MIPT to host Russia’s first neural networks focused hackathon
7 Jul '15
Russia’s first hackathon, DeepHack, on deep learning and artificial intelligence is expected to take place between July 19 and 24 at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), also known as Phystech, a leading technology university in Russia, portal Lenta.ru reported, citing a source among the organizers of the event.
Hackathon (a portmanteau of “hack” and “marathon”) is a competition forum for IT developers from different labs and companies to come together and pool efforts in solving a problem.
During this hackathon, students, postgraduates, young scientists and IT professionals will reportedly be asked to find universal methods of machine learning. Machine learning is already widely used in research and industry.
The deep learning approach calls for transition from choosing the best possible algorithm for certain action to developing software capable of planning strategically.
For example, start-up Google Deep Mind has demonstrated the ability of modern neural networks to choose a gaming strategy better than man.
Hackathon participants will form eight-to-twelve teams in an effort to outshine Google Deep Mind in retro arcade games for the Atari 2600 console.
The event organizers note that similar algorithms could be used in applied tasks.
“Many deep learning systems are already built around the principles of the brain function and resemble artificial intelligence. Our team actively applies deep learning to research in ageing and oncology,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, the CEO of Insilico Medicine in Russia.
As an example, he talked about another start-up he’s involved in, PONKTs, which has developed Oncofinder, a software solution for personalized selection of drugs for cancer patients. Earlier this year the start-up signed an agreement with IBM for use of its smart computer system, IBM Watson, to fight cancer.
Dmitry Kamensky, senior partner at Deep Knowledge Ventures, a co-organizer of the event, said that in addition to the competitive nature of the hackathon the event will showcase participants’ skills to potential employers.
The participants will be invited to take part in an international ageing bioinformatics hackathon to be held in Switzerland, the source added.
The key organizers of the hackathon are Russia’s Advanced Biotech Support Fund and MIPT’s Innovation Educational Technologies Lab.