New data analysis competitions

  • Another competition at Kaggle. Thankfully, this one does not involve image analysis and the dataset is not provided clean and elegant; only DB tables as CSV files are available to download. Could be fun. Instacart Market Basket Analysis.


  • Facebook Wants to Merge AI Systems for a Smarter Chatbot.

    Facebook has released a platform that could combine different advances in artificial intelligence and make machines a lot more articulate.

    The framework, called ParlAI, offers researchers a simpler way to build conversational AI systems, and to combine different approaches to machine dialogue. The framework should make it easier for developers to build chatbots that aren't so easily stumped by an unexpected question. A common criticism of the chatbots released to date, including those available via Facebook, is that they are too narrowly focused and too easily confused.

  • Deep Learning Algorithm Rewrites Traditional Recipes for New Regions, Ingredients. We might be one step away from some kind of system that recognizes whatever is available in the fridge and can make supper.

    Imagine your favorite go-to recipe mutated to conform to the traditional methods and ingredients of any number of diverse regional food cultures. Consider, say, lasagne, but a sort of lasagne that's instead a naturally occurring part of Japanese or Ethiopian cuisine. Not "fusion," but something deeper—a whole rewriting of what a lasagne even is according to the culinary traditions of some other place.

    It's not necessarily an easy or natural thing to do, but a new machine learning algorithm developed by a team of French, American, and Japanese researchers offers an automated solution based on neural networks and large amounts of food data. The result, which is described in a paper published this month to the arXiv preprint server (via I Programmer), is a system that can take a given recipe and shift it into an alternative dietary style—sushi lasagne, say—as well as parse a recipe for its underlying style components.

  • Uber Is Using AI to Charge People as Much as Possible for a Ride.

    Thanks to complaints from Uber drivers, who were beginning to suspect that the ridesharing company was charging customers more with "upfront pricing" but not paying drivers more in turn, on Friday Uber admitted in a Bloomberg report to using AI to find the upper limit of what people are willing to pay for a ride based on their route in 14 cities.

  • The Pentagon's New Algorithmic Warfare Cell Gets Its First Mission: Hunt ISIS.

    By year's end, the Pentagon wants computers to be leading the hunt for Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, through turning countless hours of aerial surveillance video into actionable intelligence.


    Thousands of military and civilian intelligence analysts are "overwhelmed" by the amount of video being recorded over the battlefield. These analysts watch the video, looking for abnormal activities. Right now, about 95 percent of the video shot by drone aircraft is from the campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.


Data Links is a periodic blog post published on Sundays (specific time may vary) which contains interesting links about data science, machine learning and related topics. You can subscribe to it using the general blog RSS feed or this one, which only contains these articles, if you are not interested in other things I might publish.

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