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United States

Twitter:

@maxsklar

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English


Episodes

Ep. 23 - NLP in the Lands of Foursquare with Kris Concepcion

7/16/2018
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Kris Conception talks about Natural Language Processing, Natural Language Understanding, and machine translation. We then go into how we build the taste ontology at Foursquare to supercharge the best city guide in the world, and how it connects concepts through languages and cultures.

Duration:00:36:55

Ep. 22 - Bayes Rulez, Death to P-Hacking!

7/10/2018
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So the overall theme of the show today is applying what we learned last time. Bayesian Probability is good. P-Value hacking - is where we get into trouble. Death to P-hacking! We start by following up on my monologue from last week about Beliefs and Probability. This leads us into an article about the Reverend Thomas Bayes himself, and how his ideas transformed our thinking on probability and belief. And finally, are most of the scientific studies that you hear about wrong? Worry about...

Duration:01:11:37

Ep. 21 - Probability, Belief, and The Truth

7/2/2018
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I explore the nature of probability, and my approach to thinking about facts and belief. I talk about problem solving a lot; here I go into the fundamentals and work to justify how I think about it. What problem does probability solve? Should we always think in terms of probability? What's the difference between an artificial language (code, math) and natural language? How many water molecules are in the Atlantic Ocean? Sometimes we have vague questions and make vague statements - should...

Duration:00:34:40

Ep. 20 - Imperfect Bots, Marketplaces, and the AI Economy

6/26/2018
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Aaron and Max have a stream-of-consciousness discussion where we look at some recent discussions on the tech web: Fred Ehrsam on Blockchain AI Marketplaces, and Chris Messina on the effect of AI agents on the economy.

Duration:01:12:47

Ep. 19 - The theory of Information with Daniel Kronovet, Horse Racing, and Fractional Bits

6/19/2018
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Daniel Kronovet and Max discuss the world of information theory. We go into how it was invented by Claude Shannon at Bell Labs, the meaning of information and entropy, and the difference between measurement and processing. Catch references to a Jim Carrey movie and the Belmont stakes!

Duration:00:51:18

Ep 18 - AI Gone Psychopathic, Embellishment vs Fact

6/12/2018
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An article about MIT research claims that they've built a psychopathic AI. We think the article is a little off base, and try to determine what's actually going on. We cover related examples, of Microsofts Twitter Bot learning from the worst people, and a cool Google Image Program that sees animals everywhere. I also check in with Christian Hubbs, host of Artifically Intelligent, about his podcast. I was interviewed for todays episode, so check that out! I also define a Convolutional...

Duration:00:59:13

Ep. 17 - Comedy and Big Data Mixed Up with @robbiethefire

6/4/2018
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Run Your Mouth Podcaster and Stand-Up Comic Rob Bernstein joins me on the Local Maximum to talk about Comedy, Podcasting, Facebook, AI, Big Data, and of course MS Paint.

Duration:01:11:25

Ep. 16 - Overfitting Toddlers and Underfitting Curmudgeons

5/28/2018
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Today's concept is underfitting vs. overfitting. Someone who underfits doesn't adapt quickly enough to new data. But if you think that's bad, an overfitter will read TOO MUCH into new data and come up with wild ideas. How do you balance between them and what are some examples? We also talk about Warren Buffet's Recent statements on Bitcoin as Rat Poison Squared, and the response from Union Square Venure's Fred Wilson. How does Bitcoin get it's value? We look at underfitters and overfitters...

Duration:00:58:46

Ep. 15 - Poke, Chipotle, Green Needle: Data to Headline with Sarah Spagnolo

5/21/2018
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Sarah Spagnolo tells us how we turn data insights into news stories. Does marijuana legalization affect bar-going? What's it like to go on TV? I also have to weight in on #teamyanny and #teamlaurel. Plus an update on the news stories we're tracking on Google and Facebook. How far along is Google's conversational AI demo?

Duration:00:43:57

Ep. 14 - Robot Communism Sucks, and AI on line one

5/14/2018
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A Washington Post OpEd believes that advances in AI will lead to a new centrally-planned economy. Google's Bots call unsuspecting businesses to save you time - but what are the implications? Bill Gates and Warren Buffet go sour on Bitcoin.

Duration:00:58:22

Ep 13 - Applied Artificial Intelligence with Mariya Yao

5/8/2018
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I talk to Mariya Yao about AI and Machine Learning as applied to a variety of business problems and across industries. We cover: - What are some of the misconceptions around AI? - If I have an AI product, how can I talk about it to business leaders? How do I sell it externally? How does it become a business? - Where are various industries on this? - And what are some of the pre-requisites for AI; I’m talking about data collection, and organizational issues.

Duration:00:58:43

Ep. 12 - Virtual Friends & Enemies, Building Products that look out for us with Marissa Chacko

5/1/2018
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Aren’t you getting tired of using an internet that’s built to waste YOUR time - I know I am! Product Manager Marissa Chacko and I discuss the promise and perils of these bots and push notifications. We worked on Foursquare's bot Marsbot together, and produced it to help the user first. What are some ways we can focus on building apps that help users, and what are some of the bad habits that have gotten us apps which aren't looking out for our interests?

Duration:00:38:36

Ep. 11 - Max speaks to CS Undergrads @ The Yale Computer Society

4/23/2018
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Engineer and Podcaster Max Sklar shares his story about building software from his time at Yale to the Foursquare Innovation Lab. He’ll cover: What he has learned about working on vast location databases, building large-scale machine learning algorithms, and designing chatbots and apps that people actually want to use. Different ways to approach career and on working in teams His thoughts about where the tech/software industry is going in the next decade and encourage Yalies to follow up...

Duration:00:57:22

Ep. 10 - Zuckerberg Testifies, The Great Moderation War Continues

4/17/2018
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Aaron comes back on the program to discuss the Mark Zuckerberg testimony before congress, particularly the part pertaining to moderation and censorship. In the last episode, I described the current approach that companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google have towards this problem and why it might be flawed. Today, we see this theory play out in the Facebook CEO's answers. We discuss the case of Diamond and Silk, which I mentioned last week but had no idea would appear in the hearings....

Duration:00:34:09

Ep. 9 - Fixing Facebook and Lindy's Law

4/10/2018
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Today I answer the question of how I would handle moderation for Facebook and Twitter - and I break down the problems that they're facing and why. Don't hold your breath expecting them to try out my proposal! I also discuss Lindy's Law, which is a helpful rule of thumb in technological and social forecasting. As popularized by @nntaleb, it's another tool in your toolkit for understanding the world.

Duration:00:53:48

Ep. 7 - Dennis Crowley on Inspiration, Innovation, and Future Tech

3/26/2018
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Today I talk to famed Foursquare Founder Dennis Crowley. His approach to being a tech entrepreneur has inspired us all! Just listen. We talk about his approach to trying out new ideas, and also the current landscape for consumer technology and where we may be headed. Finally, we talk about Foursquare's recent foray into bots and beyond.

Duration:00:19:06

Ep. 5 - Bitcoin, Ethereum, and What's a Smart Contract Anyway?

3/13/2018
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It seems like yesterday when we had to get used to Bitcoin, and now new currencies are cropping up all the time - including the crypto-juggernaut Ethereum. To help us keep up and understand what's going on, I have Ethereum developer Christian Lundkvist from ConsenSys on the show. We talk about why Ethereum is separate from Bitcoin, and what the world-changing applications of these cryptocurrencies might be in the next few years.

Duration:01:03:49

Ep. 3 - The Perfect 10, Foursquare's rating system

2/26/2018
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I have a discussion with Stephanie Yang about how we used machine learning and sentiment analysis to build Foursquare's critically acclaimed venue rating system. Some anecdotes and what we learn along the way.

Duration:00:39:44

Ep. 2 Maryam Aly on Building a Global User Base: Translation, Localization, and Internationalization

2/19/2018
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In my first interview, I speak to Google engineer Maryam Aly who worked on Foursquare's Internationalization Stack for several years. This includes making sure that the foursquare city guide and swarm apps work all around the world. Sometimes, a simple translation isn't enough - we had to deal with the quirks of each language, and puns and cultural references that don't carry through.

Duration:00:37:20

Ep. 1 - Bayesian Inference Applied to the Hawaii ICBM Scare

2/12/2018
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In the rest of my discussion with Aaron, we discuss the how Bayes rule can apply to news items like the Hawaii ICBM Scare, the murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich, Medical Diagnosis, Conspiracy Theories, theology, and politics.

Duration:00:27:11