Jordi Torres

About Me

Jordi Torres is Professor at UPC Barcelona Tech and Barcelona Supercomputing Center with 30 years of experience in teaching and research in high-performance computing, with important scientific publications and R&D projects in companies and institutions. He is currently a Board Member of iThinkUPC and acts as a trainer, mentor, and expert for various organizations and companies. He has also written several technical books, gives lectures and has collaborated with different media, radio, and television.

Supercomputing, The heart of Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence

How supercomputing could contribute to improving Machine Learning methods?The tasks of training Deep Learning networks requires a large amount of computation and, often, they also need the same type of matrix operations as the numerical calculation intensive applications, which makes them similar to traditional supercomputing applications. Deep Learning applications work very well in computer systems that use accelerators such as GPU or field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA), which have been used in the Supercomputing field for more than a decade within the walls of the supercomputing research centers.

Why now this Artificial Intelligence boom?

John McCarthy coined the term Artificial Intelligence in the 1950s, being one of the founding fathers of Artificial Intelligence along with Marvin Minsky. Also in 1958, Frank Rosenblatt built a prototype neuronal network, which he called the Perceptron. In addition, the key ideas of the Deep Learning neural networks for computer vision were already known in 1989; also the fundamental algorithms of Deep Learning for time series such as LSTM were already developed in 1997, to give some examples. So, why now this Artificial Intelligence boom?

Neural Networks: Basic concepts for beginners

Now is time to start to review the basic concepts of neural networks. This post will present some basic concepts of neural networks, reducing theoretical concepts as much as possible, with the aim of offering the reader a global view of a specific case to facilitate the reading of the subsequent posts where different topics in the area will be dealt with in more detail. A brief intuitive explanation of how a single neuron works to fulfill its purpose of learning from the training dataset can be helpful for the reader. 

Deep Learning for Beginners - Practical Guide with Python and Keras

Keras is the recommended library for beginners since its learning curve is very smooth compared to others. Keras is a Python library that provides, in a simple way, the creation of a wide range of Deep Learning models using as backend other libraries such as TensorFlow, Theano or CNTK. Although Keras is currently included in Tensorflow package, but can also be used as a Python library. To start in the subject I consider that this second option is the most appropriate.

Learning process of a neural network

A neural network is made up of neurons connected to each other; at the same time, each connection of our neural network is associated with a weight that dictates the importance of this relationship in the neuron when multiplied by the input value. Training our neural network, that is, learning the values of our parameters (weights wij and bj biases) is the most genuine part of Deep Learning and we can see this learning process in a neural network as an iterative process of “going and return” by the layers of neurons. 

Convolutional Neural Networks for Beginners - Practical Guide with Python and Keras

Convolutional neuronal networks are widely used in computer vision tasks. These networks are composed of an input layer, an output layer, and several hidden layers, some of which are convolutional, hence its name. In this post, we will present a specific case that we will follow step by step to understand the basic concepts of this type of networks. Specifically, together with the reader, we will program a convolutional neural network to solve the same MNIST digit recognition problem.

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The Harvard Innovation Lab


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