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AI, Software Developer, Designer :
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And 5 reasons you should skip them.

I’ve been competing in the Numerai Quant competitions ( there are 2 ) for the past 3 years and thought it could be interesting to write a follow up to my previous two posts as a way to catch up…

Previous posts you might like:- Numerai walkthrough: Quantitative Analysis & Machine learning for fun and profit. The practical parts are now outdated, but the introduction explanation is still relevant. - Practical Keras Simple regression for the Numerai Tournament An up to date (late 2020) technical look at setting up a Neural Network for the tournament.

What is it again ?

In a nutshell Numerai is a Hedge Fund with crowdsourced elements in the form of two quant competitions, the main tournament ( numerai ) and the newer ( signals ). The main tournament consists of an obfuscated dataset that represents years of market and financial information and you are tasked with predicting a future date. Signals in its current form is closer to traditional stock picking/portfolio construction in that you submit a list of tickers with short/long ranks and are scored on returns over a shorter weekly period. …

Hip to be square

Photo by the author.

At some point, you might need to make a grid or grid-like visual structure for a project or coding interview question (mazes, search). A grid is also the foundation for placing objects on a canvas surface in an orderly manner and more complex cases like isometric views and tiled games.

This article is meant to take us both from zero grids to Intermediate Gridology in a hopefully painless way.

Note: The code and concepts discussed here are somehow interchangeable between languages, but some languages provide a better native experience and primitives are needed for grids. …

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Photo by Adrien Olichon from Pexels

We can’t describe what we don’t know.


There are plenty of articles describing Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) out there, the wiki on AGI is a great place to start, I think most definitions fit somewhere between describing an emulation of human cognitive abilities and defining intelligence by some well thought out premise: It can adapt to new circumstances, it can derive meaning and reason, it is logical, etc, etc.

Regardless of which flavor of AGI definition you like or agree with, what we still don’t have is an AGI and that’s because we simply can’t build one yet, but how can this be so ? What is preventing us from building one ? …

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Photo by judit agusti aranda from Pexels

Looking into Neural Code for better AIs

How does your brain represent the environment ? The partial answer is the admittedly complex title which we will explore in this article.

Representation is a hard problem for both Neuroscience and AI and a good explanation of these terms I think is helpful if we are to build better AIs, this is my attempt.


A representation is simply that, the internal description of something, a thing, an idea or even a thought or feeling in general, but alas these later ones are very high in the hierarchy of representations and we don’t yet know exactly how they are formed in biological brains. …

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Revolutionary, Evolutionary or something else ?

As someone that spends most of the time thinking about Neuroscience, Artificial Neural Networks and Software the latest venture from Elon Musk: Neuralink on the surface ticks all the right boxes, so after their inaugural presentation I thought it would be fun to parse it and see what’s what. Care to join ?

The Pigs

Before delving into the details let’s go over the live demo they presented starting with the pigs:

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To become the next thing.

It is always interesting to think about the next thing in AI, will it be something incremental or will it be something entirely different ? I like to think about the latter (but let’s briefly touch on the former) before moving on.

Incremental advances: The easy prediction here is to take current AIs/products and assume that they will gradually become better at what they do.The top tier of such current products are prediction AIs that employ Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and algorithms for things like weather prediction, bureaucratic interactions, mundane tasks like search, not so mundane tasks like object detection, driving a car and so on, if this prediction ages well we will become a more efficient species in many aspects but we will also need to reorganize ourselves accordingly. …

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Overview & Getting started

What is it ?

If you work or are learning python, sooner or later you will bump into Numpy arrays, I’d venture that numpy, along with pandas dataframes are the workhorses of data as far as python is concerned. In layman terms Numpy arrays are data containers that can represent multiple dimensions and be queried and operated on, or if you prefer the official definition from the docs:

NumPy’s main object is the homogeneous multidimensional array. It is a table of elements (usually numbers), all of the same type, indexed by a tuple of non-negative integers. In NumPy dimensions are called axes.

From lists to Numpy Arrays

You might be familiar with python lists…

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Getting started with Computer Vision and Video in Python

OpenCV is the goto library for many image and video projects in Python, I remember struggling a bit with the documentation when starting out, so here’s a guided coding tour that I hope helps you.

Install OpenCV: <= Search for your particular environment, but this usually works:pip install opencv-python

What is it ?

OpenCV is a lot of things mostly dealing with processing images and video on your computer, my current interests are AI and real time applications, so this is biased towards that; for starters let’s look at simply capturing video from your webcam :

The above script consists of creating a video capture and then feeding that into a loop where frames are read and displayed one by one with imshow, the conditional checks for the exit command (type q to exit), cap.release and cv2.destroyAllWindows outside of the loop then deal with final cleanup. The result should be a video feed with the default OpenCV UI…

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Simple regression for the Numerai Tournament

The problem

Numerai is a hedge fund that gives you an obfuscated financial dataset which you use to predict new unseen market data and if you are correct you can then earn some money in the form of NMR* in essence a fund that crowdsourced most of its quant division.

I wrote a now slightly dated article a few years ago, but is still relevant if you want more background.

And straight from the horse’s mouth 🐴 :

* It is unfortunately not as straightforward as predict right and make money, you need to first buy NMR (a cryptocurrency ) with your own money and then stake it on your predictions, if your predictions are wrong you lose money if they are correct you earn a percentage on your stake. …

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Some suggestions to get better answers.

Sometimes ( well many times ) your code is not working and you’d rather it worked, you then decide that asking the Internet or a coworker for some help is the best course of action and well crickets 🦗🦗🦗 you get no love, even worse no answers/angry answers and your code is still not working.

It is not you.

First things first, even if you made the perfect question and you contribute answering questions you are not guaranteed to get an answer back, maybe the person that can answer your question never read it, maybe he/she is tired or busy working on something else and on and on, so keep your expectations low and don’t take the crickets personal. …

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