MLSys 2021: Bridging the divide between machine learning and systems

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Machine learning MLSys 2021: Bridging the divide between machine learning and systems Amazon distinguished scientist and conference general chair Alex Smola on what makes MLSys unique -- both thematically and culturally. Email Alex Smola, Amazon vice president and distinguished scientist The Conference on Machine Learning and Systems ( MLSys), which starts next week, is only four years old, but Amazon scientists already have a rich history of involvement with it. Amazon Scholar Michael I. Jordan is on the steering committee; vice president and distinguished scientist Inderjit Dhillon is on the board and was general chair last year; and vice president and distinguished scientist Alex Smola, who is also on the steering committee, is this year's general chair. As the deep-learning revolution spread, MLSys was founded to bridge two communities that had much to offer each other but that were often working independently: machine learning researchers and system developers. Registration for the conference is still open, with the very low fees of $25 for students and $100 for academics and professionals. "If you look at the big machine learning conferences, they mostly focus on, 'Okay, here's a cool algorithm, and here are the amazing things that it can do. And by the way, it now recognizes cats even better than before,'" Smola says. "They're conferences where people mostly show an increase in capability. At the same time, there are systems conferences, and they mostly care about file systems, databases, high availability, fault tolerance, and all of that. "Now, why do you need something in-between? Well, because quite often in machine learning, approximate is good enough. You don't necessarily need such good guarantees from your systems.

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