Second annual Machine Learning Summer School launches in India


In 2021, Amazon launched a summer school in India that gave university students the opportunity to learn from leaders in the machine learning (ML) industry.

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Amazon is collaborating with academic institutions in the country to equip engineering students with machine-learning skills.

Over three days, students learned the fundamentals of ML and how to apply those concepts to real-world situations. The intensive course included the opportunity for students to interact with scientists at Amazon, ask questions, and learn about the newest innovations in the field.

“[The program] helped me understand how vast and diverse the field of ML and data science is,” said one student about the experience. “[It] also gave me a road map and a clear idea on how to proceed.”

Building off last year’s success, Amazon recently launched an expanded version of ML Summer School.

Machine learning opportunities for students at Amazon India

The program — which comprises eight virtual modules over four weeks discussing topics like deep neural networks, supervised learning, probabilistic graphical models, and unsupervised learning — kicked off on July 2. In addition, each module is followed by a three-hour live Q&A session with Amazon senior applied scientists and ML scientists.

Amazon ML Summer School aims to provide participating students with best-in-class training on a broad range of topics … This program is a platform for fostering ML excellence and strives to provide students with applied science skills.

Amazon invited engineering students in India graduating in 2023 or 2024 from bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD programs to register for the free course. Students who applied had to pass a two-part selection test covering math, programming, and basic ML concepts to enroll.

One goal of the program is to provide a launching pad for internships and careers in ML. Not only do students gain valuable and practical knowledge on key ML topics, but they also take the first step toward developing a professional network in the field.

“This program, over and above academics, is designed to build a strong foundation in key ML technologies and is a step toward assisting students to chart out careers in ML,” said Suman Yadav, Amazon’s Director of Student Programs in the Asia-Pacific region.

The career outlook is bright for summer school attendees. Research and practical applications of ML are advancing in India at a remarkable pace. For instance, scientists at Amazon in Hyderabad use ML for dozens of business applications from forecasting to delivery planning. In Bengaluru, researchers study fields including deep learning and artificial intelligence.

Amazon ML research in India has led to advancements that lower packaging costs, reduce damage during shipment, and improve user experience around the world. Deep learning programs developed in India have also improved the quality of the Amazon online catalog by filling in missing product details, leading to better, more relevant searches.

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Team works to address the needs of 600 million people online who together speak more than 22 Indian languages with over 19,500 dialects.

Rajeev Rastogi, Amazon vice president, International Machine Learning, observed that ML is creating solutions for uniquely Indian challenges as well.

For instance, addresses may be unstructured or incomplete in many emerging countries, which makes it difficult to reliably deliver packages. An ML team created an “address deliverability score” to identify and improve poor quality addresses as soon as they enter the system.

In addition, India is a diverse country that is home to thousands of individual dialects. Customers in different regions using the same search terms may be looking for different products or brands. Scientists in India made it possible to include regional preferences in search results.

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Fun visual essays explain key concepts of machine learning.

The ML Summer School also serves to accelerate the growth of technological innovation in India. To advance this goal, Amazon is collaborating with top institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology and Delhi Technological University to make the ML summer school an annual opportunity for promising engineering and programming students.

“Amazon ML Summer School aims to provide participating students with best-in-class training on a broad range of topics, which are at the core of modern ML, from fundamentals to state of the art,” Rastogi said. “This program is a platform for fostering ML excellence and strives to provide students with applied science skills.”

To learn more about Amazon’s Machine Learning Summer School program, including a detailed schedule and the full list of tutors, visit the ML Summer School website.

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