At the 25th Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference in Granada, Spain last December, we engaged in dialogue with a diverse population of neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, statistical learning theorists, and machine learning researchers. More than twenty Googlers participated in an intensive single-track program of talks, nightly poster sessions and a workshop weekend in the Spanish Sierra Nevada mountains. Check out the NIPS 2011 blog post for full information on Google at NIPS.

In conjunction with our technical involvement and gold sponsorship of NIPS, we recorded the five workshops that Googlers helped to organize on various topics from big learning to music. We’re now pleased to provide access to these rich workshop experiences to the wider technical community.

Watch videos of Googler-led workshops on the YouTube Tech Talks Channel:


To highlight a few workshops: The Domain Adaptation workshop organized by Google, which fused theoretical and practical domain adaptation, featured invited talks from Shai Ben-David and Googler Mehryar Mohri from the theory side and Dan Roth from the applications side. This was just next door to Googlers Doug Eck and Ryan Rifkin's workshop on Machine Learning and Music, with musical demonstrations loud enough for the next-door neighbors to ask them to “turn it down a bit, please.” In addition to the Googler-run workshops, the Integrating Language and Vision workshop showcased invited talks by Google postdoctoral fellow Percy Liang on the pragmatics of visual scene description and Josh Tenenbaum on physical models as a cognitive plausible mechanism for bridging language and vision. Finally, Google consultant Andrew Ng was one of the organizers of the Deep Learning and Unsupervised Feature Learning, which offered an extended tutorial, several inspiring talks, and two panel discussions (one with Googler Samy Bengio as panelist) exploring the question of “How deep is deep?”

As the workshop weekend drew to a close, an airline strike in Spain left NIPS attendees scrambling to get home for the holidays. We hope the skies look clear for 2012 when NIPS lands in Google’s neck of the woods, Lake Tahoe!