Cover Image for Davis Square LLM Meetup
Cover Image for Davis Square LLM Meetup
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About Event

Please join us

  • Who: People who build, develop and apply LLMs or wish to learn more about them

  • When: 6:15-8:15pm Tuesday, June 10, 2024; doors open at 5:30pm

  • Where: BasisTech, 1070 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144 (directions) is a 10 minute walk from the Davis Sq. T station

  • What: Two speakers followed by Q&A. Food and soft drinks will be served.


  • ​5:15pm - Doors open, food and drinks served

  • ​6:15pm - Brandon Roy "Designing Tools and Metrics to Support Constructive Communication" followed by Q&A

  • ​7:15pm - Itai Rolnick "Train Away Your LLM's Bad Habits with Constitutional AI " followed by Q&A

  • ​8:00pm - Networking with speakers

  • ​8:15pm - End

6:15pm: "Designing Tools and Metrics to Support Constructive Communication"

Toxic polarization on social media and growing intensity of in-person debates have sparked renewed energy for designing healthy venues for discourse in the public sphere. We introduce work at the MIT Center for Constructive Communication to foster healthy discourse across a variety of populations and organizations through the practice of small group, facilitated conversations. We briefly introduce our approach to scaled data capture and AI-assisted annotation, then focus on early work to operationalize a notion of "constructive" conversation. We emphasize the emergent relationships between participants in terms of their "responsivity" to each other using text embedding based semantic similarity between conversational turns. In parallel, we are exploring visualization approaches to support our intuition and evaluation. As this is early work, we conclude with some planned next steps and an invitation for further discussion. Joint work with Ph.D. candidate Maggie Hughes.

7:15pm: Train Away Your LLM's Bad Habits with Constitutional AI

This presentation provides an overview of Reinforcement Learning with AI Feedback (RLAIF) and Constitutional AI as emerging methods for enhancing the quality and alignment of Large Language Models (LLMs). RLAIF, a successor to Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF) leverages AI-generated feedback instead of relying solely on human input. This approach empowers developers and architects to guide LLM behavior and output quality by specifying their core principles in natural language, eliminating the need for extensive manual data collection.

We will go over the technical details of RLAIF and Constitutional AI, showcasing their potential to scale and simplify the development of LLMs.

About speakers

Brandon Roy - Head of Research,  MIT Center for Constructive Communication

Brandon is a research scientist at the Center for Constructive Communication, with a background in machine learning and cognitive science. Since joining CCC, he has focused on network analysis, with a particular interest in how networks reflect and shape human communication and social structures. He has been doing this work as part of the StoryLine and HealthPULSE projects. He enjoys supporting and collaborating with students on their research. Previously, he led a data science team at Twitter focused on modeling and understanding user interests and behavior. He received a Ph.D. at the MIT Media Lab in the Cognitive Machines group, and he is also an advisor to Cortico.

Itai Rolnick - Senior Software Engineer at Google Research

Itai specializes in machine learning (ML) models and their application across Google products. With a strong foundation in AI/ML, distributed systems, and customer-driven innovation, he excels in building and motivating teams to deliver results in fast-paced environments. Previously, as VP of Engineering at Basis Technology, Itai led a team of 30+ software developers in developing a cutting-edge, scalable text analytics platform. His extensive experience in technology management, entrepreneurship, and innovation spans 15 years. Itai holds an MBA and a B.Sc. in computer science from Tel Aviv University.

About the Davis Square LLM Meetup

BasisTech hosts this in-person meetup for people interested in connecting to learn more about LLMs together. Whether you are an entrepreneur, engineer, or data scientist working to build new models, better solve old problems or tackle new ideas, we invite you to join us.

Each session will feature talks by people with expertise in an area of LLM or sharing something interesting they are doing with LLMs. There will be ample time for Q&A and getting to know each other over food and drinks.

1070 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144, USA
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