Naveen Rao

Co-founder and CEO of of Nervana

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON July 12, 2016

Discussion

Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
Hi everyone. I am Naveen Rao, cofounder/CEO of Nervana (www.nervanasys.com), a tech startup that serves "AI on demand." I enjoy talking about the future of computation, robotics, and neuroscience - but I find a lot of other things interesting too.. Ask me anything!
Katie Fritsch@katie_fritsch
My friends company is new to Deep Learning, and he wants to get started with AI. Why should he choose Nervana over Tensorflow?
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@katie_fritsch Nervana Neon is a fully supported stack. We don't have to rely on the open source community to fix bugs or add features. This is important to providing a high-end experience to our customers.
Uhma@deleted-594972 · Brr
Hello Naveen, Thank you for giving us an opportunity to ask you questions. Question: As it stands, humans are guided by three books: 1) What we owe is in the IRS book. 2) What we can not do is in the Law book. 3) What we can do is in the Constitution book. Are there any books being written for AI? Thank you!
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@victorpolyushko As in, what will guide AI? I'd say that AIs are built and trained by us...so they serve our needs.
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@victorpolyushko Therefore, there isn't a direct need to inform what AIs should be doing. Perhaps in the future we'll have books on how to best use your AI...
Theoharis Dimarhos@theo_dimarhos · Marketing+Biz Dev at AngelouEconomics
Hi Naveen! If you were to start from zero and try to become useful to the AI community without being technical, how would you go about it?
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@theo_dimarhos The business side is really just starting to become clear. Go and understand where AI can make the most impact...and find those truly disruptive use cases.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What are the first tabs you open on your computer/phone every morning?
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@jacqvon I usually read the latest techblog (TC, Venturebeat, etc). Facebook is a good source of interesting articles..I have the good fortune of being connected with people in the AI space who post good stuff.
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
It seems that "AI" is such a buzzword these days. Where do we draw the line one what is AI and what isn't?
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@andrewett That's a good question...it seems to be synonymous with deep learning these days. I'd say any system that learns and adapts from data is a form of intelligence. By that measure, more deep learning systems are intelligent, but only at specified intervals when the models are being retrained.
Tomer Borenstein@tborenst · Student @ Carnegie Mellon (tborenst.com)
Hi Naveen, thank you for taking the time to do this chat. I am interested in your thoughts regarding the apparent push towards Conversational UIs by several of the big players? Also regarding conversational AIs - is there any indication that what happened to computer vision with deep learning in the past several years will happen to NLU/NLP?
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@tborenst Well, i'd say that's already happened. Most of the state-of-the-art NLP approaches are deep learning now. This transition happened fast just as it did in computer vision. I think anything that decreases the resistance of using a machine is a good technology. Arcane interfaces like a CLI are great for experts, but make technologies less accessible. By making machines interact more like we do, technologies can become more a part of our life.
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
Thanks everyone for the great questions!! To learn more about how Nervana can help address your biggest machine learning challenges please email us at info@nervanasys.com.
An Jason@an_jason · student
I am a grad student in physics, building and numerical simulating all different models, but very limited experience in computer science/AI. Is there any advice to me to enter this field? What's the advantage for us who are not from CS major?
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@an_jason Physics and the math you're learning lays the ground work for much of AI. I'd say, get some practical experience. Download Neon (from www.nervanasys.com) and get a model up and running. You'll get a sense really fast for what is easy and what is difficult. The advantage you have is a broader view on machine learning and the mathematical foundations. CS can be narrow with regards to this subject at some places.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Naveen, what does the future of robotics look like?
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@ems_hodge Robots are moving toward becoming real agents in the world. Currently, they are mostly fixed function...but once they can sense, process, and adapt, there will be a new world of how they can impact our lives.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Hey - if you had to swap lives with a tech ceo/founder for a week, who would it be and why?
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@bentossell Hmm...that's a tough one. I can't say Tony Stark can I? ;)
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What one piece of advice that you've received during your career to date has had the most impact on you?
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@ems_hodge Do something interesting. I quit a lucrative career to get a PhD in Neuroscience because I truly was interested in the topic. Find things that are interesting and pursue because you love them.
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Who are the leaders in the AI space that you most respect?
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@andrewett Yann LeCun, Bengio, Hinton are the big ones...they persevered through a time where their ideas weren't taken seriously. That takes belief and guts. I hope to have such convictions about my own work.
Mary Devincenzi@mary_devincenzi · Public Relations
Hi Naveen, What are the key factors that have enabled recent advancements in deep learning?
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@mary_devincenzi I'd say there are 3 major points: 1) amount of data we have access to. This is crucial to being able to build an effective machine learning model and wasn't really the case until the last 10-15 years. 2) fast processing power. These models can take a long time to converge...10 years ago it would have take an entire PhD thesis to train one model. 3) business use case. Now we demand that things learn and adapt to become better. We want this in our internet and device experiences...and that wasn't true in the past (at least not at a large scale)
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@jacqvon Antarctica :)
Sujith Perla@sujith_perla
Hello Naveen, Was just curious about the newly released iOS app called Prisma which turns the photos into artworks using Deep learning algos. Any thoughts on how these deep learning algos are used here? Thank you!
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@sujith_perla I think this is a cool use of models developed for a different purpose. It appears to reduce an image into some kind of feature space that is pleasing to our eyes...I'd say finding the use for deep nets is much more of an art than making them work these days
Matt Schwartz@matt_schwartz · Product Manager, Intuitive Surgical
Hi Naveen, thanks for the opportunity! I'm a product manager for a robotic surgery company and very interested in the future role of AI/machine learning in making surgery better or eliminating it altogether. Are there any specific companies in this space that interest you? Does Nervana have anything cooking along these lines? Thanks!
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@matt_schwartz There are lots of interesting companies like Kindred.ai or others building robotics platforms. It's not clear how this space will sort out just yet though. At Nervana we're focused on enabling research and backend processing in the cloud for these and many other applications. We don't sell specific solutions, but more of a horizontal platform approach
Matt Schwartz@matt_schwartz · Product Manager, Intuitive Surgical
@naveen_rao awesome, thanks!
Matt Schwartz@matt_schwartz · Product Manager, Intuitive Surgical
@naveen_rao Any good articles on Kindred.ai that you would suggest? Their website seems to be a literal black box, and I'm not really finding anything about them elsewhere. Thanks again!
Sarav@sarav_1n
Hi Naveen, Ive used neon and really love how powerful it is. However the whole community seems to have swayed towards tensorflow recently. With Sundar's recent announcement of TPUs, tensorflow looks like the way to go for something that has community support, proven cloud hosting domain expertise, continual updates, great tutorials and documentation. What differentiates you guys? In other words why should we build our AI projects around neon and what you guys have to offer? Thanks
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@sarav_1n Neon allows us to provide a fully supported experience to our customers without relying on a 3rd party like Google. We recognize that TF has a lot of mindshare now...and we're working on interoperability with TF in the next few months. Since we are also building our own hardware, we feel it is important to build the stack the right way for our path forward...our performance will be well beyond anything that TF supports. So, I'd say that our solutions will run TF, but we can offer a better, faster, more relaiable experience with our own stack
Gopal Mahadevan@gopalmahadevan1
Good morning Naveen, With the advances in AI come many potential perils. For example, there is one scenario in which AI takes control of the planet away from the human race. Another is AI automating many human jobs out of existence (which is already happening). What is being done (and what should be done in the future) to mitigate these risks and others? What role should we humans play in designing these intelligent machines to minimize the negative and unintended consequences? Thank you, Gopal
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@gopalmahadevan1 There are efforts like OpenAI that are attempting to have some responsibility around AI. The thought is, if these technologies are available to all, there will always be a balancing force. At the moment, I don't believe we're headed down the path you describe...AIs are tools that allow us to do more with data. They do not have intent. Their intent is our intent. We should really only fear ourselves here as AI just give us more reach and influence
David Brann@david_brann
@naveen_rao @gopalmahadevan1 I would add that automating human jobs should be regarded as a bonus. Is driving a large cargo truck for 8+ hours a day a good use of human abilities? NO! Automate it! Free up humans to do things only humans can do.
David Brann@david_brann
@naveen_rao @gopalmahadevan1 Please also recall the history of other jobs that have been automated (e.g., typesetting for printing) only to end up creating a whole new set of related jobs (e.g., graphics designers
Ryan Loney@ryan_loney · systems engineer
Hi Naveen, It was recently discovered by my health care provider that I have a rare but life-threatening heart condition that may require surgery and implantation of a medical device in my body. The discovery was made by a cardiologist who examined an electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) that was taken of my heart. A very clear pattern on my EKG was recognized by the cardiologist, which he happened to know was a clear indication that I have the rare heart condition. Unfortunately, a doctor who took two EKGs of my heart in 2012 showed the exact same pattern, but because he was not familiar with what to look for about my particular syndrome, it went completely overlooked and completely unnoticed until two weeks ago. How could AI be used by health care providers to recognize patterns on electrocardiograms, ultrasounds, CT scans, etc. to help detect conditions like mine? If so, how long until we start seeing this type of technology put into production? Thank you, Ryan
Naveen Rao@naveen_rao · CEO, Nervana
@ryan_loney This is one of the areas I think will be huge in the future. We should have awareness of this kind on every scan, and this is what AI can do. It's not practical for human docs to be able to find every anomaly every time...but machines are tireless and cheap. They can check against the entire database of maladies on every scan, every time