When more than 6,000 SAS users came together at SAS Global Forum 2019 in Dallas, it was clear that we are living in exciting times, full of potential!
Dr Jim Goodnight, SAS CEO, set the scene perfectly in the opening session:
“We are witnessing a renewed focus on data and analytics, driven by the combination of increased computing power, a more connected world and more powerful technologies, like artificial intelligence, computer vision, natural language processing and machine learning.”
To support his words, he blew us away with a live facial recognition demonstration, using an enthusiastic group of volunteers (including Metacoda’s Michelle Homes) and a model TinyYOLO v2. The model essentially converts each face into a vector of 512 floating point numbers, looks it up using nearest neighbour, and then returns a name. But obviously behind the scenes there’s a lot more going on: the facial recognition uses approximately 11 million parameters… with more than 22 million floating point operations that have to occur on a workstation with 2 GPUs… which sends the data to SAS Viya running ESP on 4 GPUs… which sends the pixels in the bounding box into a model that has 55 million parameters from FaceNet! If you’re intrigued, please see Dr Goodnight’s opening session presentation for yourself (and notice that even funny faces can’t fool that clever underlying algorithm!) 😉