Sarah Bird

Principal Program Manager, Microsoft

Sarah leads research and emerging technology strategy for Azure AI. Sarah works to accelerate the adoption and impact of AI by bringing together the latest innovations research with the best of open source and product expertise to create new tools and technologies. Sarah is currently leading the development of responsible AI tools in Azure Machine Learning. She is also an active member of the Microsoft AETHER committee, where she works to develop and drive company-wide adoption of responsible AI principles, best practices, and technologies. Sarah was one of the founding researchers in the Microsoft FATE research group and prior to joining Microsoft worked on AI fairness in Facebook.

Sarah is active contributor to the open source ecosystem, she co-founded ONNX, Fairlearn, and SmartNoise and was a leader in the Pytorch 1.0 and InterpretML projects. She was an early member of the machine learning systems research community and has been active in growing and forming the community. She co-founded the MLSys research conference and the Learning Systems workshops. She has a Ph.D. in computer science from UC Berkeley advised by Dave Patterson, Krste Asanovic, and Burton Smith.

Past sessions

Thursday Morning Keynote

November 18, 2020 04:00 PM PT

Welcome from Ali Ghodsi, Databricks


Taking Machine Learning to Production with New Features in MLflow

Matei Zaharia
Assistant Professor of Computer Science Original Creator of Apache Spark & MLflow, Databricks

Deploying and operating machine learning applications is challenging because they are highly dependent on input data and can fail in complex ways. Problems such as training/inference differences in data format, data skew, and misconfigured software environments can easily sneak into a production application and impact its quality. To address these types of problems, organizations are adopting ML Platform software and MLOps practices specifically for managing machine learning applications.

In this talk, I’ll present some of the latest functionality added for productionizing machine learning in MLflow, the popular open source machine learning platform started by Databricks in 2018. These include built-in support for model management and review using the Model Registry, APIs for automatic Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD), model schemas to catch differences in a model’s expected data format, and integration with model explainability tools. I’ll also talk about other work happening in the open source MLflow community, including deep integration with PyTorch and its growing ecosystem of model productionization tools.


Demo: CI/CD and MLOps with MLflow

Kasey Uhlenhuth
Sr Product Manager, Machine Learning, Databricks


PyTorch and MLflow, from Research to Production

Lin Qiao
Engineering Director, PyTorch, Facebook

Lin Qiao, engineering director on the Facebook AI team, talks about bringing machine learning to production at scale, including the PyTorch integration with MLflow. She talks about the guiding principles for PyTorch and the goals set back in 2016 during initial development through the present day, with a focus on ecosystem compatibility.

Lin reviews the PyTorch production ecosystem and discusses how MLflow and PyTorch are integrated for tracking, models and model serving.


Introducing the Next Generation Data Science Workspace

Clemens Mewald
Director of Product Management, Data Science and Machine Learning, Databricks

It is no longer a secret that data driven insights and decision making are essential in any company’s strategy to keep up with today’s rapid pace of change and remain relevant. Although we take this realization for granted, we are still in the very early stage of enabling data teams to deliver on their promise. One of the reasons is that we haven’t equipped this profession with the modern toolkit they deserve.

Existing solutions leave data teams with impossible trade-offs. Giving Data Scientists the freedom to use any open source tools on their laptops doesn’t provide a clear path to production and governance. Simply hosting those same tools in the Cloud may solve some of the data privacy and security issues, but doesn’t improve productivity nor collaboration. On the other hand, most robust and scalable production environments hinder innovation and experimentation by slowing Data Scientists down.

In this talk we will give an update on the next generation Data Science Workspace on Databricks, originally unveiled at Spark + AI Summit 2020. Specifically, we will cover new capabilities added to Databricks Notebooks as well as Git-based Databricks Projects. Until now, the industry has assumed that collaborative notebooks are for experimentation only, and not for production. Our approach solved for these challenges and, for the first time, provides a single platform for data teams to rapidly and confidently move from experimentation to production.

In this talk, we will unveil the next generation of the Databricks Data Science Workspace: An open and unified experience for modern data teams specifically designed to address these hard tradeoffs. We will introduce new features that leverage the open source tools you are familiar with to give you a laptop-like experience that provides the flexibility to experiment and the robustness to create reliable and reproducible production solutions.


Discussion with Daimler

Stephan Schwarz
Production Planning: Manager Smart Data Processing (Mercedes Operations), Daimler

Sebastian Findeisen
Data Scientist, Daimler

When we think about luxury cars, what first comes to mind is often the end product-- the sleek design, how fast it goes, and so on. But we often overlook the enormous amount of effort it takes before that car rolls off the assembly line. In this talk, Daimler will give us a peek into how data and ML is playing a critical role to drive car production automation, with MLOps and tools like MLflow being leveraged to automate a number of complex processes, and provide insights that create production efficiencies.


Responsible ML – Bringing Accountability to Data Science Keynote

Rohan Kumar
Corporate Vice President, Azure Data, Microsoft

Responsible ML is the most talked about field in AI at the moment. With the growing importance of ML, it is even more important for us to exercise ethical AI practices and ensure that the models we create live up to the highest standards of inclusiveness and transparency. Join Rohan Kumar, as he talks about how Microsoft brings cutting-edge research into the hands of customers to make them more accountable for their models and responsible in their use of AI. For the AI community, this is an open invitation to collaborate and contribute to shape the future of Responsible ML. This keynote is brought to you as an encore presentation from the global Summit.


Demo: Azure Tools for Responsible AI

Sarah Bird
Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Azure AI


Pursuing the Extraordinary: A Data Revolution

Keynote from Mae Jemison
First woman of color in the world to go into space, former NASA astronaut

Exploration of the opportunities and obstacles encountered and clarity of purpose needed to achieve an extraordinary future -- such as human interstellar travel or a sustainable human existence on planet Earth -- and what roles can big data and advancing IT play.

Summit 2020 Spark + AI Summit 2020: Thursday Morning Keynotes

June 24, 2020 05:00 PM PT

Clemens Mewal - Next Generation Data Science Workspace (Databricks) - 9:06
Lauren Richie - DEMO: Next Generation Data Science Workspace (Databricks) - 17:55
Matei Zaharia - MLflow Community and Product Updates (Databricks) - 27:40
Sue Ann Hong - DEMO: MLflow (Databricks) - 42:57
Rohan Kumar - Responsible ML (Microsoft) - 51:52
Sarah Bird - DEMO: Responsible ML (Microsoft) - 1:00:21
Anurag Sehgal - Data and AI (Credit Suisse) - 1:12:58


Introducing the Next Generation Data Science Workspace
Ali Ghodsi, Clemens Mewald and Lauren Richie

It is no longer a secret that data driven insights and decision making are essential in any company’s strategy to keep up with today’s rapid pace of change and remain relevant. Although we take this realization for granted, we are still in the very early stage of enabling data teams to deliver on their promise. One of the reasons is that we haven’t equipped this profession with the modern toolkit they deserve.

Existing solutions leave data teams with impossible trade-offs. Giving Data Scientists the freedom to use any open source tools on their laptops doesn’t provide a clear path to production and governance. Simply hosting those same tools in the Cloud may solve some of the data privacy and security issues, but doesn’t improve productivity nor collaboration. On the other hand, most robust and scalable production environments hinder innovation and experimentation by slowing Data Scientists down.

In this talk, we will unveil the next generation of the Databricks Data Science Workspace: An open and unified experience for modern data teams specifically designed to address these hard tradeoffs. We will introduce new features that leverage the open source tools you are familiar with to give you a laptop-like experience that provides the flexibility to experiment and the robustness to create reliable and reproducible production solutions.


Simplifying Model Development and Management with MLflow
Matei Zaharia and Sue Ann Hong

As organizations continue to develop their machine learning (ML) practice, the need for robust and reliable platforms capable of handling the entire ML lifecycle is becoming crucial for successful outcomes. Building models is difficult enough to do once, but deploying them into production in a reproducible, agile, and predictable way is exponentially harder due to the dependencies on parameters, environments, and the ever changing nature of data and business needs.

Introduced by Databricks in 2018, MLflow is the most widely used open source platform for managing the full ML lifecycle. With over 2 million PyPI downloads a month and over 200 contributors, the growing support from the developer community demonstrates the need for an open source approach to standardize tools, processes, and frameworks involved throughout the ML lifecycle. MLflow significantly simplifies the complex process of standardizing MLOps and productionizing ML models. In this talk, we’ll cover what’s new in MLflow, including simplified experiment tracking, new innovations to the model format to improve portability, new features to manage and compare model schemas, and new capabilities for deploying models faster.


Responsible ML - Bringing Accountability to Data Science
Rohan Kumar and Sarah Bird

Responsible ML is the most talked about field in AI at the moment. With the growing importance of ML, it is even more important for us to exercise ethical AI practices and ensure that the models we create live up to the highest standards of inclusiveness and transparency. Join Rohan Kumar, as he talks about how Microsoft brings cutting-edge research into the hands of customers to make them more accountable for their models and responsible in their use of AI. For the AI community, this is an open invitation to collaborate and contribute to shape the future of Responsible ML.


How Credit Suisse Is Leveraging Open Source Data and AI Platforms to Drive Digital Transformation, Innovation and Growth
Anurag Sehgal

Despite the increasing embrace of big data and AI, most financial services companies still experience significant challenges around data types, privacy, and scale. Credit Suisse is overcoming these obstacles by standardizing on open, cloud-based platforms, including Azure Databricks, to increase the speed and scale of operations, and the democratization of ML across the organization. Now, Credit Suisse is leading the way by successfully employing data and analytics to drive digital transformation, delivering new products to market faster, and driving business growth and operational efficiency.

In this session, we will discuss a range of new emerging technologies for privacy and confidentiality in machine learning and data analytics. We will demonstrate how to use open source tools to put these technologies to work for your applications.