NOT Just Tweaking Some Parameters

What data practitioners talk about when they talk about deep learning

In the world of data science and machine learning, people tend to talk about the shiny stories, publishable methods, state of the art experiments, the rainbows and butterflies. In reality, practitioners struggle with lots of challenges while learning and applying new methods, but their practical lived experiences are rarely shared for different reasons. I was recently following one of the few examples, in which someone shared their journey to the world of deep learning, without a lot of filtering. [Read More]

The Seeds of Bad Data Products!

The adoption of not-so-scientific facts and the path to harmful algorithms

How do harmful data products and algorithms get enforced on us and impact our lives? a question that is widely discussed nowadays, although I am not sure if “widely” is the right description of the current level of attention it takes. But there is another question that I find crucial which is, How do these products emerge in the first place and gain credibility?, How do crappy senseless products reach the market, proliferate our lives and put us in a reactive mode to analyze and prove their obvious worthlessness or harm? [Read More]

The Joy and Sorrow of the Data Science World

The untold stories of data practitioners!

Story # 1 Jasmin is a data scientist who works at a tech company in a product-oriented team. She likes to work on designing metrics and urges everyone in her team to reason about what they optimize for from a product perspective to link it to the models she builds. Everyone says that she asks good questions and she is tenacious. One day, a manager (non data science oriented) came to her to ask for some charts showing the “improvement” in the model/application performance and relevant metrics to use for a presentation in a company-wide event . [Read More]

Objective Function Engineering as an Interface Design Problem

Individual users control over algorithms?

How many times have you been on a platform with an objective in mind that is a bit different than what the product optimizes for?. I am saying a bit different because I mean the case when you want to use the original features of the platform but with some tweaks that improves your experience. This idea frequently comes up in a form of wishes by users saying “I wish Youtube allowed me to. [Read More]