In Just 5 Hours with the Power of Julia

Training so fast you won’t even know it’s already beating you (Image: Jake Givens, Unsplash)

Moving along with Kaggle’s push into reinforcement learning (RL), I’ve been diving more into RL algorithms and at the same time working out which can realistically be trained (we don’t all have an army of GPUs!). In this article I discuss how I trained an agent to play connect four at human-level in under 4 hours using Google’s online notebook system Collaboratory.

The article is fully replicable, you can find the notebook here, train your own agent and see for yourself just how amazing the power of AlphaZero + Colab + Julia is!

AlphaZero Google Collaboratory Notebook Link

Shout out…


How to Keep Living…and Living…and Living…

Image by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Humanity is on the brink of a new age. This new age is defined not by a new generation X/Y/Z but by the resilience of each generation — the extension of life. This shift in how we view ourselves and the process of aging will have far-reaching consequences from healthcare to political policy. While it may seem futuristic, and the shift in society will take some time, there are actions you can take right now to for a longer life. This article outlines these key actions, while hopefully convincing you that your longevity is worth investing in.

If you’re interested…


And Why You Should Give it a Chance Too

A place full of extraordinary opportunities — the people are fun too!

Asia is a truly amazing place. It has a wide array of cultures, some of the best food in the world and really, really great people. It’s also the place I’ve been lucky enough to call home for the last five years. My time working here has come to its end but for many more their journey is about to begin. I’ve learned a lot in this brief stint and so I want to share what I can.

This article will focus on what it’s like to live and work in Asia by covering ten interesting things I discovered working…


A Framework for Data Analysts to Explore Data

Today, a deep dive into analysing change in data analytics. Photo Credit: Amy Lister.

“Weekly Purchases are down!! Why?? How?? Help!!” — if you’re a data analyst, you’ve no doubt heard something like this before from a distressed colleague. Change is a part of every business and occurs across all timescales. It can affect many areas, such as the weekly purchases on a website, the number of units produced or the weather. When people see change, they’re driven to understand what’s causing it so they can make a suitable action plan. As analysts, we should facilitate such understanding and outline core issues.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the common types of change…


Using GENERATE_ARRAY for Histograms and More

Yes, I accidentally highlighted GENERATE_ARRAY when taking a screenshot, but it sort of works, doesn’t it?

When you stumble upon your first task of creating a histogram within BigQuery you might approach it with a simple GROUP BY, something like:

SELECT
hour,
COUNT(*) AS num_accesses
FROM
accesses
GROUP BY
hour
ORDER BY
hour

This is fine, it does a decent job and would earn you a pat on the back from your friendly colleague. What it doesn’t do though, is handle the case of missing hours. For example, you might have accesses throughout most of the day but at 3 am no one accesses your site, sorry. This would leave a gap in your histogram which…


A Wild Playground to Test Your Skills with Solutions

Name those SQL animals! Hint: they’re each mentioned in the article. Original photo credit: Nikolay Tchaouchev.

SQL is a useful skill to have for many roles. No matter the industry, there’s going to be data stored in databases and SQL is the best way to get to it. And Data Scientists, in particular, need to be experts for quick access to high quality data. While most of us in tech have a decent grasp on the basics, we may lack the opportunities to push those skills further in our day-to-day work.

In comes SQLZoo — a great place to test your skills and rebuild rusty ones. You can use it for interview prep, or to stay…


Test Your General Intelligence with a Demo

A small sample of the 600 tasks contained in the Abstraction and Reasoning Corpus.

If you’d like to jump straight in to giving it a go: ARC Testing Interface.

Artificial Intelligence has made leaps and bounds in the last decade, solving many tasks we thought were impossible, but we’re still very far from a human-like intelligence. On top of this, the leading methods for creating AI don’t resemble those we see in nature, using huge databases to learn pattern recognition. This is in contrast to humans who have flexible intelligence allowing us to become competent with just a few samples. To help move the world forward, a new challenge — the Abstraction and Reasoning…


After Searching the Entire Web

Photo credit: Yiran Ding.

There’s no doubt that one of the best ways to learn the basics of any language is through song. Everyone has stories of having songs stuck in their heads for days, and you can likely remember songs that you used to sing every day in your teenage years.

Using machine learning, to analyse songs, and the HSK system to rank the difficulty on those songs, six great Chinese songs were found for beginners in the Chinese language. …


With Links to Lyrics

Photo credit: Cherry Lin.

The following is a list of 100 songs for Chinese beginners, ordered by increasing difficulty. For those who have HSK 3 level, the songs at the top of the list should have only 20–30% new characters in the lyrics, while the ones at the bottom have around 40%.

Xiǎo tùzǐ guāiguāi (小兔子乖乖)

Girlfriend (Mandarin version)

Dui Bu Qi 對不起我的中文不好

妈妈

爱不会一直等你

Wo de peng …


And Why You Should Attend Conferences Too

This was the first thing you see when you arrive at the conference. The display on the left is made out of mobile phones — cool! Images from @seoyeon.leeeeee.

This week I attended my first developer conference as a data scientist. It was a great experience to meet people, be exposed to new ideas and increase my motivation to keep learning. I’d like to share my experiences as well as a few things I learned.

The conference I attended was the LINE Developer Day 2019. It was held on the 20th and 21st of November in Tokyo. For those outside of Asia, LINE is the largest messaging platform in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. They have 200 million monthly active users. You can contrast this to Whatsapp’s 1.5 billion. …

Jye Sawtell-Rickson

Talking about data science, product analytics, and artificial intelligence.

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