Most sessions at your average conference are about results — the conclusions and insights from completed research projects. But at AAPG this year, there's another kind of session, about beginnings. The 'Unsession' is back!
Machine Learning Unsession
Room 251 B/C, 1:15 pm, Wednesday 23 May
The topic is machine learning in geoscience. My hope is that there's a lot of emphasis on geological problems, especially in stratigraphy. But we don't know exactly where it will go, because the participants themselves will determine the topic and direction of the session.
Importantly, most of the session will not involve technical discussion. It's not a computational geology session. It's a session for everyone — we absolutely need input from anyone who's interested in how computers can help us do geoscience.
What to expect
Echoing our previous unconference-style sessions, here's the vibe my co-hosts (Brendon Hall and Yan Zaretskiy of Enthought) and I are going for:
- Conferences are too one-way, too passive. We want more action, more tangible outcomes.
- We want open, honest, inclusive conversations about our science, and our technical challenges. Bring your most courageous, opinionated, candid self. The stuff you’re scared to mention, or you’d normally only talk about over a beer? Bring that.
- Listen with an open mind. The minute you think you’re right, you’ve checked out of the conversation.
- Whoever shows up — they are the right people. (This is a rule of Open Space Technology.)
- What happens is the only thing that could have happened. (This is a rule of Open Space Technology.)
- There is no finish line; when it's over, it's over.
- What we are doing is not definitive. It's just a thing that we're doing.
The session is an experiment. Failure is most definitely an option, just the least desirable one. Conversely, perfection is the least likely outcome.
If you're going to AAPG this year, I hope you'll come along to this conversation. Bring a friend!
Here's a reminder of the very first Unsession that Evan and I facilitated, way back in 2013. Argh, that's 5 years ago...