Yann LeCun, Udacity Talks

Over 3000 people have applied to our new Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program since we opened applications on October 25th!  So we’re clearly not the only ones excited about AI. Which means we’re not the only ones excited about our next guest for Udacity Talks.

Yann LeCun’s name is virtually synonymous with both artificial intelligence and deep learning, and his role as the Director of AI Research at Facebook makes him arguably one of THE most visible and influential voices in the field. Which is why we’re so thrilled to announce the following:

Yann LeCun will be our Udacity Talks guest on November 1st!

Please join us next Tuesday, November 1st, at 4:30 pm PT on Facebook Live, where Yann will answer your questions directly in a live Q&A session. To access the event, just like our Facebook page, then tune in on November 1st! To start submitting your questions now, just use the link below:

To get a sense of how Yann fields questions, and to get some ideas for what you might want to ask, check out his Quora session from July of 2016. His answer to the question, “When will we see a theoretical background and mathematical foundation for deep learning?” is a pretty excellent example of why we’re looking so forward to his Udacity Talks episode, though my personal favorite exchange might be this one:

Q: Why does AI fail to work well with financial market trading strategies?

A: Because the smartest AI researchers don’t work on Wall Street 😉

Yann’s accomplishments are literally too numerous to detail, but the following certainly belong on the highlight reel:

  • In 1988, he joined the Adaptive Systems Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he developed a biologically-inspired model of image recognition called Convolutional Neural Networks.
  • He joined the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University as a Professor of Computer Science in 2003. He was named Silver Professor in 2008. In 2013, he became the founding director of the NYU Center for Data Science.
  • Yann LeCun is the recipient of the 2014 IEEE Neural Network Pioneer Award, awarded by the Computational Intelligence Society.

Perhaps the biggest affirmation yet of LeCun’s importance to the advancement of artificial intelligence came when Mark Zuckerberg personally selected him to run Facebook’s new research lab:

Facebook’s Quest to Build an Artificial Brain Depends on This Guy

IT’S GOOD TO be Yann LeCun.

Mark Zuckerberg recently handpicked the longtime NYU professor to run Facebook’s new artificial intelligence lab. The IEEE Computational Intelligence Society just gave him its prestigious Neural Network Pioneer Award, in honor of his work on deep learning, a form of artificial intelligence meant to more closely mimic the human brain. And, perhaps most of all, deep learning has suddenly spread across the commercial tech world, from Google to Microsoft to Baidu to Twitter, just a few years after most AI researchers openly scoffed at it … read more

If you’re interested in AI and Deep Learning, the opportunity to directly ask Yann LeCun your questions should pretty much make this episode of Udacity Talks the event of the season. We certainly think it is! And we can’t wait to have you join us. Whether you’ve already applied—or are going to apply—to our Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program doesn’t matter for this event (though of course we DO hope every aspiring AI Engineer DOES apply before the November 14 deadline!), because all AI enthusiasts are invited.

See you on November 1st!

“I’ve said before that working on AI is like driving in the fog. You see a road and you follow the road, but then suddenly you see a brick wall in front of you.” —Yann LeCun, Director of AI Research, Facebook