MLOps London March: Talks on Tuning Foundational Models and Building ML Startups

With the release of GPT-4 and more and more hype building around generative AI, we knew the attendance would be good for MLOps London March. Add to that a fantastic lineup of speakers and there’s no surprise that March ended up being our best attended meetup to date; something that was highly befitting of our 10th Meetup. A milestone that saw nearly 100 engineers, scientists and developers gather in person (with plenty joining online) to meet, mingle and learn from each other.

Our March lineup featured Jamie Dborin, Co-Founder at TitanML and Idelkys Quintana, Platform Engineer at NewDay but unfortunately Idelkys came down with pneumonia beforehand so we’ll have to wait to hear her fascinating talk on individual experiences moving into MLOps. In the meantime, we wish her a speedy recovery. Thankfully help was at hand – Alex Housley, Founder & CEO at Seldon kindly agreed to run an AMA on building successful ML Startups.

A Masterclass on Foundational Models & Deep Learning

First up was Jamie, in a talk that balanced high level concepts with technical detail perfectly to make sure everyone in the audience remained engaged, regardless of their technical level. Jamie covered the challenges of deploying large foundational models and how different optimisation techniques can help bring down the infrastructure requirements. 

Jamie then showed how TitanML, through a combination of distillation, structured pruning, mixed precision and runtime engine optimisation, could drastically cut the infrastructure costs for deployment of a large NLP model. 

You can catch the full replay of Jamie’s talk here.

Ask Me Anything: On Building A ML Startup

After a short break to reload on drinks and snacks we held an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with Alex Housley. Alex shared the journey he’s been on (together with his co-founder Clive) whilst building a successful MLOps startup in Seldon. Having just raised a $20M Series B round, it was the perfect time to talk about the challenges faced whilst fundraising and growing a team. There were some important tips to takeaway including:

  • Be patient
  • Take calculated risks
  • Learn when to let go of control
  • Have a supportive partner

You can watch the full recording of Alex’s session here.

Join us for the next MLOps London Meetup

As always, the evening was capped off with plenty of networking time and lots of excellent conversations over a drink or two. If you’re local to London, make sure you come along in person to the next meetup which takes place on 16th May. If not, you can follow all the action live on our YouTube channel.

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