Interesting blog post on Artificial Intelligence

Patrick Rhodes published a very interesting blog post on the history and possible future or Artificial Intelligence. He neatly explains the difference between our current version of AI, where computers mostly follow a rule book without understanding those rules, and ‘strong’ AI, where the computer really understands the rules. Here are his opening paragraphs, setting the tone for the rest of the article:

Yesterday, the very best AI (artificial intelligence) had trouble beating a novice human chess player. Today, the very best human player has enormous difficulty beating the best AI. Tomorrow, the very best human player will never beat any AI. However, that’s not the worst news you’ve heard. This is:

Computers have no idea how to play chess whatsoever.

They also don’t understand Chinese, but that doesn’t stop them from trouncing us in chess or speaking Chinese. Let’s find out how this is possible and speculate on whether or not we can actually create an AI capable of true understanding.

Read the rest of the article here.

Paper on 50 years of ‘data science’

David Donohopublished an excellent paper, placing the start of ‘Data Science’ at the visionary work of John Tukey. The full paper can be downloaded from here. Below is the first paragraph of the abstract:

More than 50 years ago, John Tukey called for a reformation of academic statistics. In ‘The Future of Data Analysis’, he pointed to the existence of an as-yet unrecognized science, whose subject of interest was learning from data, or ‘data analysis’. Ten to twenty years ago, John Chambers, Bill Cleveland and Leo Breiman independently once again urged academic statistics to expand its boundaries beyond the classical domain of theoretical statistics; Chambers called for more emphasis on data preparation and presentation rather than statistical modeling; and Breiman called for emphasis on prediction rather than inference. Cleveland even suggested the catchy name ‘Data Science’ for his envisioned field.

http://courses.csail.mit.edu/18.337/2015/docs/50YearsDataScience.pdf

Neo4j activities @ Data Innovation Hub

neo4j_logo_globeWe’re pleased to announce two events in collaboration with Rik and Kees from Neo4j. On Monday 25 January we will have a one-day training session on Neo4j fundamentals. Registration is via Neo4j’s Eventbrite page; details can be found there, or on the Meetup page. On Thursday 18 February there will be an evening where we’ll look into using open data in Neo4j; registration via Neo4j’s Meetup page.

Hope to see you on those events!

Edward

Training – Hands-on with R Shiny – November 26th

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Shiny lets you create nice reactive web applications on top of R computations without any web development skills required. In this two-days Shiny course you will create your own sophisticated application and learn how to deploy it.

We start off easy by learning how to control the layout of your application and how to add widgets. Next up we will learn about reactivity. What options does your application have to react on user input: immediately or via submit buttons. During the course, applications will get more sophisticated by adding entire R scripts and input data. You will also learn how to return results to your users: displaying results, downloading pdf’s or other file formats, mailing results, … Moreover we will go into detail on how to interact with the results. For example via hovering over or clicking on plots.

At the end you will learn how to deploy your web application on shinyapps.io as well as on your own server.

logoThis training event is organised in collaboration with Oak3 (www.oak3.be). The Oak3 Academy is an IT Learning Center providing hands-on, intensive training and coaching to help students develop the skills they need for a successful career as an Information Technology Professional or as a knowledge worker (end-user of software). Our goal is to provide the highest quality training and knowledge transfer that enables a person to start or enhance his or her career as an IT professional or knowledge worker, in a short period of time. We therefore offer knowledge assimilation, facilitate expertise transfer and provide a rewarding learning experience. Our training solutions are designed to help students learn faster, master the latest information technologies and perform smarter.

Prerequisites: Previous experience with R is required, no HTML or CSS knowledge is needed.

When: Thursday, 26 November 2015 at 9:00 AM Friday, 27 November 2015 at 5:00 PM (CET)

Where: European Data Innovation Hub – 23 Vorstlaan Watermaal-Bosvoorde, Brussel 1170

Registration: Eventbrite

Training – Hands-on with SparkR – Brussels – November 24

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As of June 2015 SparkR is integrated in Spark-1.4.0. However this is still work in progress: in the original version, no Spark MLlib machine learning algorithms were accessible via R. In Spark-1.5.0 it is already possible to create generalized linear models (glm).

In this one-day SparkR course, you will understand how Spark is working under the hood (MapReduce paradigm, lazy evaluation, …) and learn how to use SparkR. You will start setting up a local Spark cluster and access it via R. Next up you will learn basic data transformations in SparkR, either via R code or via SparkSql. Finally we will use SparkR’s glm and compare it to R’s glm and we will implement our own machine learning algorithm.

logoThis training event is organise in collaboration with Oak3 (http://www.oak3.be). The Oak3 Academy is an IT Learning Center providing hands-on, intensive training and coaching to help students develop the skills they need for a successful career as an Information Technology Professional or as a knowledge worker (end-user of software). Our goal is to provide the highest quality training and knowledge transfer that enables a person to start or enhance his or her career as an IT professional or knowledge worker, in a short period of time. We therefore offer knowledge assimilation, facilitate expertise transfer and provide a rewarding learning experience. Our training solutions are designed to help students learn faster, master the latest information technologies and perform smarter.

Prerequisites: Previous experience with R is required, notions of Apache Spark are useful but not required.

When: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (CET)

Where: European Data Innovation Hub – 23 Vorstlaan Watermaal-Bosvoorde, Brussel 1170 BE

Registration: Eventbrite

Training – Hands-on – Spark Streaming – Brussels – December 1st

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In this one-day Spark Streaming course you will learn setting up your very own Spark Streaming applications, and do real-time data processing and analytics. You will start with setting up the data ingestion from HDFS, Kafka, and even Twitter.

Next up you will learn about the benefits from using one integrated framework for both batch and streaming processing. You will combine streaming and historical data, in order to create valuable applications.

You will learn how fault-tolerance is built into Spark Streaming, and might even get a hint of how to combine it with the Spark MLlib machine learning library.

This training evelogont is organised in collaboraton with Oak3 (http://www.oak3.be). The Oak3 Academy is an IT Learning Center providing hands-on, intensive training and coaching to help students develop the skills they need for a successful career as an Information Technology Professional or as a knowledge worker (end-user of software). Our goal is to provide the highest quality training and knowledge transfer that enables a person to start or enhance his or her career as an IT professional or knowledge worker, in a short period of time. We therefore offer knowledge assimilation, facilitate expertise transfer and provide a rewarding learning experience. Our training solutions are designed to help students learn faster, master the latest information technologies and perform smarter.

Prerequisites: Previous experience with programming for Apache Spark in Scala is required.

When: 1 December 2015 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (CET)

Where: European Data Innovation Hub – 23 Vorstlaan Watermaal-Bosvoorde, Brussel 1170
BE

Registration: through Eventbrite

Hands-on introduction to graph databases

Our meetup of 10 September was a real success. Apparently people really want to get hands-on experience with working with Neo4j, and being briefed on general issues around graph databases. Rik Van Bruggen has kindly agreed to do a repeat of this very successful evening, on Thursday 19 November, starting 18:00, again in the training centre of AXA, 23 Boulevard du Souverain, 1170 (Watermaal-Bosvoorde) Brussels. Read more about the event, and reserve your seat through http://www.meetup.com/graphdb-belgium/events/225605617/.

See you there!

Training: Creating R packages and R repositories

R is notorious for its flexibility by having more than 6000 packages available for direct usage. If you want to create your own package to distribute code to others inside your organization, this module teaches you how to build your own package and set up an enterprise R package repository.

packages

Course content:

  • structure of an R package
  • documenting your code and your R package using roxygen in RStudio
  • check, build, install your R package
  • unit-testing your R code
  • creating your own R package repository

Date and time: 3 November 2015, 9 am – 5 pm

Duration: 1 day

Training: Graphics with R

If you want to create a graphics using R, either static, dynamic or an interactive web page, R provides several tools to do this.

This module teaches you the basics of building graphics with R.

It covers the following topics.

• graphics with R base

• graphics with Lattice

• graphics with ggplot2

• overview of advanced graphics in R with ggvis, d3, …

Duration: 1 day

Please register and pay through Eventbrite