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Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

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Don’t worry if college isn’t the happiest time of your life

I was digging through paperwork today to help complete my PhD admission process, and I stopped short when I saw the academic transcript from my undergraduate years. I was a terrible student! I got 0% on one course, awful scores on many others, and had to do a lot of retakes. It brought back memories of how I was feeling when I was 18. I was a mess....

Why cameras are soon going to be everywhere

i-FlatCam demo I’ve finally had the chance to play Cyberpunk 2077 over the last few weekends, and it’s an amazing feat of graphics programming, especially with ray-tracing enabled. I’ve had fun, but I have been struck by how the cyberpunk vision of the future is rooted in the ’80s. Even though William Gibson was incredibly prescient in so many...

What are ML Sensors?

I’ve spent a lot of time at conferences talking about all the wonderful things that are now possible using machine learning on embedded devices, but as Stacey Higginbotham pointed out at this year’s TinyML Summit, despite all the potential there haven’t been many shipping applications. My experience is that companies like Google with big ML teams have...

Caches Considered Harmful for Machine Learning

Photo by the National Park Service I’ve been working on a new research paper, and a friend gave me the feedback that he was confused by the statement “memory accesses can be accurately predicted at the compilation stage” for machine learning workloads, and that this made them a poor fit for conventional processor architectures with predictive...

How Should you Protect your Machine Learning Models and IP?

Over the last decade I’ve helped hundreds of product teams ship ML-based products, inside and outside of Google, and one of the most frequent questions I got was “How do I protect my models?”. This usually came from executives, and digging deeper it became clear they were most worried about competitors gaining an advantage from what we released. This...

Is Google Spying on your Conversations?

No. Ok, I thought about leaving this as a one-word blog post, but even though I can categorically state that it isn’t happening, the fact that this question comes up regularly in my everyday life, and that I worked on always-on audio when I was at Google, makes me want to expand on this a bit. A good starting point is this BBC article...

Non-Max Suppressions, How do they Work?

I’ve been working with neural networks to do image recognition for almost a decade now, but I have to admit I never really understood the details of how they output things like bounding boxes. I didn’t have a good mental model for how it all worked, and the reference functions always seemed pretty intimidating. In a lot of cases this doesn’t matter,...

My favorite debugging hack

Image from Wikimedia The first machine I programmed commercially was the original PlayStation, and I didn’t appreciate it at the time but it had the best debugger I’ve ever had the pleasure to use. One of the best features was a continuously updating variable view, so you could see how values you cared about were changing in real time, without...

Leaving Google, Starting Stanford

I’ve been at Google for seven years, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing people on projects like TensorFlow that I’m very proud of. I’ve been talking about all the wonderful TinyML things you can build using TensorFlow Lite Micro a lot over the last few years, and the time has finally come to start trying to build some of them myself!...

Launching spchcat, an open-source speech recognition tool for Linux and Raspberry Pi

During the pandemic travel lockdown I’ve ended up accumulating a lot of vacation time, so I decided to take a lot of December off. I did spend some time relaxing, especially walking our adorable new dogs, but there were some coding itches I wanted to scratch. One of the biggest was building a simple system for prototyping voice interfaces on an embedded...

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