Now AI-Sundays is at Manipal
Artificial intelligence is a buzzing field of research and development and a potential part and parcel of everyone’s lives. MIT joined in the initiatives to educate enthusiasts on the mind-boggling topic with the introduction of AI-Sundays in the campus. The workshops will be conducted by the Student Chapter of the Indian Society of Technical Education in collaboration with Nurture.AI, a platform for the AI community to keep up with new research and create and implement breakthroughs in the field.
Nurture.AI hosts weekly sessions called AI-Saturdays, a novel initiative that covers intermediate to advanced topics pertaining to artificial intelligence, worldwide. The AI-Sundays to be held in MIT will be a reproduction of this concept. The pioneers of this tradition in Manipal are the campus ambassadors of Nurture.AI, Siddharta Rao Kamalakara, Abhishek Das, and Pranjal Paliwar. Siddharta Kamalakara said that he aimed to eventually introduce participants to research in the field of AI. He expressed the conviction that the diverse nature of the audience could lead to significant contributions. “The cornerstone of their journey can be laid in a couple of hours by learning the basics of Python”, he said.
On January 7, tech-enthusiasts across all years gathered to attend the first session, that was organized by Palak Bansal, the President of ISTE. There were three structured sessions spanning six hours.
The first session, being the preliminary day of the workshops, was mainly spent in the installation of all the necessary software. The room buzzed with activity as the participants tried to decrypt Git commands as they shared pen drives and struggled with the slow Wi-Fi. Topics like Practical Deep Learning were discussed during the first session. The first two sessions were hosted by Siddhartha Kamalakara, who spoke about classical AI and explained the fundamentals and differences between traditional Machine Learning and Deep Learning. He emphasized that this was not a conventional workshop. This unique learning experience would feature lectures from the best of the Stanford, Berkley, and UCL faculties. Discussions on a few research papers would also be held once enough topics were covered.
The second session had lectures on Theories of Deep Learning by Professor David Donoho of Stanford University. Basic elements of the subject were touched upon in an interactive session. The third session had more advanced topics, like Reinforcement Learning, Convolution Neural Network for Visual Recognition, and Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning. Participants had the option to choose between these three areas.
The workshop ended with the participants left looking forward to next week, knowing that a lot of hard work would be needed to ace the subject. “It was a good experience, and I got to learn new things. The math behind it was a bit difficult to follow, but it was interesting,” said second-semester student Aniket Kumar.