Have you ever posted a photo on Facebook and dropped your jaw in stunned silence when a suggestion appeared to tag someone in the photo after mere microseconds? That facial recognition capacity is an outgrowth of Deep Learning, an arm of artificial intelligence that commands upwards of $200K in annual salary for skilled engineers.
The buzz around Deep Learning right now is magnetic, and it includes educational opportunities, businesses that are sprouting up, and heretofore inconceivable ideas:
- Nvidia, a visual computing and computer graphics company, is hosting a free online course that begins with the basics. The lectures will be recorded, and the class includes hands-on activities as well as office hours with the instructors. The course description page lists additional resources for online learning on this subject such as Coursera, YouTube, and TechTalks. The first class was held on July 22, 2015 and the final session is on September 23, 2015.
- Deep Genomics is a company with personal origins for its founder. When Brendan Frey faced potentially difficult news during his then-wife’s pregnancy, he realized that couples steeped in this painful process deserved more information than he had at the time. He started his studies at the University of Toronto, but then launched his own company with the aim of creating computers that would understand “the impact of genetic mutations better than humans ever have” (this quote is from a blog about his company, published by the Washington Post).
- The capacity to draw conclusions from large-scale unlabelled data has applications in artificial neural networks. Expect to see projects in speech and image recognition, language processing, medicine (including drug discovery and toxicology), and cognitive neuroscience.
Training in this fascinating field gets the attention of recruiters from companies like Facebook, IBM, and Google. Job listings, reading lists, research groups, and other links are available at deeplearning.net, an information clearinghouse for this growing field.