Read about what I've been working on this month

Hey! I'm a 15 year-old student passionate about exponential technologies such as Machine Learning to solve some of the world's biggest problems. This newsletter includes what I've been up to this month and the progress I've made!

I Spoke About Style Transfer

This month, I worked on a style transfer application that takes real-time information from your phone camera and applies different style filters on it. Convolutional Neural Networks are used to extract features such as style and content, then an image is optimized to incorporate both the style and the content! I talked about three different algorithms for style transfer and methods for inference on a mobile device such as model pruning and quantization. It's super fascinating to see how far we've come with neural nets and the potential of utilizing mobile devices for deep learning!

Worked on a project at UofTHacks

I attended my first hackathon and had a great time working with my team on an awesome project. We decided to leverage Microsoft Azure's Bot Framework to create a chatbot to help users proactively mitigate symptoms of heart disease. We faced challenges getting the Language Understanding (LUIS) system to work with our React Native app but overall, it was an incredible learning experience.

Wrote an article about failure and growth

After watching Ray Dalio's video on Principles, I decided to write an article about some of my key takeaways. What was especially valuable to me was the idea of taking failures as opportunities to learn and evolve as a person instead of fearing risk and playing it safe. Reflecting on some of his points really helped me acknowledge my weaknesses and plan for the future.

Check out my article here!

What I'm Listening To

I've been listening to the awesome podcast Exponential Wisdom by Dan Sullivan and Peter Diamandis. Each episode is filled with valuable perspectives and insights from both Dan and Peter. One episode in particular that I liked was Gratitude for Technology. When technology improves, so do our expectations and whenever something doesn't work the way we expect it to, we get pissed. It really helps to think about how far we've come in the last 50-100 years. I highly recommend it!

Attended two events

This month, I had the opportunity to listen to amazing speakers at TechTO and RBC FutureMakers! At each event I learned a ton and had many valuable takeaways. My goal is to focus on being more intentional and productive with how I spend my time and in the future I hope to attend and speak at many more conferences and leave an impression on the people I meet. 

Generating Music With AI

Recently, I've been doing research on Recurrent Neural Networks, a type of neural net that is particularly good for temporal data or long sequences. Due to the nature of RNNs, one task that they're suited for is music generation since the probability of generating a note also takes in the data of the previous notes generated. I'll be working on implementing an RNN in PyTorch to generate different types of music and I'll be publishing an article soon!

My Next Steps for February

After completing the Intro to PyTorch course on Udacity I've continued to build my toolbox of skills and knowledge that I'll be able to use to solve important problems. I'm going to continue to read research papers and spend time exploring different applications of AI in the real world. 

I've met many interesting people this month that have all shared their unique perspectives on the world and different aspects of life and I'm super grateful for all the valuable conversations I've had. I'm going to continue to expand my views by meeting more people and learning.

I've had many unique experiences this month and I'm learning to embrace failure and internalize the process of struggling and succeeding. I'm looking forward to another month of incredible personal growth!

Alex Yu