Data Scientists: Grow your expertise with these 5 out-of-field reads

It does not scan its surroundings or look for prey.Lessons Learned: This book gave a lot of insight into how to think about consciousness in terms of a machine learning system design, and gave me many new ideas about the best way to build computer vision systems that get smarter through time.What’s Next: After reading this book I picked up a copy of The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, which was an excellent read especially if you like the neurology case studies..Radio Lab has done a few excellent shows on these themes, including many specifically about Sacks and his work..Also check out the excellent episode Unraveling Bolero about an artist with a curious disease and Smarty Plants about the curious consciousness of plants.2..Word by Word by Kory StamperFor data scientists working on: Natural Language Understanding and conversational interfaces.Read for: A deeper appreciation of linguistics and a fascinating view of how dictionaries are created.What it’s about:Lexicographer Kory Stamper gives us a glimpse into what it is like to work at one of the preeminent dictionary companies, Merriam-Webster, including the history of dictionaries and how social media is changing language..This book is particularly enjoyable for Stamper’s elegant writing style; she clearly has sprachgefühl, or “a feeling for language”.Each chapter explores a new dimension of lexicography by way of a captivating case in point: How are word definitions created and changed?.How are words added to the dictionary?.How do words relate to one another?.How does meaning change through time?.But more broadly, Stamper asks questions about language itself like: How do we even conceive of meaning?.These discussions are the most useful for data scientists working in any application that deals with unstructured language data.Since reading this gem it’s become a dream of mine to discover a new word sense..So far, no luck..But I’m hopeful: this book has not only given me a much better understanding of word senses and a new perspective on how to interpret word embedding, but it has led me to explore how methods for natural language processing could be improved.PS.. More details

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