Statistics

32 posts
Millions of internet-connected TVs track viewing habits

Sapna Maheshwari for The New York Times on Samba TV software running on smart televisions: Once enabled, Samba TV can track nearly everything that appears on the TV on a second-by-second basis, essentially reading pixels to identify network shows and ads, as well as programs on HBO and even video games played on the TV. Samba TV has even offered advertisers the ability to base their targeting on whether people...

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Neural networks to communicate with Alexa devices using sign language

Many have found Amazon’s Alexa devices to be helpful in their homes, but if you can’t physically speak, it’s a challenge to communicate with these things. So, Abhishek Singh used TensorFlow to train a program to recognize sign language and communicate with Alexa without voice. Nice. Tags: Alexa, neural network, sign language, TensorFlow

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Changing Twitter, with Statistics

Earlier this year, The New York Times investigated fake followers on Twitter showing very clearly that it was a problem. It’s hard to believe that Twitter didn’t already know about the scale of the issue, but after the story, the social service finally started to work on the problem. Nicholas Confessore and Gabriel J.X. Dance for The New York Times: An investigation by The New York Times in January demonstrated...

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Doing good data science

Mike Loukides, Hilary Mason, and DJ Patil published a first post in a series on data ethics on O’Reilly. We particularly need to think about the unintended consequences of our use of data. It will never be possible to predict all the unintended consequences; we’re only human, and our ability to foresee the future is limited. But plenty of unintended consequences could easily have been foreseen: for example, Facebook’s “Year...

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How people interpret probability through words

In the early 1990s, the CIA published internal survey results for how people within the organization interpreted probabilistic words such as “probable” and “little chance”. Participants were asked to attach a probability percentage to the words. Andrew Mauboussin and Michael J. Mauboussinran ran a public survey more recently to see how people interpret the words now. The main point, like in the CIA poll, was that words matter. Some words...

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LeBron James legacy versus championship-winning

LeBron James decides where he takes his talents this summer, and the sports news outlets continue to review every scenario as rumors trickle in. Neil Paine and Gus Wezerek for FiveThirtyEight present their quantitative solution, sending James to the Philadelphia 76ers. On one hand, they consider the chances of winning a championship in the next four years, based on projection models. On the other hand, they consider a more subjective...

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Is the chart answering your question? Excavating the excremental growth map

San Franciscans are fed up with excremental growth. Understandably. Here is how the Economist sees it - geographically speaking. *** In the Trifecta Checkup analysis, one of the questions to ask is "What does the visual say?" and with respect to the question being asked. The question is how much has the problem of human waste in SF grew from 2011 to 2017. What does the visual say? The number...

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History of the word ‘data’

Sandra Rendgen describes the history of “data” the word and where it stands in present day. All through the evolution of statistics through the 19th century, data was generated by humans, and the scientific methodology of measuring and recording data had been a constant topic of debate. This is not trivial, as the question of how data is generated also answers the question of whether and how it is capable...

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Finding the best Mario Kart character, statistical speaking

Henry Hinnefeld answers the age-old debate of which Mario Kart character is best, using data as his guide. Some people swore by zippy Yoshi, others argued that big, heavy Bowser was the best option. Back then there were only eight options to choose from; fast forward to the current iteration of the Mario Kart franchise and the question is even more complicated because you can select different karts and tires...

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Vector paths of meaning between words and phrases

Benjamin Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University, explored the space between words and drew the paths to get from one word to another. The above, for example, is the path between Seinfeld and Breaking Bad. Using Google News as the corpus, the steps: Take any two words. I used “duck” and “soup” for my testing. Find a word that is, in cosine distance, between the two words:...

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