AI Saturdays Bangalore Chapter : Meet and Greet Session (Week 0)

AI Saturdays is an amazing initiative which enables to democratize AI at city level across the world. By forming study groups that learns, discusses and implements material from various MOOCs that are cherry-picked by AI6 organizers, it is benefitting the AI enthusiasts to take a leap into the vast and beautiful world of AI that takes them a step closer to their dream.

I happen to signup as an ambassador in my city: Bangalore, India. I love to teach. It makes me happy when I make someone understand something. A priceless feeling, right? This has been my primary motivation.

Another motivation is the moment one starts teaching something, they start thinking in ways they never thought of before. So was the motivation of the other 9 ambassadors. Yes, we have 10 serious and dedicated ambassadors for AI6 Bangalore chapter who strive to contribute back something quantifiable to the community. And due to the diverse backgrounds we have, it gave us an advantage in building a flexible course structure which can be tailored to the participants needs comfortably.

One of the ambassador, Sharwon, introducing AI to the participants.

So on 4th Aug 2018, we held our first session, a Meet and Greet session. We started with a general introduction to Artificial Intelligence followed by a video showing the recent advancements in this field. Participants were amazed by what a Generative Adversarial Network could do. ;)

Image result for gan birds
Synthetic birds generated by StackGAN. A video related to this was shown as a part of introductory session.

We also made sure to know more about the participant’s background and expectations. So, the pre-lunch session was more focused on indulging with the participants and answering their queries. We exchanged good conversations that will help us establish the foundations of AI6 Bangalore Chapter.

Participants were keen to learn and build deep learning models.

One particular question asked by many participants: “There are so many courses online. Which course should I take?”. So post-lunch, we started by giving a brief description of each of the courses described by the AI Saturdays. To consolidate the same, here is a little description:

  1. Coursera Machine Learning: This course starts with the most basic concepts of machine learning by Andrew Ng. It just touches neural networks. The assignments are in MATLAB. Recommended for entire beginners.
  2. Coursera Deep Learning Specalization: This is a 5 part course by Andrew Ng again. It talks about various concepts in the area of deep learning. The assignments are in python. Recommended for beginners in Deep Learning.
  3. Stanford cs231n: This course is the class work of Stanford’s Computer vision. This course gives an in-depth view of Deep learning for computer vision. Strong basics are required for understanding and coding the assignments.
  4. : This course, unlike others, follows a top-down approach. It provides a jump start to the field of Deep Learning. Conducted by Jeremy Howard, he starts with explaining the state-of-the-art concepts in the field.
  5. UCL Reinforcement learning: This course is by David Silver at UCL. Reinforcement learning (RL) is an area of machine learning, inspired by behaviorist psychology, concerned with how software agents ought to take actions in an environment so as to maximize some notion of cumulative reward.
  6. Stanford cs224n: Natural language processing (NLP) is one of the most important technologies of the information age. Understanding complex language utterances is also a crucial part of artificial intelligence. The course provides a thorough introduction to cutting-edge research in deep learning applied to NLP.

Also, we gave a demonstration of Google Colab and how a deep learning model can be trained. The aim was to give a gist of how a model functions outside theory. Without going into many details, we took them through different things one has to take care of while deploying a deep learning model. There were many doubts followed by discussions which were a good thing as our motive was to spike their interest.

Pavithra, another ambassador, discussing with the participants.

This is some feedback we recieved from our first session:

- It’s an awesome work what I am looking for many days.
- It was good but can be more organised.
- Highly interactive and a wonderful first day.
- Looking forward to meet up every Saturday.
- Great experience, one of the best interactive sessions I attended, I feel this is truly open and it really helps one to get opened.

I guess we should work on organizing the material more strictly. We shall reinforce this from the next week itself.

I would like to conclude this post by again thanking AI Saturdays for creating this amazing community. It was a fun day. To be frank, we ambassadors were and still are little nervous as most of us are addressing big crowds for the first time. But we shall give our best while introspecting every week. We would consider the feedback wholeheartedly and better the course as we progress.

Also, we would like to take a moment and thank Ashish who provided us with space and logistics at NVIDIA, Bangalore. As he and Gokul happen to be ambassadors for the AI6 cycle 1, their guidance helped us a lot.

Few Important links:

  1. To join AI6 Bangalore Chapter, sign up here.
  2. This is the link to our Github Repo.
  3. All announcement will be made on our twitter.

We hope to see more of you next Saturday :)