Machines + Intelligence

Machines+Intelligence is a blog that showcases AI and Robotics research from outside Silicon Valley. The goal is to learn about research ecosystems and to host Q&A sessions with researchers, founders, and practitioners from around the globe. Topics covered will include developments and applications of the following sub-fields:

Why call it Machines+Intelligence?

Apart from my personal robotics/machine obsession, the need to better understand intelligent behavior in humans and machines is growing with advancements in cognitive science, neurobiology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science. Learning about what research is taking place not only in Silicon Valley, but in various ecosystems around the globe is key to stay on top of future developments.

Why launch yet another blog on AI and robotics research?

Through this blog, I hope to 1. Showcase that great work is being done outside of the valley, and 2. Inspire others outside of Silicon Valley to enter the field and 3. Empowering individuals who aren’t the “typical profile” of an AI engineer to pursue AI as an interest or career route.

I’ve personally encountered a lot of frustration thinking that one needs a PhD start getting into the field. Thanks to programs like Fast.AI, Google’s ML course, and Udacity, and recently OpenAI Scholars, the field is opening up to learners around the globe. For the future of AI, it’s critical to show that having an advanced degree from top institutions and more importantly having a STEM background is NOT the only way to get into the field.

Who’s the geek behind the blog?

Hello World! I am Lauren, just your average nerd / polymath based in SF. By day, I am a venture capital investor. By all other hours, I am a robot-loving, polyglot, who has been studying electrical engineering part-time for the past couple of years. For my job, I travel quite a bit and became fascinated with the local research and tech ecosystems in AI and robotics around the lobe. The original idea for the blog started back in 2017 when I was helping out with an intro level robotics workshop in Namibia and saw the enthusiasm the workshop participants had to learn about AI and robotics. I also build stuff (shoddy robots or random CNNs) for fun too like these projects!

Intro to Robotics workshop in Windhoek, Namibia with Dr. Tanja Karp (TTU) and aspiring Namibian roboticists