Jeremy Howard: fast.ai Deep Learning Courses and Research | Lex Fridman Podcast #35 | Summary and Q&A

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August 27, 2019
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Lex Fridman Podcast
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Jeremy Howard: fast.ai Deep Learning Courses and Research | Lex Fridman Podcast #35

TL;DR

Fast AI is a free and accessible platform that focuses on practical application and hands-on exploration of deep learning, providing value to both beginners and experts.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the main objective of Fast AI?

The main objective of Fast AI is to make deep learning more accessible to a wide range of users, from beginners to experts, by focusing on practical application and hands-on exploration.

Q: How does Fast AI differ from other platforms and courses in the field of deep learning?

Fast AI stands out by providing free and accessible content that focuses on practical application and hands-on exploration, making it valuable for beginners and experts alike. It also emphasizes the importance of understanding and interpreting the results of deep learning models.

Q: How does Fast AI support domain experts in leveraging deep learning?

Fast AI provides domain experts with the tools, resources, and knowledge to effectively use deep learning in their respective fields. By focusing on practical application and hands-on exploration, Fast AI empowers domain experts to leverage deep learning for their specific needs.

Q: What is the vision for the future of Fast AI?

The vision for Fast AI is to continue making deep learning more accessible and useful by advancing practical applications, exploring cutting-edge techniques, and empowering domain experts to leverage deep learning effectively. Fast AI aims to contribute to the democratization and widespread adoption of deep learning in various fields.

Summary

Jeremy Howard, the founder of fast AI, talks about his background in programming, his passion for music, and his journey in the field of artificial intelligence. He discusses the practical application of deep learning, the advantages and disadvantages of various programming languages, and the future of programming. Howard also shares the origin story of fast AI and emphasizes the importance of making deep learning accessible to domain experts to maximize its positive impact.

Questions & Answers

Q: What was the first program Jeremy Howard wrote?

The first program he remembers writing was on his Commodore 64 in high school. It was a program to search for musical scales that were more accurate than the normal twelve-tone twelve-interval scale.

Q: Where did the interest in music come from?

Howard had been involved in music throughout his life. He played several instruments, including the saxophone, and had a love for music coupled with programming.

Q: What are some programming languages Howard has used?

Some of the programming languages Howard has used include Microsoft Access, Visual Basic for Applications, Perl, and Python. He discusses the pros and cons of each and highlights the power and ease of use of Microsoft Access.

Q: What was the connection between Excel and Access?

Access was the relational database equivalent to Excel. While Excel is great, Access provided a more robust programming model with the ability to create user interfaces, tie data to actions, and create reports.

Q: What are the limitations of programming on top of a relational database?

Programming on top of a relational database can be cumbersome, requiring additional layers such as ORMs (Object-Relational Mappers). There is a need for a more streamlined programming model, which projects like F# aim to achieve.

Q: What is J, and how does it compare to other programming languages?

J is an array-oriented programming language that is highly expressive and composable. It is a powerful language with a compact notation, allowing you to do a lot with just one line of code.

Q: How does J compare to more modern programming languages like Swift or Pascal?

J is a unique language that doesn't have a direct modern equivalent. However, Swift with its focus on hackability and functional programming could potentially achieve a similar level of expressiveness in the future.

Q: Why is most research in deep learning a waste of time?

Howard believes that most research in deep learning is focused on minor advances and highly studied areas, which often lack practical impact. He highlights that important areas like transfer learning and active learning are under-studied but have the potential to be world-changing.

Q: What is the mission of fast AI?

Fast AI aims to make deep learning accessible to domain experts and help them solve real-world problems. The focus is on practical application and bridging the gap between theory and practice.

Q: What are some examples of fast AI's achievements?

Fast AI has achieved success in various competitions and challenges, including the Stanford competition "Dawnbench." The fast AI community, consisting of students and researchers, made significant contributions and achieved impressive results within a short time.

Takeaways

Fast AI is driven by the mission to make deep learning accessible to domain experts and solve real-world problems. Jeremy Howard emphasizes the importance of practical application, transfer learning, and active learning. He believes that most research in deep learning is focused on minor advances and lacks practical impact. Fast AI's student and research community has achieved remarkable results in various competitions, showcasing the effectiveness of a pragmatic approach to deep learning.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Fast AI is a Research Institute and platform founded by Jeremy Howard, dedicated to making deep learning more accessible.

  • The platform focuses on practical application and hands-on exploration of deep learning, making it accessible for beginners and useful for experts.

  • Fast AI's goal is to empower domain experts by providing them with the tools and knowledge to leverage deep learning effectively.

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