Nerd Nite Edmonton #80 comes crashing into April with another stellar roster of speakers. Come learn about AI (Machine Learning), how people get recruited into cults, and birds (including our favourite: owls).

When: Thursday, April 25th, at 7:30pm

(Doors & bar open at 7:00 pm with drinks available all night!)

Where: Studio Theatre at Fringe Theatre Adventures

Fringe Theatre Arts Barn, 10330 84 Ave NW, Edmonton

How much: $25

Matthew Dowling: First Sip of AI: An Introductory Brew to Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been around for a long time. Some of the ideas behind the so called Deep Learning models were invented in the late 1950s. It wasn’t until late 2022 though, when ChatGPT was released, that the public really started to consciously use AI instead of it being something hidden from view. In this talk I want to give an intuitive understanding of how ML and AI are different from regular computer programs and share some of my experiences with developing ML applications and playing with it over the last few years.

I am currently a Senior Lead ML Developer at AltaML, an Applied Machine Learning company based in Edmonton. I have a PhD in particle physics from the University of Alberta and have been working in the ML community for the past 6 years. I’ve been with AltaML since day 1 and as a result have worked on a large variety of ML problems in various industries ranging from Finance and Insurance to Industrial Operations. Most recently I’ve been doing a lot of work with Large Language Models (like GPT) and Generative AI.

LinkedIn: Matthew Dowling
Twitter: @MLMatt_D

Heather Hutchinson: The Siren Song Remains the Same: Cult Recruitment Tactics and Rhetoric

In spite of the advances of the digital age, cults remain as popular as ever. Does social media make their recruiting methods different? Are they more dangerous now because of the internet? Communications renegade Heather Hutchinson will tell you all. Or at least some.

Heather Hutchinson is a recent graduate of MacEwan’s Professional Communications program. She is fascinated by rhetoric, persuasiveness, cults, true crime, and enjoys playing the ukulele and yelling at people on Twitter.


Jana Teefy: Beaverhill Bird Observatory, MOTUS, and owls of Alberta

The Beaverhill Bird Observatory has over 40 years of migration monitoring data, which we collect through standardized bird banding practices. I’ll talk about our research, population trends over time, our MOTUS research. I’ll touch on a few owls of Alberta and the threats to their populations.

My name is Jana Teefy (Jay-na Tee-fee), self declared bird nerd and Head Biologist of the Beaverhill Bird Observatory. I have been with the observatory for 4 years. I have an Environmental Sciences diploma from Lakeland College with a major in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and was a veterinary nurse in my previous career.

Instagram: @jana_loves_adventure, @beaverhillbirds
Facebook: Beaverhill Bird Observatory-BBO