A Deep Learning IndabaX is a locally-organised, one-day Indaba that helps spread knowledge and builds capacity in machine learning. It's a way to experiment with how we can strengthen our machine learning community, and allow more people to contribute to the conversation. 

IndabaX Western Cape brought together four of the universities in the Western Cape province of South Africa, and, as sponsors of the event, it was a great pleasure for a few of our data scientists to attend at UCT on 6 April. 

A special thanks to the organisers for putting together such a great event. 

Deep Learning (DL) is clearly the direction in which machine learning is heading, and it has been shown to yield impressive results for a wide variety of applications, often within (but certainly not limited to) the complex image recognition and natural language understanding areas. Although the universe of machine learning is a rapidly changing area and who knows how things will look in say 10 years’ time, the fact that Deep Learning is constructed in a similar way to how our brains work, we feel it is not just a flash in the pan approach and the fundamental concepts are here to stay. 

c116436c-0bb4-4ae4-9e87-c70c4fa0a2a4-522397-editedThere were 19 talks in total plus an hour at the end dedicated to 8 lightning 5-minute talks. Principa was pleased to be part of the lightning talk session where we (very quickly) talked about how humans are the best deep learners by a country mile. The talks were filmed, and we assume they will be made freely available at some stage. The full schedule can be found here: https://indabax.github.io/#ts-schedule. Some talks were technical in nature (various use cases solved with DL and Python by Alex Conway) to philosophical (AI Ethics by Dr Janto Dreijer). “Interesting times” would be a bit of an understatement. 

The session ended with a great panel discussion around how we, as a country, can grow and develop our DL skills.

Thanks, guys, it was excellent!

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