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Building a Career in AI

COMWETT 2019 poster at WCTM featuring Anurag Bhandari
COMWETT 2019 poster at WCTM featuring Anurag Bhandari

A couple days back I spoke at World College of Technology and Management in Gurgaon. My topic Building a career in Artificial Intelligence was directly aimed at students at the cusp of starting a career. Without going into deep technical details, my session was designed as an eye-opener for students (and teachers alike) who have wondered today’s hot question–what does it take to become an ‘AI engineer’?

The keynote presentation (by Nishith Pathak) talked about the importance of AI, the various possibilities it opens up and some industry use cases. My session having been scheduled right after the keynote benefitted from the expectations the keynote speaker had set about AI. While the keynote highlighted the functional and business aspects of today’s arguably #1 buzzword, my presentation dived a little deeper into uncovering the skills and knowledge required to try and enter this amazing field of study. I say field of study since most of the useful work on AI is still purely scientific and even academic. But since corporations are increasingly adopting the set of ideologies that define AI in an attempt to create intelligent solutions for their clients, job opportunities have started to open up for people who know the science and math behind AI. As any sufficiently technical person would know, machine learning is at the heart of developing AI solutions. And, so, my presentation put focus on ML and the skills required to learn it.

A special thanks to the organizers at WCTM college (especially Dr. Pooja Sapra) for inviting me over and giving me the opportunity to connect with at least a hundred students about something I’m passionate about. And thanks to Nishith Pathak for recommending me at this event.

I leave you with a preview of my presentation, hosted at Google Slides. I hope absolute beginners will find it useful. People already working in machine and deep learning, please do let me know your thoughts on how it may be improved.

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AR – From POC to Product

Delivering my talk on Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality, the buzzword of corporate boardrooms and the talk of developers’ town. A topic talked about so much, yet understood so little.

I had the opportunity to speak on AR at a meetup yesterday. Tending to a mixed crowd of practitioners and (mostly) mid- to upper-management audience, my presentation was technically deep enough to allow practitioners to take the knowledge home and start and AR experiment of their own and decision makers to start prototyping based on the newly learned possibilities.

Judging by curiosity of the audience and people’s various (good) questions, I think it’s fair to assume that the session was well-received. I’m embedding the PPT deck below in hopes it will help the audience at large.

As for the demos, I showed one each for marker-based and marker-less AR. For marker-based, I used AR.js sample app linked here. For marker-less, I chose Vuforia View sample app (iOS, Android).

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Celebrity Recognizer and Bulma

Last Sunday, I took a beginner’s session on getting started with artificial intelligence as part of AI-Creatives meetup Code & Coffee. To get the fancy of attendees, I picked up computer vision; more specifically, image recognition using deep learning.

As time was deliberately limited (90 mins), I focused on inference more than training. Deep learning, as you know, requires time (weeks to months) and resources (specialized GPUs). I based my demo on the Tensorflow’s image retraining tutorial.

Celebrity Recognizer WebsiteCelebrity Recognizer Website

The core idea was to quickly retrain a trained ImageNet model, and then create an API around it for inferences. This API would then be tested by using it on a webpage. I think the session went well. You can see the deck I used here. Source code for classifier, API and webpage is on GitHub.

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A great AI show-and-tell meetup at Knowlarity

It was a good day spent at the cute little offices of Knowlarity. Nice to see so many others working on genuine artificial intelligence projects, at a time when AI is primarily being used to create demo-only applications meant to impress potential enterprise clients.

I think our presentation-cum-demo on improving a webpage’s accessibility through automatic image captioning was well-received with the audience. It was the same presentation that we’d used in Web4All’s 2018 conference in Lyon, France earlier this year. Shivam deserves much of the credit.

More info about the project:
https://accessify.ml

A special thanks to Gaurav Gandhi for organising the event so well.

P.S. I didn’t know there were corporate offices inside Ambience Mall!

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My FOSDEM ’14 Lightening Talk

I just realised that I completely forgot to cover my Brussels trip of last year. Shame on me! I had been meaning to do that since more than a year, but never really got myself to sit down and write [a lengthy post]. Before going any further, I promise that I’ll keep this one short. Mine was a short trip (just 3 days, aww shucks), but I have a lot to tell about all that I experienced in such a short while. Maybe some other time…

Visiting Brussels, Belgium, was my first foreign trip, something I absolutely enjoyed. It’s always exciting to go see, live and explore other places, cultures and people. Of course that’s not why I went there. My visit was two pronged: (a) joining my fellow folks at OpenMandriva’s stall at FOSDEM (b) delivering a lightening talk at the same event.

FOSDEM is a free event for software developers to meet, share ideas and collaborate.
Every year, thousands of developers of free and open source software from all over the world gather at the event in Brussels.

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