Back to All Events

Viral Shah on Growing a compiler: Getting to ML from the Julia Compiler

  • Starfish Mission 1535 Mission Street San Francisco United States (map)

We're happy to have Viral Shah [1], one of the original designers of Julia and the CEO of Julia Computing talk to us. Viral's abstract follows:

Since we originally proposed [2] the need for a first-class language, compiler and ecosystem for machine learning (ML) - a view that is increasingly shared by many, there have been plenty of interesting developments in the field. Not only have the tradeoffs in existing systems, such as TensorFlow and PyTorch, not been resolved, but they are clearer than ever now that both frameworks contain distinct “static graph” and “eager execution”interfaces. Meanwhile, the idea of ML models fundamentally being differentiable algorithms – often called differentiable programming – has caught on.

Where current frameworks fall short, several exciting new projects have sprung up that dispense with graphs entirely, to bring differentiable programming to the mainstream. Myia, by the Theano team, differentiates and compiles a subset of Python to high-performance GPU code. Swift for TensorFlow extends Swift so that compatible functions can be compiled to TensorFlow graphs. And finally, the Flux ecosystem is extending Julia’s compiler with a number of ML-focused tools, including first-class gradients, just-in-time CUDA kernel compilation, automatic batching and support for new hardware such as TPUs. This talk will provide the current state of our work [3], also recently presented [4] at the CGO conference by Keno Fischer and Jameson Nash, and the way forward.

We'll have pizza after the event.