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After Chess, Draughts and Backgammon, How Google’s AlphaGo Win at Go

After Chess, Draughts and Backgammon, How Google’s AlphaGo Win at Go

Two decades ago, if someone asked me to write a computer program that played tic-tac-toe, I would have failed horribly. Now being an accomplished computer programmer, I know the desirable tricks to solve tic-tac-toe with the help of “Minimax Algorithm”, and what it takes is just about an hour to jot down the program. No doubt, my coding skills have evolved over the period of time, but also computer science technology has reached unattainable heights.

Computers paved the ways for a startled innovation. When in 1997, IBM introduced a chess-playing computer, known as Deep Blue, which eventually beat world-renowned Grandmaster Garry Kasparov in a six-game match, people remained in awe for years. Following the trend, in 2016, Google’s London-based AI Company, DeepMind launched AlphaGo – and it mastered over the ancient board game Go. Computers have outplayed the best human players in the games of chess, draughts and backgammon, now it’s time for Go.

Also read: Infographic: How Big Data Analytics Can Help To Boost Company Sales?

The technology goes on thriving, beating humans at games. In late May, AlphaGo is all set to take on its human rival Ke Jie, the best player in the world during the Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen, China. Games, which solely relied on human intelligence, wit, intuition, discern is now excelled by the AI, which is powered by improved engineering and computer superiority.

Also read: Top Databases of 2017 to Watch Out For

Don’t you think this is great! Where AI is driving our cars, looking for ways to cure deadly cancer and helping us in everyday work, winning at Go takes AI a step ahead. It not only makes the games more fun and exciting, but endlessly enjoyable.

The strategy explained

In the eastern part of the world, notably in China, Japan and South Korea, Go is extremely popular and many celebrities indulge in it. The game developers showed interest for long in the complexity of this game. However, the rules are simple – the main objective is to secure the maximum territories by placing and capturing black and white stones on a 19×19 grid.

Also read: Shadowing a Data Architect for a Day!

Chess is less complicated than Go; in the latter, the chances of recognising wins and losses is relatively tougher, as stones possess equal values, and ensures understated impacts throughout the board. To play Go, AlphaGo program implemented deep learning in neural networks – a brain-stimulated program. The connections formed here runs in-between layers of simulated neurons, further strengthened by examples and experiences. Firstly, it analysed 30 million positions from expert games, while gaining abstract information about the state of play from the board data, just like other programmes that classify images from pixels. After all this, finally it played against itself over 50 computers to improve its performance, with each iteration and this came to be known as reinforcement learning.

Go-02 (1)

The round of applause

“AlphaGo plays in a human way”, says Fan – DeepMind’s program AlphaGo beat Fan Hui, the European Go champion. He further added, “If no one told me, maybe I would think the player was a little strange, but a very strong player, a real person.” “The program seems to have developed a conservative (rather than aggressive) style”, adds Toby Manning, a veteran Go player and a referee.

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Cyber Security Today: Curing Big Mobile Security Holes with Small Steps

Cyber Security Today: Curing Big Mobile Security Holes with Small Steps

You have employees? And they bring smartphones to work? Is everything right? Or wrong?

Period.

The moment an employee carries a personal mobile device, be it a smartphone or a tablet, to work, a merger of personal and professional is bound to happen. And this could definitely give a rough time to the employer. If not handled properly.

Also read: What Sets Apart Data Science from Big Data and Data Analytics

Of late, there has been a lot of furore, thanks to our effervescent, ever-efficient media about messaging apps. But the headlines took e negative bend when a London- based banker was fired and fined by FCA for exposing crucial confidential data through WhatsApp. Though he defended himself by stating that he simply wanted to MAKE AN IMPRESSION on his friend, he was booked under cybercrime sections.

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Over the past few decades, the communication forms have undergone a magnanimous evolution. Once a mail-driven society is now a bustling centre of myriad high-on-function communication apps, the apps includes personal, social and enterprise-oriented apps.  However, with new technologies materializes new challenges. The best way to manage such personal apps is by ensuring safe and secure mode of communication, instead of banning them completely. Embrace the BYOD culture but with due protective measures.

Also read: How To Stop Big Data Projects From Failing?

Let’s talk about Data Mining

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is the key

MDM is the best way to ensure productivity from the employees, while administering their mobile devices. It allows the employees to access data and meaningful information without posing any threat to company data. By implementing MDM, companies can keep a tab on corporate data segregation, corporate policies, secure emails and confidential documents, and integrate and manage mobile devices. Sometimes, a company can go a step higher by restricting users from using WhatsApp on their company provided device, and in its place give them some secure and safe team messaging solution.

Launch a secure team messaging app

For safekeeping of confidential company data, make sure you provide your employees an efficient messaging app. Choose an app that ensures better control over the information that is to be accessed or shared by the users.

The app should be used by the team admin to keep an eye on the team’s activities and the content that they are sharing. They are the ones responsible to control who can or cannot join the team, along with blocking external domains.

Also read: How to Use PUT and %PUT Statements in SAS: 6 Tips

It is advisable to select a tool that provides its users advanced controls, from basic channel level. Flock is developed on these mechanisms and empowers the channel admin to delete any content, and add/remove members from the team. These ways are good to go in restricting the leakage of confidential data through company professionals.

Awareness and compliance helps

Security Business People Team Teamwork Success Strategy Concept

Make your employees, your strength and not weakness. They are the best defence against any attempt of breaching crucial data. So, ensure compliance by conducting frequent safety awareness audits and workshops. Also, make sure that not every employee has access to sensitive company data, as it enhances the risks of becoming a victim of cybercrime.

Still wondering, what have you done to secure your company’s confidential data?

For more tips and advices, keep updated via DexLab Analytics. The prime Big Data training institute feels honoured to offer a wide spectrum of intensive courses on Data Science Online training in Gurgaon for aspiring students and industry professionals.

 

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Concocting Data with GIS

Concocting Data with GIS

In supreme and sophisticated geospatial realm, data have been predominant. Or, should I say it is the matured fosterling of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Choose, whatever suits you; subject to whom you work for or what you need to work on. The meat and potatoes? To excel on location analytics, concentrate only on the best most current data.

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In today’s world, data is valuable. It is vital and veritable. It is indispensable in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

To second that, today’s tech-efficient society is anchored on location-based data, than ever, especially with the rise in Twitter, Google, Facebook and other social media apps, which collects and stores data from their highly-valued users to sell them off to money-grubbing advertisers.  Though secretly. On the other hand, cell phones go a step ahead in broadcasting your current location data 24/7. Otherwise, how would your friends know that you are safe when a severe earthquake rattled your neighbouring city! (Thanks to location settings)

Feisty Predicaments

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However, the real challenge lies in data identification and consumption. Countless number of users gets baffled when it comes to finding data, and if found, how to consume it to set off their business determinations. To solve this, many imminent think tanks of tech industry came out with direct and decisive solutions. Some of them were loaded with an abundance of data, i.e. digestible and disintegrated. By disintegration, they meant that the data was categorized into: points of interest, roads, boundaries and demographics, for easy comprehensibility. Furthermore, industry data bundles concerning telecommunications, retail and insurance fields were added to make the coverage global and profitable. To top it off, quality content and sprawling file formats boosted the results and mechanisms, both.

Conflux of GIS and BI

Location technology – Does this ring a bell? Yes? Then you would be familiar with GIS but others, particularly new Business Intelligence users and consumers must have just started taking baby steps on basic mapping. For BI, maps are the backdrop against which business analysts project their business data, stats and analytical information. Analysing the data to understand the insights of consumers is crucial, directly affecting the business decisions and revenues thereby. For example, heat maps, used to see the concentration of installations, customers and IoT devices provides an unparalleled accurateness of spatial relationships, which is impossible to obtain from the spreadsheets.


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One of the integral location analytics issues is to help in identifying the high-risk zones at the time of natural disasters, like tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes or mudslides. For example, in the US, the East Coast is vulnerable to a lot of hurricanes and floods, whereas earthquakes and mudslides snap the West Coast time to time. Assessment of these location problems is intrinsically important for mortgage underwriters, insurance agents and public safety departments. And best data along with effective geo-coding is the solution to all the inconveniences. 

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Interested in a career in Data Analyst?

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Data Analytics for the Big Screen

Can the film industry leverage more on data analytics?

Film making as an industry is as dependent on good marketing as it is on good content.

Data Analytics for the Big Screen

And it is here that data analytics comes to the picture, for not only does it govern marketing strategies of a Studio but in future it might govern the creative half as well.

For a conventional Hollywood blockbuster, an average of $70 Million are spent within 10-12 weeks and data analytics might direct us as to how much cash needs to be spent and where. Nowadays companies such as IBM are experimenting with Deep Sentiment Analysis, which tries to gauge the market sentiment by listening to the constant stream of content being posted by the users in a given area. The data comes from all sorts of sources, both structured and unstructured, which then needs to be cleaned before gaining any actionable insights from it. Nowadays, companies are working towards developing Market Optimisation Models where they can use historical data to create models, which are then fed current data in order to guide marketing budget allocation decisions. Another way studios are using data analytics is to predict market reaction in USA and Europe by analysing moviegoer’s reaction to the initial run of the movie (usually in smaller markets of Asia). They then proceed to rebrand/improve its offering to make it more ‘commercial’ for a given region.


But does this seemingly endless data and ever improving predictive model point towards a future, where Big Data might tell writers what to write, directors how to direct and actors how to act? If the answer is in affirmative, then are we diluting cinema as an artistic medium? Studios, such as Netflix have now extracted about 70,000 unique characteristics from its movie collection, and now they are analysing how the presence/absence of a characteristic has an impact on the movie revenue/rating/viewing. It then uses these findings to develop and fine-tune the shows it will produce in future. This increasingly ‘scientific’ manner of developing movies is taking over at other studios as well, along with experts fearing that this practice might lead to the industry losing its experimental and creative edge.

With proved benefits, including increased revenue and minimal risk, it is imperative for studios to invest into Data Analytics. It has become imperative to design their marketing strategy using this mine of user data to make their offerings economic, popular, efficient and successful.

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Are you taking care of your digital self?

Whether you like the idea or not, we all have a digital self, a facade that we put on to engage and participate in the technological world! As per psychoanalysts and physicians, a theory proposed by them says that there is a ‘true self’ that is the instinctive core of our personality, it must be realized and nurtured. And there is also a ‘false self’ that is built to protect this true self. From what you ask? From the dangers of insults and vulnerabilities!

Dexlab blog for 12th Oct

Our true selves are usually complex and fragile but it ultimately remains to be our essence. In trying to share that self with the world, we send out our decoy selves to take on the day-to-day vulnerabilities, challenges, and anxieties that come forth.

Continue reading “Are you taking care of your digital self?”

Know The Answer To These Interview Questions To Get A Job As Data Analyst

List of Interview Questions for Data Analysts

With this Data analyst interview guide you will know what to expect in an interview round for a position of data analyst.

A good data analyst or scientist must be capable of drawing actionable insights from the data that a company generates. They must possess a good sense of what data they must collect and should have a solid process for carrying it out effectively using processes of data analysis and building predictive models.

A data analyst must possess a strong foundation in the following topics: operations research, statistics, machine learning along with some database skills, such as SQL or SAS in order to clean, retrieve and process the data from different sources. One can lead to this role from different pathways thus candidates can expect to be bombarded with questions relevant to statistics ort mathematics and even computer programming or engineering.

Data scientists are also often required to script programs using R or Python or Matlab and the role will typically not place emphasis on the programming skills or practices and the general software engineering skills which is necessary for working with production quality software.

Here is a list of common data analyst interview questions:

Operational questions:

  1.  Describe the steps that you follow when creating a design a data-driven model to manage a business problem. For example you may try and automatically classify customer support mails, by either sentiment or topic. Another task may be to predict a company’s employee churn.
  2. What models would you classify as simple models and which are the ones that are complex according to you? What are the comparative strengths and weaknesses of choosing a more complex model over a simplistic one?
  3. What are the possible ways in which you can combine models to create an ensemble model and what are the main advantages of doing this?
  4. Tell us about certain pre-processing steps that you may carry out on data before using them to train a model and describe the conditions under which they may be applied.

Role specific questions:

About basic ideas in probability, statistics and machine learning:

  1. Define what is confidence interval and why do you think it is useful?
  2. What is the main difference between correlation and independence?
  3. What is Bayes Theorem? What is conditional probability? What is its use in practice?
  4. When and how do you understand that you have collected ample data for building a model?
  5. Tell us the difference between classification and regression.

Hope this list of common data science interview questions will prepare you for a job at a reputable data analysis company. For more such data science news, tutorials and articles with emphasis on programming and analytics view our regular updates from DexLab Analytics.

 

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Secrets To Clinch Victory in Global Data Science Competitions

Data scientists are often perceived as crazy IT nerds who would use formulas and algorithms to even determine how many teaspoons of sugar to put in their tea! Well, we would not argue about this, as much as stereotypical this may sound, but a data scientist feels a rush when he solves a problem with calculations, analysis and logic; a rush that incomparable to anything else.

 
Secrets To Clinch Victory in Global Data Science Competitions

 

Just as an avid gamer who plays COD (Call of Duty) or CS (Counter Strike) waits for WCG (World Cyber Games). A data analyst waits for – Datahack. People who are just crazy about machine learning wait for the whole year to participate in Datahack. For them this is Olympics of Data Analysis. Continue reading “Secrets To Clinch Victory in Global Data Science Competitions”

Prepare For Your Data Science Job Interview With Answers to These Puzzles

Prepare For Your Data Science Job Interview With Answers to These Puzzles

You may have passed your data science certification course with flying colours, but getting your first break in an analytical job role can be quite difficult. Did you know that more than 30 percent of top tier analytical firms evaluate and select their candidates on their ability to solving puzzles? After all this is the best way to determine that they are logical, with ample creative thinking abilities and are definitely pros at dealing with numbers (a skill must have for data personnel).

The companies are keen on hiring people who have the ability to bring a unique perspective in solving business problems. Such individuals are capable of to offer their hiring firms with a huge advantage over other candidates. But to garner such capabilities an individual must practice regularly with consistent efforts.

As fellow data analysts, we recommend that you develop a daily habit of solving puzzles. They are mental exercises which on disciplined training will help you to get better with time. When employed in a job role that involves having to deal with complex problems everyday such a skill will prove to be an asset.

Are you ready to work out your grey matter cells? Here are the most common puzzles asked at interviews for data science positions:

These questions have been asked to candidates at companies like Amazon, Google, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan etc.

Note: Try solving these problems on your own before checking the solution, and feel free to share your logic behind the solutions in the comments below. We are all ears eyes to see how unique someone’s mind can be!

Puzzle #1:

Blind game challenge:

You have been placed in a dark room, there is a table kept in the room. The table has 50 coins atop its surface, out of these 50 coins 10 coins have their tails side up and 40 coins have their heads side up. Your task is to divide this set of 50 coins into 2 groups (not necessarily of equal size) so that both the groups have equal numbers of coins with the tails side up.

Solution #1:

The coins should be divided into two groups one with 40 coins and one with 10 coins, then flip all the coins in the group with 10 coins.

Puzzle #2:

Bag of coins problem:

You have been given 10 bags full of coins; each bag comes with an infinite number of coins. But there is a twist, one of the bags is full of forged coins but sadly you do not remember which one it is. But you do know that the weight of the real coins are 1 gram and those which are forged are 1.1 gram. Your task is to identify the bags in minimum readings with a digital weighing machine that has been provided with you.

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Solutions #2:

You need to take 1 coin from the first bag, 2 coins from the second bag, and 3 coins from the third bag and so on and so forth. Eventually you will end up with 55 coins in total (1+2+3+4+…10). The next step is to weigh all the 55 coins together. You can identify which bag has the forged coins based on the final reading of the weighing machine. For instance, if the reading ends with 0.4 then it is the fourth bag with forged coins. And if it comes 0.7 then it is the 7th bag with the forgeries.

Puzzle #3:

The Sand timer trouble:

You have two hourglasses or sand timers one of which can show 4 minutes and the next one can show 7 minutes respectively. Your job is to use both the sand times (either one at a time or simultaneously or in any other combination) and measure a time of 9 minutes.

Solution #3:

Step 1: start the 7 minute sand timer along with the 4 minute sand timer

Step 2: when the 4 minute sand timer ends turn it upside down instantaneously

Step 3: when the 7 minute sand time ends also turn it down at that instant

Step 4: when the 4 minute sand timer ends turn the 7 minute sand timer upside down and it will have 1 minute worth of sand in it

Thus, effectively 8 + 1 = 9

In closing thoughts:

Hope these questions were enough to get your brain rolling, while a lot of these questions may seem challenging to most of the people, but with a little out-of-the-box analytical thinking you will soon discover that they are not too difficult to solve.

If these questions were simple enough for you, we have plenty more with increasing difficulty. And if all these brain picking has left you overwhelmed to the peak and all you want is to solve real-world data problems, then follow our regular social media uploads advertising latest job openings in the field of data science.

DexLab Analytics is a premier data science training institute in Gurgaon that offers program centric courses. Their online certification course on data science is stellar, come check out the course itinerary now.

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The Beginners’ Guide to Data Science Jargon

The Beginners’ Guide to Data Science Jargon

Are you poised to join the ranks of c-suite data operatives working with the Big Word – Big Data? But before you set foot in the industry with the big players, you must train yourself how to talk the talk before you can walk the walk. Data science and analysis is a complex field as it is with mind-numbing numbers and lengthy algorithms and on top of that there is the jargon that is stranger than fiction in this field. So, to help you prepare your tongue right, here is our brief list of the most commonly used terminology in the data science industry. After you have the enlightenment of knowledge about these words, you will not need to be hesitant when hearing these words and silently think to yourself that, “This sounds data-related”.

Here is a list of data-related jargon to clear your doubts about from all over the Big Data spectrum:

Analytics: the process of drawing conclusions from raw information or data that is actionable. With the help of analysis raw data can be transformed into meaningful information that was otherwise useless to the company. The main emphasis of analytics remains on the inference rather than the systematic operations or even the software in use.

 

  • Predictive Analysis: after analysing the events that happened in the future and the historical data of a company or organization and then being able to make probable predictions about the company’s future. This may also involve proposing counteractive plans and strategies to prevent an incoming disaster or loss.
  • Descriptive Analysis: narrowing down or in other words boiling down huge numbers into small pieces of usable information. Instead of listing a lot of numbers and complex details these use a general narrative and thrust in the report. 

 

Prescriptive Analysis: this is the course of action that analytics personnel propose after landing upon a definite approach after days of analysis on a problem. Data is turned into actions and real world problems find solutions with the right decisions.

 

Algorithms: the mathematical formulas statistical procedures used to analyse data by analytical personnel. These are usually used in software processes and analyze any data that have been input.

 

Cloud: this is not the same stuff that the weather report talks about when speaking of an overcast day. But that being said, this cloud is also basically everywhere. This is the process of storing or accessing data, files and software over the World Wide Web, instead of the old system of hard drive storage.

 

R:  maybe not a very descriptive name for a programming language but nevertheless, this is a very commonly used programming language used in data science that uses statistical computing. This is also one of the easiest and most popularly used languages in data science.

 

SAS: Statistical Analysis System is a software suite developed by the SAS institute and is also a very commonly used data analysis language. It was developed in the North Carolina State University.

 

Machine Learning: a method considered equivalent to machine wizardry where data analysis is automated by teaching machines to use models, algorithms and other processes for analytics.

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Hadoop: better known as Apache Hadoop which is an open source software framework, it principally works by storing files and processing data, which is why it is still mostly used as a data warehousing system.

 

IoT: this is a proposed system wherein devices will be able to talk to each other. This is like a network of objects like, your phone, car, and smart wearables etc. which are embedded with network connectivity. The best examples are driverless vehicles.

 

These were the most commonly used data analytics jargon; for more such news and articles about data analytics stay hooked to daily uploads from Dexlab Analytics, creating an easier world with data backed decisions.

 

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