The most interesting machine learning AMAs on Reddit

It is very clear that Reddit is part of the rather wild zone of the internet. But especially for practical questions, Reddit can be very useful, and even more so for anything connected to the internet or computer technology, like machine learning.

In the machine learning subreddit, there is a series of very nice AMAs (Ask Me Anything) with several of the most prominent machine learning experts (with a bias for deep learning). To me, as somebody who is not working directly in the field, but nevertheless curious about what is going on, it is interesting to read those experts talking about machine learning in a less formal environment, sometimes also ranting about misconceptions or wrong directions of research attention.

Here are my top picks, starting with the ones I found most interesting to read:

  • Yann LeCun, director of Facebook AI research, is not a fan of ‘cute math’.
  • Jürgen Schmidhuber, AI researcher in Munich and Lugano, finds it obvious that ‘art and science and music are driven by the same basic principle’ (which is ‘compression’).
  • Michael Jordan, machine learning researcher at Berkeley, takes an opportunity ‘to exhibit [his] personal incoherence’ and describes his interest in Natural Language Processing (NLP).
  • Geoffrey Hinton, machine learning researcher at Google and Toronto, thinks that the ‘pooling operation used in convolutional neural networks is a big mistake’.
  • Yoshua Bengio, researcher at Montreal, suggests that the ‘subject most relevant to machine learning’ is ‘understanding how learning proceeds in brains’.

And if you want more of that, you can go on with Andrew Ng and Adam Coates from Baidu AI, or Nando de Freitas, a scientist at Deepmind and Oxford. Or just discover the machine learning subreddit yourself.


P.S. If you think that there might be similarly interesting AMAs with top neuroscientists: No, there aren’t.

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