Deep fried data

Posted to Statistics  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

Maciej Ceglowski, the creator of bookmarking site Pinboard, spoke at the Library of Congress a couple of weeks ago about deep-fried data.

In our case, the deep-fryer is a toolbox of statistical techniques. The names keep changing—it used to be unsupervised learning, now it’s called big data or deep learning or AI. Next year it will be called something else. But the core ideas don’t change. You train a computer on lots of data, and it learns to recognize structure.

These techniques are effective, but the fact that the same generic approach works across a wide range of domains should make you suspicious about how much insight it’s adding.

And in any deep frying situation, a good question to ask is: what is this stuff being fried in?

Deep fried food is often delicious, regardless of what’s inside the golden breading. But deep inside — or really right there in the front of our minds — we know it’s not good for us. Moderation. Or at least make sure you go to the good food stand at the carnival that uses the clean oil.

See the talk and many others here.

Favorites

How We Spend Our Money, a Breakdown

We know spending changes when you have more money. Here’s by how much.

Where Bars Outnumber Grocery Stores

A closer look at the age old question of where there are more bars than grocery stores, and vice versa.

Most popular porn searches, by state

We’ve seen that we can learn from what people search …

One Dataset, Visualized 25 Ways

“Let the data speak” they say. But what happens when the data rambles on and on?