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Numenta at OSCON

by Matthew Taylor, Open Source Manager

At OSCON 2013 this past July, the Numenta team had the opportunity to give two presentations about cortical learning algorithms and NuPIC. Jeff Hawkins gave a short keynote talk entitled On Open Intelligence, which created a decent amount of conversation. OSCON has provided a great video of Jeff’s keynote.

Jeff Hawkins at OSCON 2013

Top photo credit: Garrett Heath

Here are some twitter reactions to Jeff’s talk:

There was a lot of interest in the brain-inspired technology behind NuPIC, as depicted in this blog post:

The most interesting keynote, though, was from Numenta. … The science is beyond me, but the demo and keynote was great, and you can (should) watch it on YouTube. I went to their panel later, and they recommended Jeff’s book On Intelligence as a primer for those interested. There are code samples (in Python!) with the NuPIC library up on their github account.

Soon after Jeff’s talk, Carin Meier presented about The Joy of Flying Robots with Clojure, and of course the audience made some typical associations.

Scott and I also presented a technical session about NuPIC. OSCON staff have not made the video available yet, but it is supposed to be available sometime in November.

Numenta at OSCON Image

Watch the Introduction to NuPIC video here.

After the session, the Q/A was running long, so we stayed around and answered questions in the hallway for another 30 minutes. As portrayed in an attendee’s blog post, “the line to talk to Jeff and his engineers afterward was 7 people deep at least.”

At some point during the conference, Simon Phipps from Twit.tv pulled Jeff aside and recorded this interview with him.

We also had the opportunity to hold a Birds of a Feather (BOF) session, which drew around 30 people and lasted for over 90 minutes. Although I hadn’t thought of recording this session, a persistent community member (you know who you are) prodded me into an ad-hoc A/V session, and I managed to get a somewhat-digestible video online. Sorry for the awful audio, but this was my first ad-hoc live-streaming experience. I promise, it will be better next time!

All-in-all, OSCON was great fun and a wonderful way to spread the word about NuPIC and our open source community. We even got a chance to meet a few friends from our mailing list who lived in the Portland area. Thanks to everyone who made it to the BOF sessions and showed interested in our technology.

Matt Taylor
Open Source Community Flag-Bearer
Numenta, Inc.

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