SeaGL speaker Q&A: Paul Berg
Paul Berg gives his talk titled, “Giving The Public What They Pay For: Opening Government Funded Research” on Saturday afternoon.
Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?
A: By trade I am a computer scientist, software engineer and security engineer. I have been active in the Open Source community since the mid 1990’s and became professionally involved in software licensing in the mid 2000’s in Microsoft’s anti-piracy initiative. Later I went on to help run Amazon’s Open Source program for over 5 years and am now working with the Department of Energy of the United States to ensure Open Source best practices and to encourage heavy release of government funded software projects as Open Source.
Q: Is this your first visit to SeaGL? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?
A: Yes. I had planned to attend last year, but life had other plans. I do know many of the organizers of SeaGL and know that they are some of the best in the industry so I expect it to be a very well run conference with interesting speakers on a variety of topics.
Q: What do you see as the most exciting recent development in the software industry?
A: A combination of recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, pervasive connectivity, and cloud based microservice offerings are presenting an opportunity we could only dream about just a couple of years ago. In the past we needed specialized, powerful hardware and a lot of AI know-how in order to do interesting machine learning tasks. Now we can offload the processor intensive tasks to specialized cloud services, and use off-the-shelf building blocks for pattern recognition, natural language processing and other complex tasks without requiring specialized machine learning knowledge. This allows us to focus on solving real world problems on the client side without getting bogged down in the details of the algorithms and is opening up possibilities for a tidal wave of smart applications that we are only just beginning to see.
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