Skip to main content

IBM R&D Labs in Israel News

Meet the Machine Learning Mavens

The IBM Haifa Research Lab brought together over 170 machine learning experts from industry and academia for a full day workshop on the latest challenges in this domain. IBM Haifa announced that it will host ICML 2010 - one of the world's leading machine learning events.

Haifa, Israel - This week, the IBM Haifa Research Lab hosted the biggest Israeli event ever organized for the machine learning community. A record breaking attendance of people gathered this week a full day leadership seminar, held at the IBM Research Lab in Haifa. Keeping in sync with previous years, this seminar was a huge success, with participants arriving from across the country. The IBM Haifa auditorium was packed to capacity for the full day of presentations and on through an afternoon poster session, providing a full day that was both informative and fun.

The full day agenda incorporated lectures from leaders in academia and industry. The topics ranged from agnostic learning and debugging large scale web services to kernel quantile regression and techniques for use with biological problems and medical information hubs. Presenters came from a variety of well-known organizations, including the IBM Haifa and Zurich Research Labs, HP, Intel, Weizmann Institute of Science, Tel Aviv and Haifa Universities, and Georgia Tech.

The highlight, of course, was keynote speaker Thomas G. Dietterich, Director of Intelligent Systems Research at Oregon State University. Dietterich spoke about Learning in an Integrated Intelligent System, with examples from the CALO System. CALO (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes) is a large 5-year effort to build an integrated intelligent assistant for the desktop knowledge worker, and integrates multiple learning components to achieve end-to-end learning.

"Machine learning has always been an applicative domain. Now with the amount of information growing drastically, it's becoming more important to manage this information, to summarize it, to analyze the data, and perform operations on it-all in an automated way." noted Shai Fine, Manager of Machine Learning at the IBM Haifa Research Lab and one of the conference organizers. "This is basically what machine learning does. As the volume of information grows, machine learning becomes more essential. The number of new experts is also growing each year and we're seeing a move to industry where there are many new opportunities today."

At the seminar, Shai Fine informed the crowd that the IBM Research Lab in Haifa would be hosting ICML 2010, one of the world's foremost machine learning events. Until recently, keynote speaker Tom Dietterich served as President of IMLS, the International Machine Learning Society which organizes ICML. Dietterich was instrumental in his support for IBM Haifa as a world center of competence and as the ideal host for this prestigious event.

The end of the day was crowned with a poster session, where people from a variety of different domains had a chance to present their work. Seminar participants were able to roam around between the posters, gleaning information and meeting up with colleagues. "I really enjoyed the high quality of presentations and the wide variety of topics covered," noted one participant. "There was a terrific mix of theoretical subjects alongside practical topics. This blend made the day especially fascinating for me."

Experts on the topic