My Three Ex’s: A Data Science Approach for Applied Machine Learning
Daniel Tunkelang (LinkedIn)
Presented at QCon San Francisco 2014 in the Applied Machine Learning and Data Science track
This talk is about applying machine learning to solve problems.
It’s not a talk about machine learning — or at least not about the theory of machine learning. Theoretical machine learning requires a deep understanding of computer science and statistics. It’s one of the most studied areas of computer science, and advances in theoretical machine learning give us hope of solving the world’s “AI-hard” problems.
Applied machine learning is more grounded but no less important. We are surrounded by opportunities to apply classifiers, learn rules, compute similarity, and assemble clusters. We don’t need to develop new algorithms for any of these problems — our textbooks and open-source libraries have done that hard work for us.
But algorithms are not enough. Applying machine learning to solve problems requires a data science mindset that transcends the algorithmic details.
In this talk, I’ll communicate the data science mindset by describing my three ex’s: express, explain, and experiment. These three activities are the pillars of a successful strategy for applying machine learning to solve problems. Whether you’re a machine learning novice or expert, I hope you’ll leave this talk with some practical wisdom you can apply to your next project.