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Symposium
Recurrent Neural Networks and Other Machines that Learn Algorithms
Jürgen Schmidhuber · Sepp Hochreiter · Alex Graves · Rupesh K Srivastava

Thu Dec 08 05:00 AM -- 12:30 PM (PST) @ Area 3
Event URL: http://people.idsia.ch/~rupesh/rnnsymposium2016/ »

Soon after the birth of modern computer science in the 1930s, two fundamental questions arose: 1. How can computers learn useful programs from experience, as opposed to being programmed by human programmers? 2. How to program parallel multiprocessor machines, as opposed to traditional serial architectures? Both questions found natural answers in the field of Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs), which are brain-inspired general purpose computers that can learn parallel-sequential programs or algorithms encoded as weight matrices.

Our first RNNaissance NIPS workshop dates back to 2003: http://people.idsia.ch/~juergen/rnnaissance.html . Since then, a lot has happened. Some of the most successful applications in machine learning (including deep learning) are now driven by RNNs such as Long Short-Term Memory, e.g., speech recognition, video recognition, natural language processing, image captioning, time series prediction, etc. Through the world's most valuable public companies, billions of people have now access to this technology through their smartphones and other devices, e.g., in the form of Google Voice or on Apple's iOS. Reinforcement-learning and evolutionary RNNs are solving complex control tasks from raw video input. Many RNN-based methods learn sequential attention strategies.

Here we will review the latest developments in all of these fields, and focus not only on RNNs, but also on learning machines in which RNNs interact with external memory such as neural Turing machines, memory networks, and related memory architectures such as fast weight networks and neural stack machines. In this context we will also will discuss asymptotically optimal program search methods and their practical relevance.

Our target audience has heard a bit about recurrent neural networks but will happy to hear again a summary of the basics, and then delve into the latest advanced stuff, to see and understand what has recently become possible. We are hoping for thousands of attendees.

All talks (mostly by famous experts in the field who have already agreed to speak) will be followed by open discussions. We will also have a call for posters. Selected posters will adorn the environment of the lecture hall. We will also have a panel discussion on the bright future of RNNs, and their pros and cons.

Author Information

Jürgen Schmidhuber (Swiss AI Lab, IDSIA (USI & SUPSI); NNAISENSE; KAUST)

Since age 15 or so, the main goal of professor Jürgen Schmidhuber has been to build a self-improving Artificial Intelligence (AI) smarter than himself, then retire. His lab's Deep Learning Neural Networks based on ideas published in the "Annus Mirabilis" 1990-1991 have revolutionised machine learning and AI. By the mid 2010s, they were on 3 billion devices, and used billions of times per day through users of the world's most valuable public companies, e.g., for greatly improved (CTC-LSTM-based) speech recognition on all Android phones, greatly improved machine translation through Google Translate and Facebook (over 4 billion LSTM-based translations per day), Apple's Siri and Quicktype on all iPhones, the answers of Amazon's Alexa, and numerous other applications. In 2011, his team was the first to win official computer vision contests through deep neural nets, with superhuman performance. In 2012, they had the first deep NN to win a medical imaging contest (on cancer detection). All of this attracted enormous interest from industry. His research group also established the fields of mathematically rigorous universal AI and recursive self-improvement in metalearning machines that learn to learn (since 1987). In 1990, he introduced unsupervised adversarial neural networks that fight each other in a minimax game to achieve artificial curiosity (GANs are a special case). In 1991, he introduced very deep learning through unsupervised pre-training, and neural fast weight programmers formally equivalent to what's now called linear Transformers. His formal theory of creativity & curiosity & fun explains art, science, music, and humor. He also generalized algorithmic information theory and the many-worlds theory of physics, and introduced the concept of Low-Complexity Art, the information age's extreme form of minimal art. He is recipient of numerous awards, author of over 350 peer-reviewed papers, and Chief Scientist of the company NNAISENSE, which aims at building the first practical general purpose AI. He is a frequent keynote speaker, and advising various governments on AI strategies.

Sepp Hochreiter (LIT AI Lab / University Linz)

Head of the LIT AI Lab and Professor of bioinformatics at the University of Linz. First to identify and analyze the vanishing gradient problem, the fundamental deep learning problem, in 1991. First author of the main paper on the now widely used LSTM RNNs. He implemented 'learning how to learn' (meta-learning) networks via LSTM RNNs and applied Deep Learning and RNNs to self-driving cars, sentiment analysis, reinforcement learning, bioinformatics, and medicine.

Alex Graves (Google DeepMind)

Main contributions to neural networks include the Connectionist Temporal Classification training algorithm (widely used for speech, handwriting and gesture recognition, e.g. by Google voice search), a type of differentiable attention for RNNs (originally for handwriting generation, now a standard tool in computer vision, machine translation and elsewhere), stochastic gradient variational inference, and Neural Turing Machines. He works at Google Deep Mind.

Rupesh K Srivastava (NNAISENSE)

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