Recap: our first machine learning meetup in San Francisco

Wed, Jul 3, 2019

Martín Fagioli
Martín Fagioli

Lately, our team has been invited to give several talks at conferences, workshops and company events all around the world.

As we got great feedback from the audience of these events, we felt like organizing our very own machine learning event for our partners and friends in San Francisco. We could have an open space to share experiences and directly talk about the opportunities behind machine learning.

Event flyer of our first machine learning meetup in SF.Event flyer of our first machine learning meetup in SF.

Selecting the right content

After the decision to host the first Tryolabs event in San Francisco we wondered what's the best topic to focus at?

Well, simple. Let's talk about deep learning.

We chose deep learning as the main topic since almost everybody in the machine learning space is into it. Most of us have read multiple pieces about how it is revolutionizing this field. However, we think that it’s not yet clear how companies can drive business value out of it.

With our event we wanted to bridge this gap. The gap between theory and practice. The gap between the technical possibilities and the business use cases.

And that’s how we reached our friends from The RealReal ⁠— by the way, congrats on your recent IPO ⁠— who are one of the most important players in the luxury retail space and using deep learning techniques to solve super interesting automation problems.

Gladly, they accepted our invitation, and we came up with the event: Deep learning for computer vision: Turning theory into powerful business applications.

Picture of the event preparation at WeWork 44 Montgomery.44 Montgomery WeWork getting ready for the event.

The talks

Everyone knows that there's no good event without great content. This time we were happy to count with German (Senior Machine Learning Engineer at Tryolabs) and Matthew (Data Scientist at The ReaReal), who both crafted some remarkable pieces.

German's talk, the first one, was titled An introduction to machine learning and teaching machines to see. As you can imagine this was the theoretical part of the event. This talk had the intention to lay the ground for machine learning concepts to later on dive into a detailed explanation of how convolutional neural networks (aka, convnets or CNNs) work.

Picture of German introducing the audience to convnets.German explaining the convolutional operator at his introduction to deep learning for computer vision.

The convnets were a great hook for the second talk, which was Matthew's presentation. He explained, in fabulous detail, how his team at The RealReal is automating the copywriting process by leveraging image classification.

He did not only describe the technical side of things, but also shed a light on how this is a valuable project for the company. Additionally, he provided examples on how the data science team at The RealReal is in constant feedback loop with the business team, to guarantee successful projects. It's no surprise to say that this was the practical talk, titled Enormous working hours savings using CNNs: Applying image classification to copywriting automation.

Picture of Matthew presenting the use case of The RealReal.Matthew while giving his talk about how to save enormous working hours using CNNs to an engaged audience.

Towards the end of the event, people got engaged with excellent questions ⁠(Matthew's words!) and it was time to grab some refreshing drinks, beers and some good bites. This turned out to be the perfect atmosphere for one-to-one, one-to-many talks at the packed gathering.

People with different backgrounds, nationalities, great ideas and unique use cases, chatted until the lights of WeWork turned off at 9:30 pm. This happened to be the end of a great tech Thursday night at the heart of summerish San Francisco.

Picture of cheese tables by La Fromagerie.Big shoutout to La Fromagerie who crafted the best cheese tables ever seen at a deep learning event. Don't question it ;)

What’s next

As mentioned above, this was the first Tryolabs event ever hosted in San Francisco and certainly not the last one.

Lots of learnings on how to improve things (agenda, content and promotion wise) but bottom-line it was a success.


Thanks to everyone that attended, helped us spread the word and people who made it possible!

Big shoutouts especially to:

  • The RealReal for showcasing the deep learning for copywriting use case (by the way, they are hiring DS roles!)
  • 44 Montgomery WeWork team for the venue and helping us with the organization.
  • La Fromagerie for providing the best food ever seen at a deep learning event.
  • Our partner Google Cloud for helping us with spreading the word in their meetup.com group.

Until the next one!

Picture of German closing his machine learning talk.Thanks to everyone who participated at our first machine learning event in San Francisco!

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