“A resource that's packed with tips, news, and discussion around generative AI.” 〰️ wired.com

✨ About Gradient Ascent

Gradient Ascent is the go-to AI newsletter trusted by thousands of researchers, engineers, and managers from top tech firms like Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Amazon, as well as top universities and research labs from over 125 countries worldwide.

As AI weaves itself into the fabric of our daily lives, there is a clear need for resources that demystify complex research into actionable insights and how this work impacts technology and our world.

We also need an easy and enjoyable way to become AI-literate. Online courses are a great starting point. But given how rapidly state-of-the-art research becomes fossilized, we need something that’s always up to date.

That’s where Gradient Ascent comes in.

🙌 Free Subscribers get:

  • 📰 All public posts.

  • 🧵 Weekly threads to discuss happenings in AI with other members of the Gradient Ascent community.

  • My deepest gratitude for being a part of the Gradient Ascent family.

🔒 Paid Subscribers Get:

  • 📰 One issue every week. I alternate between curated resource digests and original written content. The topics and themes of the essays are generally split between the following categories:

    • 🤿 Deep Dives: Longform illustrated articles that connect various pieces of cutting-edge research together, highlight real-world applications and takeaways that get you quickly up to speed on a topic or area of research.

    • 📝 Short notes on research: Don’t have time to read lengthy research papers? No problem. I write crisp breakdowns of the most interesting research to save you time and the trouble of finding them.

    • 🧑‍💻 Interactive Tutorials: Periodically, I put together small projects that you can work along with and get hands-on experience on a topic while having lots of fun.

    • 🧑‍🏫 Fundamentals: It’s extremely important to have a solid foundation as an ML practitioner. I cover the fundamental concepts that underpin current research, usually with hand-drawn illustrations.

    • 📚 Curated Papers and Articles: Hundreds of papers get posted to ArXiv every day. I carefully curate and share research papers and articles that will keep you up to date with the most relevant pieces of AI research.

    • 🏗️ Resources for Builders: I also share videos, code repositories, and interesting demos that you can use as inspiration for your next ML project.

  • 🏋️ Challenges: Periodically, I’ll run an entire series of newsletters that takes you from 0 to 81% on highly relevant topics in AI. Think of it like an intensive online course packed into a series of newsletters.

  • 💎 Special Editions: Quarterly digests recapping AI progress in each quarter as well as the best resources from that quarter.

  • 💸 Discounts: Exclusive discounts on workshops, courses, and coaching sessions.

  • 🤗 The joy of supporting a one-man band on a mission to make the most accessible and enjoyable AI education.

Your support allows me to pay for cloud computing credits, API bills, and services like ChatGPT+ and try new experiments to make the content even more valuable. It also allows this content to be made available to those who can’t afford it.

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🙏 What others are saying

Jéssica Leão, Partner at Decibel VC

“Sai has a really unique mix of cutting-edge knowledge in AI and incredible/creative writing ability. His newsletter finds a way to make complex topics fun and easy to read about. I highly recommend it for ML practitioners at any level!”

— Cameron R. Wolfe, Ph.D., Director of AI at Rebuy and author of Deep (Learning) Focus

“I love Gradient Ascent for it's simple explanations and range of topics. Great resource to stay in touch with the crazy field of Machine Learning and AI”

— Devansh, from Artificial Intelligence Made Simple

"Sairam's ability to seamlessly blend captivating stories with technical details makes reading and learning about AI fun in ways few technical writers can."

— Alvin Tsui, Senior Software Developer and author of Below the Surface

"Sairam has an encyclopedic knowledge and enthusiasm for the latest research in Machine Learning and a knack for explaining difficult concepts in a clear and engaging manner."

— Bijan Forutanpour, Computer Graphics R&D Engineer

"As a software engineer, I’ve tried for years to wrap my head around AI/ML. The jargon and equations in those Coursera courses went over my head.But finally, through Sairam’s newsletter, Gradient Ascent, I have been able to learn these concepts with his concise analogies that connect new knowledge with things I already know. There’s nobody I’d trust more than Sairam to take a complicated concept and make it digestible for folks from all walks of life."

— Janahan Sivaraman, Distinguished Engineer at Walmart and author of Often Wrong Club

"I cannot imagine anyone else being able to teach AI as simply and as succinctly as Sairam.Through his newsletter, Twitter threads, and illustrations, I have grasped more AI concepts than from any other source."

— Louie Bacaj, Entrepreneur and Former Engineering Director

— Zander Mackie, Engineer and author of From Very Little Gravitas Indeed

👋 Hi, but who are you?

Hi! I'm Sairam, a Machine Learning Scientist with over 13 years of experience in the tech industry. Currently, I spearhead advanced research on algorithm-hardware co-design and multimodal models at Intel Labs.

After getting my Master's degree from the University of Michigan, I worked for eight years at Qualcomm Technologies Inc. on groundbreaking Computer Vision and Machine Learning projects for multimedia applications. My work on real-time 3D reconstruction was featured in Forbes. I also developed cutting-edge object tracking algorithms and Qualcomm's FastCV library, which earned significant recognition. You may have used this technology yourself on your phone without even realizing it.

Collectively, my work has earned me dozens of patents and publications.

But beyond these, I'm an educator at heart. I’ve served as a Machine Learning Lead and Mentor at the Frontier Development Lab for three years. During this time, I led an interdisciplinary team on projects to understand our Sun, focusing on Starspots, Solar Wind, and reconstructing its surface. My teams achieved significant recognition, with their work mentioned by Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

These days, my time is divided between research, writing, and two tiny humans who’ve got me wrapped firmly around their thumbs.

Outside of Substack, you can find me on Twitter/X and LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: All opinions and views expressed here in the newsletter are mine alone and do not represent those of my employer.

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Gradient Ascent is your weekly guide to AI, trusted by Silicon Valley's top tech firms and the best academic labs worldwide.


I'm a research scientist with 13+ years of industry experience. I'll help you learn Machine Learning, Computer Vision, and teach you the tips and tricks that will make leveling up fun! Check out the resources I offer and sign up for my newsletter!