AI is Not as Smart as You May Think (but That's No Reason Not to Be Worried)

The world of AI is full of hype, making it hard to distinguish real threats from fiction. This post is one of a pair and discusses the current challenges and limitations that AI systems face, particularly with regards the large obstacles that must be overcome before any existential threat from AI could manifest itself. The other details the current use of AI in military applications and the risks that this introduces. In all, these posts aim to present you will an accurate view of the current state of AI and direct focus towards the threats from AI that require the most attention going forwards.

Gibrat's Law: The Central Limit Theorem's Forgotten Twin

Hiding in the shadow of the central limit theorm is a lesser-know, but still fascinating aspect of statistics. Read this post to what this is and how we can use it.

The Look-and-Say Sequence: A Tribute to John Conway

One week ago today, we lost one of the most inspirational mathematicians of this generation. In this post, we take a brief look at the incredible legacy that John Conway left behind. On top of that we will discuss one of the many problems he tackled during his career; one that, to this day, occupies a special place in my heart. We close by discussing an intriguing puzzle that I am yet to find a solution to—can you?

Bank Holiday Bodge: The Sentiment of Shakespeare

As much as we'd like to in order to appear cultured, it is likely that many of us just haven't found the time or motivation to get through the iconic Shakespeare plays we are all familiar with. I don't have a full solution for that, but at the very least, this post presents a way of understanding the general narrative arc of the plays from a quick glance.

Is it Time to Ditch the MNIST Dataset?

The MNIST dataset is the bread and butter of deep learning. Featuring 70,000 handwritten, numerical digits partitioned into a training and testing set, the dataset is the go to candidate for a large proportion of introductory tutorials, benchmarking tests, and data science showcases. This post questions the suitablility of this dataset for such uses, attributing this shortcoming to the excessive simplicity of the challenge it presents when tackled with modern machine learning tools. Additionally, we look at alternatives to the dataset that demonstrate a more appropriate challenge without fundamentally changing the learning problem.

Excel Abuse: Peaceable Queens

Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for solving problems in many disiplines. It does, however, have its limitations; there are simply some problems that should not be solved in Excel. This is the first post in a new series in which we ignore these shortcomings and push Excel to its limits to solve problems that it was never meant for.

A Statistican's Guide to Love

Struggling to find 'the one'? Perhaps statistics can help. In this post we introduce a pair of simple procedures which—when followed—can optimise your chances of finding love.

An Analysis of Strange Timezones

Timezones are strange things. Be it Chatham Island's 45-minute offset or West Bank's ethnically divided use of daylight saving, it almost seems like the timezones of the world were chosen to baffle. In this post we ask which capital city has a timezone that differs the most from what would be expected given its longtitude. Any guesses?

Bank Holiday Bodge: Daily XKCD Mailer

2020 is here and one of my goals for the coming year is to finally get caught up on the XKCD comic series. Starting from the beginning is a dull way of doing things so instead I've taken advantage of Google Cloud Platform's Cloud Scheduler to setup a python script to email me a random selection of new comics each day. In this post I will share how you can do the same.

Bank Holiday Bodge: Parametric Snowflakes

After yesterday's post drawing Christmas trees with Python, it's time to give R a chance to shine. In this post, I use the shiny and ggvis packages to build a webapp for generating parametric snowflakes.
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