Luis Serrano | Exploring Machine Learning and Quantum Computing

Absolute AI | Conversations With the Humans Behind Artificial Intelligence

Absolute AI Podcast | Luis Serrano, Episode 4 — Innodata


1:54       The Journey From International Mathlete to AI to Quantum Computing

4:16         The Coalescence of Machine Learning & Quantum Computing at Zapata

16:43      Pushing the Physical Boundaries of Quantum Computers

20:02       Grokking Machine Learning & Its Universal Appeal

26:08      The Impact of AI & Machine Learning on Our Everyday Lives

29:41      Educating Within Spanish & Latin American Culture

Luis's Insights

4:16    “My goal is to popularize quantum computing; to explain it in a way that is simple for everybody”

15:16    “We’re close to a revolution. […] When the hardware gets better, and we’re able to build quantum computers to have a certain number of qubits, then all of a sudden, all this theoretical work is going to become practical.”

20:02    “My approach to writing a book is the same as I have to teaching, which is also the approach I have to learning, which is slow. […] The way I learn is slow, especially things that are technical, I need to explain them to myself, using an analogy that is very simple. And if I can’t find it, I don’t understand it.” 

Luis' Bio

Luis is the author of Grokking Machine Learning, the creator of the website and YouTube channel, and a quantum AI research scientist at Zapata Computing where he is involved in developing machine learning algorithms to work in quantum computers. He is also a frequent speaker at artificial intelligence and data science conferences.

During his time in Silicon Valley, he worked at the following companies:

Apple: Lead AI educator, in charge of teaching machine learning to the employees and doing internal consulting in AI related projects.

Udacity: Head of content for AI and Data Science, managing the team that created online courses in AI, ML, Deep Learning, Data Science, etc.

Google: Part of the video recommendations team at YouTube, where we trained machine learning algorithms to recommend videos in the main page.

Before his life in technology, he was a research mathematician. He did a Bachelors and Masters at the University of Waterloo, a PhD at the University of Michigan, and an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Université du Québec à Montréal. As a high school student, he participated in the International Mathematical Olympiads, representing his native country of Colombia in the IMO 98 and IMO 99.

Show Notes

This week, Melody welcomes AI educator, author, and quantum ML research scientist at Zapata, Luis Serrano, to the Absolute AI podcast. Luis discusses his journey to the world of quantum computing, the enormous potential in this ever-evolving field, and his highly successful initiatives to share his knowledge.


Luis’ early interest in Mathematics led him to become a Math professor which sparked even further interest in machine learning and AI. Eventually working at Google and YouTube, Luis was able to combine these interests with his love of teaching. Following his curiosity and a recommendation from a friend he ended up pursuing his increasing fascination with quantum computing, resulting in his current position with Zapata Computing.


At Zapata, Luis and his team work at finding quantum advantage and supremacy through the exploration of and experimentation with qubits. There remains a great deal of work to be done to make the vast potential of quantum computing a reality, and Zapata is working on every aspect of it.


Luis’ highly accessible book demonstrates his skills as an educator. By making the concepts involved more easily understood, he takes away the reader’s apprehension of complexity, and empowers them in the process.


Luis believes that we are doing linear regression in our heads all the time which helps us better understand machine learning algorithms. His hugely popular YouTube channel has a particularly enlightening video regarding this concept.


While teaching Math and machine learning in Spanish is difficult, Luis enjoys it a great deal because it makes the lessons accessible to those that may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn it due to the current sub sufficient Spanish language resources. The need for diversity in this field is great as AI must reflect all human perspectives if it is to be successful. Luis feels that he is always in some way teaching and so must always be learning something new.


Serrano Academy

Luis’ YouTube Channel

Grokking Machine Learning

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