[GDG NYC Dec] Blockstack, Convolutional Neural Nets & Self-Driving Cars

Mon, Dec 5, 2016, 5:30 PM (EST)

About this event

Venue: CHEL-2A-Atlantic City (Chelsea Market)

Please note the change in venue!! We will be back at the 2nd floor venue in Chelsea Market. When you enter Chelsea Market, take the black staircase (immediately to your right, just past the elevator) to the 2nd floor.


5:30 pm Doors Open

We will mark attendance and tag no-shows so we can prioritize regulars in future meetups.

== 6:00pm ==


Lightning Talk:
The Practical Dev — A Weird Side Project. Bio: Ben Halpern is the CTO of Argo, a messaging/bots startup and is the also the creator and co-founder of The Practical Dev

== 6:30pm ==

TECH TALK: "What convolutional neural networks look at when they look at nudity "

Abstract: Automating the discovery of nude pictures has been a major problem in computer vision for over two decades now and, because of it’s rich history and straightforward goal, serves as a great example of how the field has evolved. We’ll use the problem of nudity detection to illustrate how training modern convolutional neural networks (convnets) differs from research done in the past. In particular, we'll discuss the notion of a deconvolutional network and demonstrate how they can be used to visualize intermediate feature layers and the operator of a classifier.

Speaker Bio: Ryan Compton heads data science at Clarifai. He was previously on the research staff at Howard Hughes Laboratories and has a mathematics PhD from UCLA. His website is http://www.ryancompton.net/ ( http://www.ryancompton.net/

Note: This talk is based on this blog post from Clarifai. ( http://blog.clarifai.com/what-convolutional-neural-networks-see-at-when-they-see-nudity/#.WD74XqIrLdR ) While our presenter has graciously agreed to modify his slides for a more general audience, we share the same caveat: There may be visualizations of nudity for scientific purposes given the context of the talk. If you have questions or concerns, come talk to an organizer.

== 7:15 pm ==

FEATURED TALK : "Building a new control plane for the Internet"

Abstract: Blockchain-based naming and PKI services can be used as a general-purpose “trust layer” for Internet applications. We present the design of a new blockchain-based naming and storage system called Blockstack, which can be used as a new control plane for the Internet. All lookups, key distribution, and data mappings are verified by this control plane, while traditional Internet infrastructure is used for the data plane. In this new model, we can get the performance of cloud computing along with security benefits of a fully decentralized system.

Speaker Bio: Muneeb Ali is a co-founder of Blockstack Inc, a Y Combinator and Union Square Ventures backed startup focusing on blockchain technologies. Muneeb received his Masters in Computer Science from Princeton University and did PhD-level research in distributed systems at Princeton working in the systems group and at PlanetLab—the world’s first and largest cloud computing testbed. Muneeb was awarded a J. William Fulbright Fellowship and a Princeton Graduate Fellowship. He has built a wide range of production systems and published research papers with over 800 citations.

Company description: Blockstack is a new decentralized Internet and platform for developers to build server-less apps secured by the blockchain.

== 8:00 pm ==

FIRESIDE CHAT: "AI & Education", Dhruv Parthasarathy, Director of Learning @Udacity

Abstract: Machine Learning and AI are becoming increasingly powerful technologies that will impact most industries. But there isn't currently a clear learning path for those seeking to pursue careers in this domain. Dhruv will talk about Udacity's Nanodegree program and how they are looking to fill this gap with the help of community and industry participation. He'll share some insights from their new Self-Driving Car Nanodegree program, and discuss the broader mission at Udacity -- a Tesla-like focus on starting with support for cutting-edge products (Self-Driving Car) while also providing a path for mass appeal solutions (e.g., Web Dev).

The talk will be followed by a Q&A session. Please tag your questions with #AskDhruv and post to Meetup or Twitter.

Speaker Bio: Dhruv Parthasarathy is the Director of Machine Learning and Self-Driving Car programs @Udacity.

== 8:40 pm ==

Wrap-up and Survey ( http://bit.ly/gdgny-survey ) ( http://bit.ly/gdgny-survey ))