I have organized the first NYC Machine Learning meetup. The goal of the group is to have discussions based on recent papers in the machine learning community. This can include topics like search, information retrieval, pattern recognition, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, collaborative filtering, recommendation systems, and other topics related to machine learning.
The format is pretty simple. Pick a research paper. Everyone in the group reads and attempts to understand the paper before the meetup. Meet and discuss with one person leading the discussion. For the first meeting we'll be going over Yehuda Koren's paper "Collaborative Filtering with Temporal Dynamics." This paper is based on his work in the BellKor Pragmatic Chaos team that is in contention for the Netflix prize.
To RSVP go to the NYC Machine Learning meetup page. You don't need to be a machine learning expert to join in the conversation. Just make an honest attempt to read the paper and we can go over questions.