Data Science / November 24th, 2015

Our favorite algorithm names

Anyone who has cracked open a computer science textbook can tell you that the field is chock full of complex, and often imposing, terminology. But among all of the opaque terms for algorithms and statistical methods, there are a handful with clever names that even non-specialists can appreciate. We were reminded of this recently when…

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Culture / November 20th, 2015

;-) and :-P: Emoticons, emoji, and the law

Did a South Park episode change the meaning of the panda emoji (🐼)? Why is the Japanese fish cake (🍥) the most negative of all foods? What do emoji mean and how does their meaning change over time? A recent study from Slovenia which gives each emoji a sentiment ranking provides us with more questions than answers….

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Natural Language Processing / November 18th, 2015

Applied intelligence: AI and the future of advanced data analytics

Last week, I had the pleasure of giving an industry keynote presentation on active learning at the Georgian Partners Annual Conference for Applied Analytics in Toronto. The applied intelligence session of the conference explored developing trends in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Meet Amy, an AI-driven personal assistant Dennis Mortensen, CEO and founder of,…

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Data Science / November 17th, 2015

Snippets on Spark: Highlights from Datapalooza

Last week, Galvanize hosted Datapalooza, a three day set of workshops and talks for data scientists and data engineers.  I was able to go on Tuesday and Thursday and catch two workshops on Spark and search, and attend Thursday’s all day Data Engineering sessions on Scala programming, deep learning, and Spark. Here are some of…

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Idibon News / November 10th, 2015

Recap: Africa Tech Summit and MEST

I attended the Africa Tech Summit ( and gave an invited talk at the MEST school for entrepreneurs ( last week, both in Accra, Ghana and run by MeltWater ( The summit was eye-opening for how quickly technology has been adopted in less developed parts of the world. In some cases, that technology has leapfrogged…

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Natural Language Processing / October 30th, 2015

Intensity in consumer complaints about banks

Analyzing the language used in consumer complaints tells you about both the topics that people are complaining about and their severity. An appreciation for what people are saying can help you build better products, save valuable customers, and fix problems earlier. In the case of financial service complaints, customer language can also expose what’s known…

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Culture / October 26th, 2015

Cat Burton: Tales of a digital nomad

Some people work from an office, traveling only on their designated vacation days. Cat Burton, a game designer and professional photographer, works anywhere where there’s wifi, from New Zealand to Bangkok. Cat is a digital nomad, using technology to earn a living and traveling to seek out new adventures and experiences. The roots of a…

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