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.

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.

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?

#AdventGate—The shocking secret Big Advent doesn't want you to know

Don't waste your tin foil wrapping up your turkey when fashioning it into a hat is far more in need this Christmas. In this post I will reveal how advent calendar makers the world over, have been lying to you about. So launch your VPN and delete your cookies, we're about to take down Big Advent.

Pymetrics Reenvisioned: Using statistics to balance risk and reward when faced with uncertainty

Reinforcement learning is a current hot topic in the world of data science. In this post, we look at how concepts from this area, in particular effective policies for the multi-armed bandit problem, can be applied to a job application assessment ran by pymetrics.

Upon Reflection: dunnhumby

In the first installment of this new blog post series, I will be discussing my summer internship working at the global customer data science firm, dunnhumby. In doing so, I will discuss the elements that tasks up my work, the challenges I faced in completing them, and the lessons I learnt in the process.

Paradoxical Tournaments

Deciding the winner of a round-robin tournament is no simple task. The most naïve approach can easily be faltered by the existence of $k$-paradoxical tournaments. But what are these tournaments and what do we know about them? There is surprisingly little discussion on the topic and so, in this post, I plan to collate various pieces of knowledge on the subject into one succinct guide.

The Inaccuracy of Accuracy

In a data-driven world, your analyses will only ever be as good as the metric you use to evaluate them. In this post, I make the claim that the de facto metric used in data science is unfit for purpose and and can lead to the construction of unethical models. If this is the case, what should we use instead?

Integration Tricks using the Exponential Distribution

Not all integrals are created equally. In this post we look at a particular class of integrals which can be highly troublesome to evaluate. Thankfully, probability theory provides us with a framework that allows us to avoid the standard method of evaluation and by doing so makes our working far less error-prone.

Rethinking the T9 Typing Layout

Using an old number-pad mobile phone to send a text has to be one of the most strenuous and irritating tasks of the first world. In this post - although far too late to be of any use - I attempt to optimise the layout used on these phones to increase typing efficiency for a range of European languages.
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