Cloudera Fast Forward Labs is a machine intelligence research and advisory group within Cloudera. We routinely publish comprehensive reports that focus on a wide variety of machine learning capabilities. This blog focuses on question answering, a natural language processing and understanding (NLP/U) task that has recently begun to show signs of maturity, and documents our approach to implementing this model in a general setting, but with corporate use cases in mind. This project is led by two of CFF’s Research Engineers.

Melanie R. Beck, Ph.D.

Melanie is a reformed astrophysicist who now spends her days dreaming about machines and algorithms (to be honest, she still dreams about galaxies, too). She excels at understanding academic inventions but is even better at translating them into a language the rest of us can understand. Lately, she’s been obsessed with all things NLP. With experience as a data scientist in multiple industries ranging from hardware manufacturing to cybersecurity, she is a jack-of-all-trades with a passion for sharing what she’s learned. When she’s not reading about some esoteric machine learning framework, she can be found playing with her dog and two cats, or cross- stitching.

Ryan Micallef

Ryan researches emerging machine learning technologies and helps clients apply them. He is also an attorney barred in New York. He was an intellectual property litigator focused on technical cases for almost a decade before joining Fast Forward Labs (which has since been acquired by Cloudera). Ryan has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and a Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School. Ryan spends his free time soldering circuits and wrenching motorcycles, and teaches microcontroller programming at his local hackerspace, NYC Resistor.