Artificial Intelligence in Industry with Dan Faggella

What does it mean to tune an algorithm, how does it matter in a business context, and what are the approaches being developed today when it comes to tuning algorithms? This week's guest helps us answer these questions and more. CEO and Co-Founder Scott Clark of SigOpt takes time to explain the dynamics of tuning, goes into some of the cutting-edge methods for getting tuning done, and shares advice on how businesses using machine learning algorithms can continue to refine and adjust their parameters in order to glean greater results.

Direct download: TEP-Scott_Clark-Mixdown2.mp3
Category:machine learning -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

In this episode, recorded live at Canvas Ventures in Portola Valley, I speak with Ben Narasin, a partner with Canvas and an avid venture investor in AI and ML companies, some of which we've interviewed (Crowdflower and Mulesoft), along with many others that we haven't (like Siri). Ben doesn't look for AI to invest in; instead, he looks for companies to invest in, a subtle but important difference in a business world increasingly caught up in the explosion of AI and ML technologies.

From investments in Nuance to more recent one such as Houzz, Narasin has solid ideas as to what makes an investment interesting when AI is involved, what might actually add value to a model with AI, and what's wholly irrelevant when it comes to overall business model. Besides making important distinctions on where investments can make a return and how to raise money for your AI startup, this interview is also chock full of great analogies (give me golden dragons all day long—anyone?)

Direct download: TEP-Ben_Narasin-Mixdown.mp3
Category:Startup Funding -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

There’s been lot of hype around AI and ML in business over the past five years. Even among investors exist a lot of misconceptions about using ML in a business context, and how to get up to speed on and grasp and understand leveraging related technologies in industry. Recently, I talked with Benjamin Levy of BootstrapLabs in San Francisco, who I met through an investment banking friend in Boston.

BootstrapLabs invests in Bay area companies, and Levy also travels around the world speaking about investing in AI companies and raising funds for new ventures. In this episode, Levy gives his perspective on what investors and executives get wrong about ML and and AI, and discusses how they can get up to speed on the applications for these technologies and leverage them and related expertise to really make a difference (i.e. increased ROI) in their businesses.

Direct download: TEP-Ben_Levy-Mixdown.mp3
Category:Startup Funding -- posted at: 6:52am PDT

Uday Veeramachaneni is taking a new approach to machine learning in infosecurity, AKA infosec. Traditionally, infosec has approached predicting attacks in two ways: through a system of hand-designed rules, and through anomaly detection, a technique that detects statistical outliers in the data. The problem with these approaches, Veermachaneni says, is that the signal-to-noise ratio is too low. In this episode, Veermachaneni discusses how his company, PatternEx, is using machine learning to provide more accurate attack prediction. He also discusses the cooperative role of man and machine in building robust AI applications in data security and walks us through a common security attack scenario.

Direct download: TEP-Uday_Veeram-Mixdown.mp3
Category:machine learning -- posted at: 8:00pm PDT

When it comes to finding an expert on interviewing and finding machine learning (ML) talent, Parshu Kulkarni may just be the guy to ask. Not only is Kulkarni one of a small subsegment of the global population with an advanced degree in data science who has also been hired to work in tech companies like eBay, but he's been on the unique side hiring of ML and AI talent. Today, Kulkarni works full-time as Head of Data Science at Hired, Inc., a giant platform for hiring top talent in tech and other areas. In this episode, he provide an interesting distinction between what individuals with experience in data science look for in potential hires versus those who do not have the tech background tend to look for, and also dives into the supply-and-demand landscape for data scientists now and in the future—an interesting interview for anyone looking to hire or be hired in the ML and AI space.

Direct download: TEP-Parshu_Kulkarni-Mixdown.mp3
Category:machine learning -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

In marketing, there are lots of applications in AI and machine learning (ML), from recommendation engines to predictive analytics and beyond. At the company Adgorithms, there are even more ambitious projects underway - like automating the process of marketing altogether by having a machine run and generate ads, or test and spend the marketing budget of a company. Or Shani, CEO of Adgorithms, focuses on the quantitative aspects and optimization of online advertising, using algorithms to improve advertising processes. In this interview, Shani talks about how Adgorithms' smart marketing platform "Albert" meshes with humans’ role in marketing, and also discusses how these roles might change over the next 5 to 10 years as we move towards ever more automated marketing processes.

Direct download: TEP-Or_Shani-Mixdown.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 5:57pm PDT

Not all knowledge work can be crunched by a program, but there are some hard-to-automate business processes that a select few entities are making an attempt to automate now. Boston-based Rage Frameworks, Inc. is one such company, and in this episode we speak with Senior Vice President (SVP) Joy Dasgupta about specific applications of automation technologies applied to white collar environments. Rage Frameworks has developed intelligent machines that have been able to take over process that, prior to the emergence of AI and automation technologies, would have required thousands of people to accomplish. These developments are a microcosm of what is to come, and the process is not without its ethical considerations (as discussed in a previous interview with Yoshua Bengio). But Dasgupta's insights provide a concrete glimpse into how these processes are being automated in the knowledge workplace today and what that might mean or look like decades from now.

Direct download: TEP-Joy_Dasgupta-Mixdown.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 9:54pm PDT

This week we speak with CEO and Founder of Nexar Inc., Eran Shir, whose company has created a dashboard app that allows drivers to mount a smartphone, which then collects visual information and other data, such as speed from your accelerometer, in order to help detect and prevent accidents. The app also serves as a way to reconstruct what happens in a collision - a unique solution in a big and untapped market. In this episode, Shir gives his vision of a world where the roads are filled with cyborgs, rather than autonomous robots, i.e. people augmented with new sensory information that trigger notifications, warnings or prompts for safer driving behavior, amongst a network of cloud-connected cars.  He also touches on what the transition might look like in response to the question - when will autonomous cars be mainstream?

Direct download: TEP-Eran_Shir-Mixdown.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

In this episode, we speak with Senior Editor for the Economist in digital and data products and Co-author of "Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Work, Live and Think", Kenneth Cukier, who speaks on the technologies that underlie big data and make it what it is today. Cukier addresses common misconceptions about machine learning and dives into how companies can catch up with this technology by thinking through, assessing ROI, and making sense of the dynamics of big data. Listen for Cukier's apt analogy in comparing machine learning technology to the dynamics of computing from decades ago.

Direct download: TEP-Kenn_Cukier-Mixdown.mp3
Category:Big Data -- posted at: 5:00pm PDT

What are executives missing the boat on and what do they need to think about when it comes to AI and ML? This week, we speak with John Straw, who has had a number of businesses in the UK and US, currently a senior advisor to McKinsey & Co., and who works with a lot of executive teams in terms of finding new applications for AI and finding ROI for those technologies in industry. We speak this week about how executives can get up to speed, what degree of knowledge and in what way they should learn it so they can find opportunities in their own companies. Straw also touches on what he sees as the biggest areas of oversight, in terms of preventing companies from finding those applications that can keep them up to speed with competitors and the big technology players.

Direct download: TEP-John_Straw-Mixdown.mp3
Category:machine learning -- posted at: 5:41pm PDT