PHP Meetup Tilburg #8: Harrie Verveer Machine Learning, and why it isn’t magic

‘Machine Learning, and why it isn’t magic’

This time the meetup is at Freshheads. Parking is free around the Wilhelminapark, unless the places reserved for COOP.

19:00 – 19:15 – Welcome + drinks
19:15 – 19:20 – Introduction
19:20 – 19:45 – Pizza
19:45 – 20:15 – Short show case by Freshheads (Perceived performance & optimistic updating by Gijs Nieuwenhuis and Martin Broos)
20:15 – 21:15 – Talk by Harrie Verveer
21:15 – ??? – Socialize


Harrie Verveer has been working with PHP as a professional since 2004 and is currently employed as lead backend developer at NLvoorelkaar, the largest online marketplace for volunteering work in the Netherlands. Harrie helped organizing the Dutch PHP Conference in 2011 and 2012 and is a regular speaker at conferences and user group events around the world, where he shares his experience and knowledge gained from working with a wide variety of technologies. Harrie is co-organizer of the usergroup ‘Code by the sea’ and in his spare time Harrie enjoys running, playing tennis and playing guitar in his coverband.

Level: Any

Machine Learning, and AI in general, is hot and happening. Of course you’ve heard of all the big and popular projects by companies like Google and Tesla. But in a more subtle way, machine learning is all around us and you probably use algorithms on a daily basis without even knowing it. As a programmer, AI always felt a bit like magic to me. So I decided to study it, because the idea of being a wizard appealed to me. And with success! After learning the maths and all the internal workings of machine learning, I’m happy to announce that we’ve actually got a machine learning algorithm running in production very successfully!

I’ll take you along on my adventure and show you what I’ve learned, what surprised me, and how I created the neural network that’s running in production now. We won’t be looking at tools like scikit-learn or tensorflow, but I will show you what’s actually happening underneath the hood! Because, as it turns out, machine learning isn’t magic – it’s math!