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“Defiant” Supervision

How did the phrase “defiantly recommend”, as in “I defiantly recommend this product,” come into common usage on the internet? The answer is a good look inside the workings of supervised learning. Supervision, generally from humans, is instrumental in much of statistical and machine learning. Google’s precise search algorithms are not public, but the generalContinue reading ““Defiant” Supervision”

Artificial Lawyers

Can statistical and machine learning methods replace lawyers? A host of entrepreneurs think so, and do the folks who run Text mining and predictive model products are available now to predict case staffing requirements and perform automated document discovery, and natural language algorithms conduct legal research and case review. In 2017, a predictive algorithmContinue reading “Artificial Lawyers”

How Google Determines Which Ads you See

A classic machine learning task is to predict something’s class, usually binary – pictures as dogs or cats, insurance claims as fraud or not, etc. Often the goal is not a final classification, but an estimate of the probability of belonging to a class (propensity), so the cases can be ranked. A good example ofContinue reading “How Google Determines Which Ads you See”

Course Spotlight: Text Mining

The term text mining is sometimes used in two different meanings in computational statistics: Using predictive modeling to label many documents (e.g. legal docs might be “relevant” or “not relevant”) – this is what we call text mining. Using grammar and syntax to parse the meaning of individual documents – we use the term naturalContinue reading “Course Spotlight: Text Mining”

Be Smarter Than Your Devices: Learn About Big Data

When Apple CEO Tim Cook finally unveiled his company’s new Apple Watch in a widely-publicized rollout earlier this month, most of the press coverage centered on its cost ($349 to start) and whether it would be as popular among consumers as the iPod or iMac. Nitin Indurkhya saw things differently. “I think the most significantContinue reading “Be Smarter Than Your Devices: Learn About Big Data”

Twitter Sentiment vs. Survey Methods

Nobody expects Twitter feed sentiment analysis to give you unbiased results the way a well-designed survey will. A Pew Research study found that Twitter political opinion was, at times, much more liberal than that revealed by public opinion polls, while it was more conservative at other times. Two statisticians speaking at the Joint Statistical MeetingsContinue reading “Twitter Sentiment vs. Survey Methods”

Predictive Modeling and Typhoon Relief

The devastation wrought by Super-Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is the biggest test yet for the nascent technology of “artificial intelligence disaster response,” a phrase used by Patrick Meier, a pioneer in the field. When disaster strikes, a flood of social media posts and tweets ensues. There is useful information in the data flood, butContinue reading “Predictive Modeling and Typhoon Relief”