Machine Learning Has Become Necromancy


Machine learning has undergone a profound transformation with open source. From a technology that can only do naive curve fitting to technology that could potentially end humanities dominion.

In 2017, Ali Rahimi declared that Machine learning is the new alchemy and we'd like to go further and claim that Machine Learning is the new necromancy. A forgotten science with a passionately strong open source ethos that was eventually destroyed by the catholic church.

Much has been said about how breakthroughs are made but not too much on how breakthroughs are lost. This talk explores the evolution and destruction of necromancy and draws parallels to recent proposed regulation in Machine Learning.

We hope this talk will make you laugh and inspire you to take on the social challenges associated with regulating a science to death.


Mark Saroufim is an engineer on PyTorch at Meta working on open infrastructure, compilers and community. Mark is fond of hot takes and shares them on his blog Prior to Meta, Mark worked as a Machine Learning engineer at Graphcore, Microsoft and

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