AI’s Very Disruptive Time

Ryan Adams knows his timing has been perfect. A professor of computer science at Harvard since 2011 and a cohost of the machine-learning podcast Talking Machines, Adams was leading a group doing research on intelligent algorithms when his 15-month-old machine-learning startup, Whetlab, was purchased by Twitter last summer. Whetlab’s technology automates some of the hardest parts of building large-scale machine-learning systems. It was created to take on difficult machine-learning challenges like visual objection recognition and speech processing. Ryan Adams Harvard researchers started using the tool in a wide range of projects, from biomedical robots to chemistry problems, and Netflix used an early open-source version to experiment with deep learning as well. Now on leave from Harvard, Adams spoke to Business Reports senior editor Nanette Byrnes at Twitter’s offices in Cambridge,…


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