IBM & Mila Partner to Accelerate AI Development

Montreal’s position as a world leading hub for primary research in the field of artificial intelligence was reaffirmed again today as IBM has made public a partnership with Mila which began in the spring. Together these two titans of AI are making strides in the advancement of “hyperparameter optimization”. Don’t worry, if you are not an AI researcher it may be perfectly normal if you’ve never heard of it. Now you have, and it’s important for a number of reasons.

Hyperparameter optimization helps to fine tune the different sets of rules used to control various machine learning processes. It can often be difficult to determine precisely what needs to be tweaked in order to optimize an algorithm in such a way as to achieve the best possible performance. The project is now helping to accelerate that process.

For a start, this could translate into significant savings not only in the energy consumption of these systems, but also in the very allocation of the computing power itself. Potentially allowing operators to do more with less. Mila’s Yoshua Bengio explains:

“Hyperparameter optimization plays an important role in the scientific progress of AI, both as an enabler to reach the best performances achievable by new algorithms, and as a foundation for a rigorous measure of progress, providing a principled common ground to compare algorithms. Hyperparameter optimization and its subfield of neural architecture search are additionally a key solution for the deployment of energy-efficient AI technologies, a problem currently posed by the trend of increasing computational cost of deep learning models.”

This collaboration among some of the world’s tops AI researchers has significant upside potential for many stakeholders in the AI ecosystem notably data scientists and researchers. The objective is ultimately to enhance the development, deployment and management of complex AI and deep learning models. Something which could ultimately have a significant impact long-term on business around the world according to Steven Astorino, Vice President of Development for IBM Data & AI and Canada Lab Director.

“As AI adoption increases across all business sectors, more industry leaders are discovering the value that data and machine learning models can provide during a time of accelerated digital innovation and transformation. To succeed in business today, faster times to create accurate models are essential to driving value for time to market.”

All involved insist that this collaboration is an excellent opportunity to accelerate the development of an open-source solution, recently initiated at Mila, combining engineering expertise, practical hands-on experience and cutting-edge research in AI.

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