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AI Forum

Google machine vision leader presents to AI Forum audience in Wellington

Data quality is more important than quantity when training machine learning models, says visiting international expert, Tomáš Ižo.   

A large audience recently gathered in Wellington to hear Tomáš discuss AI’s inherent benefits and key digital challenges.   Tomáš is the Engineering Director at the Google Research Machine Perception Group.  He leads a team of engineers and scientists researching computational imaging and perceptual computing.

Tomáš’ team famously analysed millions of Youtube videos and successfully learned the concept of a ‘cat’.  Since then, Google has refined the AI technology they use and are able to use machine learning to identify a wide range of characteristics within an image or video to support a wide range of applications including detailed analytics, autonomous vehicles and robotics.

Tomáš shared the technical challenges of achieving machine learning, in particular the importance of data when training machine learning models.  His experience was that the quality of training data is more important than quantity, a point that is often missed as the amount of data in the world continues to grow exponentially.

Google has open sourced Tensorflow, the machine learning framework they use in house.  This has been used for a wide number of applications around the world including cucumber sorting in Japan  and in New Zealand, bird song detection.

Tomáš also discussed the challenges of AI for society, in particular identifying and resolving bias in intelligent systems, highlighting work at Google Research to attack discrimination using smarter machine learning.  This is one of the key ethical AI issues which Google and other organisations around the world (including the AI Forum NZ) are working towards addressing by membership of the international Partnership on AI.

A lively interactive Q&A session followed, covering everything from application of AI in Health today through to whether AI will create or displace jobs (the consensus being, both!).

The event was hosted by the AI Forum of New Zealand, Google and Internet NZ.


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