New data analysis competitions

Very relevant for this section: Google acquires Kaggle. Interesting discussion in Hacker News.



  • Hacker News discussion: Who really gives your personal info to Intelius, Instant Checkmate, etc?.

    Someone (or a few) hidden underneath has to be doing the heavy-lifting of scraping people's data from sketchy sources and selling them to third-party companies while staying hidden. My question is, who are these, and (where it is possible to know) whom are they selling to? How can I find out? Surely someone knows, and I'm tired of playing this goose chase where those who don't know just make random guesses as to how the information must be coming from some some public records, and those who do know say hardly anything beyond "you have to know where to look".

  • Data Selfie.

    Data Selfie is a browser extension that tracks you while you are on Facebook to show you your own data traces and reveal how machine learning algorithms use your data to gain insights about your personality.


  • Facebook scales back AI flagship after chatbots hit 70% failure rate.

    In tests, Silicon Valley blog The Information reports, the technology "could fulfil only about 30 per cent of requests without human agents." And that wasn't the only problem. "The bots built by outside developers had issues: the technology to understand human requests wasn't developed enough. Usage was disappointing," we're told. Now it's simply trying to make sense of the conversation.

  • Introducing Similarity Search at Flickr.

    Say you want to find pictures of tabby cats. You can search for the keyword "cat" and filter by color, but you'll likely have to scroll through pages and pages of images before manually picking out the photos that match what you're looking for. Now, simply hover over an image of a cat and click the "..." menu. From there, we'll show you photos that look similar. No more guessing the search terms that would give you the most relevant results!

  • How recommendation algorithms tried to make me a Nazi.

    Until recently, I was heavily addicted to the multiplayer computer game Dota 2, a thriving e-sport with a massive community that produces an enormous amount of online content to interact with. On YouTube, there is a plethora of guides, matches, and memes, and I spent a good amount of my waking hours there. But for the past few months, along with the latest Dota memes, YouTube has been putting a variety of hyper-misogynist neo-Nazi movement content in my "recommended for you" column: Million Dollar Extreme, pickup artists' videos, Milo Yiannopoulos, and more, despite my having only ever used YouTube for Dota videos and (nonfascist) music. A long, deep engagement with a particular branch of gaming has led YouTube to assume I'm an alt-right fuckboy, or at least might want to be.

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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