I recommend to EVERYONE in the tech/startup world to get a sense for unabashed, real-time, relevant ideas, opportunities and content. This is a collective of the smartest in class; somewhere I've had the pleasure of observing (and to be honest, getting to know) some of the most forward-thinking folks in the community. Even folks I've never met personally - I know all about their strengths, successes, setbacks, and how they've stepped up to help others when they've needed something. And that's a privilege. In this group, you very quickly realize who the key players are, and how hard they're working to raise the tide for everyone to do better. No BS, just things that are helpful (well, likely thanks in part to David Crow's delete/ban button and paddlings). We essentially have a front row seat inside the minds of our fellow tech/startup leaders, and I encourage everyone to listen closely, and reach out when you see a great opportunity for someone in this group. I can confidently say that I recommend people on a daily basis, based on what I've heard them say or seen them share in this group. If there's one ask I have, it's to keep sharing, debating, high-fiving, and giving back. People are watching and learning. Final nod to John Philip Green who inspired this post after an impromptu coffee this afternoon (after a year of observation/shout-outs/admiration of his great contributions across the board). Communities at work are unstoppable - thanks for being best in class. ... See MoreSee Less
WhereUniversity of Toronto, Medical Science Building (Room MS2158)WhenFriday, January 20 at 5:30 PMAboutJoin YC partners and alumni at the University of Toronto on Friday, January 20. Hear their stories, ask questions, and find out what it's really like to start a startup. All are welcome to attend!...
Hi everyone! I have a lead on a great grant program that will cover up to 70% of the cost of HackerYou courses if you'd like to send your employees.
We have part-time evening courses starting soon on SEO, UX, WordPress and of course, web development (HTML & CSS). We also run our web development courses on Saturdays, since it tends to be easier for employees with families or who commute. More details at hackeryou.com.
Let me know if you'd like me to put you in touch with our contact! ... See MoreSee Less
Dickie DangA friend of mine who's sold his business but still works for the acquiring company doing exactly what you're asking for (tell him Rich Dang referred you) :