Machine Learning and Very Large Data Sets

The international scientific conference Machine Learning and Very Large Data Sets took place at the Yandex School of Data Analysis from September 29 through October 2. Participants discussed current issues concerning machine learning and algorithms for processing large volumes of data.
Leading specialists from Britain, Germany, Russia, the United States and France took part in the conference, delivering more than 20 speeches and lectures and participating in five discussion sessions. Speakers included internationally renowned researchers, Yandex staff, students and graduates of the School of Data Analysis. Many issues raised by the speakers aroused great interest among the audience, evidenced in the discussions that continued past their scheduled finishing time. Topics included not only methods of machine learning but also fundamental problems in the theory of knowledge, which was previously confined to the discipline of philosophy.
As conference organisers, we pursued several goals:
  • to focus the attention of the scientific community on the deep interrelationship between three areas in high technology: machine learning, the analysis of large volumes of information, and the development of an intellectual internet;
  • to discuss key ideas of these three areas and the questions that arise in their development: the fundamental capabilities of machines, intellectual collaboration between humans and machines, and the division of tasks between them;
  • to think together about whether it is possible to create a machine that can communicate with us in a human language, and highlight the components of this problem that must and can be solved quickly;
  • to find the answer to the question why, for the analysis of large volumes of data, it is necessary to be able to detect hidden regularities, having a very small number of manifestations.
  • Conference participants expressed their thoughts and ideas on which direction to move forward, what to look for and develop. We were able to attract world-class specialists and acquainted them more closely with what Yandex is doing. This gives impetus to the development of educational programs for the school, and widens our developers’ collaboration with their foreign counterparts.
Conference participants were also taken on a fascinating excursion to the dacha-museum of the great mathematician Andrey Nikolaevich Kolmogorov, organised by one of his former students, Albert Nikolaevich Shiryaev.