Event Meetup News
London Information Retrieval Meetup

London Information Retrieval Meetup [February 2023]

London Information Retrieval Meetup

We are delighted to announce the sixteenth edition of the London Information Retrieval Meetup and this time it will be an Hybrid event!

As usual, the meetup will be free and aimed at those who are passionate about Information Retrieval and professionals who are curious to explore and discuss the latest trends in the field.

The event will be structured with 2 technical talks, each talk will be followed by a Q&A and, in the end, we are going to have a networking session.

// in-presence

Location: Bloomberg @ 3 Queen Victoria St, London EC4N 4TQ [Google Maps]

Date: 21st February 2023 | 6:00-8:00 PM (GMT)

// online

Location: Zoom [You will receive the link after the registration]

Date: 21st February 2023 | 6:30-8:00 PM (GMT)



[open door for people joining the event in presence – 6:00 PM]
After a short welcome & latest news speech from our Founder Alessandro Benedetti, we will proceed to the talks.


[Talks start at 6:30]

// first talk

How Does ChatGPT Work? An Information Retrieval Perspective

In this talk, we will explore the underlying mechanisms of ChatGPT, a large-scale language model developed by OpenAI, from the perspective of Information Retrieval (IR). We will delve into the process of training the model using massive amounts of data, the techniques used to optimize the model’s performance, and how the IR concepts such as tokenization, vectorization, and ranking are used in generating responses. We will also discuss how ChatGPT handles contextual understanding and how it leverages the power of transfer learning to generate high-quality and relevant responses. Software engineers will gain insights into how a modern conversational AI system like ChatGPT works, providing a better understanding of its strengths and limitations, and how to best integrate it into their software applications.

This abstract has been fully written by ChatGPT with the simple prompt in input <Write an abstract for a talk called “How does ChatGPT work? An Information Retrieval perspective”, the audience is software engineers>.

// speaker

Alessandro Benedetti




Senior Search Software Engineer, his focus is on R&D in Information Retrieval, Information Extraction, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning.
He firmly believes in Open Source as a way to build a bridge between Academia and Industry and facilitate the progress of applied research.

// slides
// second talk

No mean feat: Upgrade a customized Solr to upstream Solr

Technology upgrade is a key pillar of software infrastructure. However, upgrading search and information retrieval systems is a complex task. At Bloomberg, we extended the open source Apache Solr implementation with in-house patches to customize it for our use cases. This made upgrading to a newer version quite challenging, and when you have close to a billion documents that are used by major financial institutions across the world you cannot afford any mistakes.
Learn how the News Search Infrastructure Team at Bloomberg migrated from a highly customized implementation of Apache Solr to the upstream Apache Solr while making sure that quality, correctness and performance of the system is not affected. You will learn about different strategies we used before, during and after the migration to make the upgrade transparent to the users, all while serving millions of requests everyday.
// speaker

Shikhar Srivastava

Senior Software Engineer @ Bloomberg

Shikhar is a software engineer in the News Search Infrastructure team at Bloomberg in London. He is a C++ and DevX enthusiast but since after moving to the News team, he has developed an interest in search and information retrieval and has been working with open source technologies such as Apache Solr.



Lisa Biella

Lisa Biella is a creative digital marketer, geek at heart who is enthusiastic about technology and how it affects people’s lives.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.