San Francisco startup makes data science a sport
Strange secrets hide in numbers. For instance, an orange used car is least likely to be a lemon.
This particular unexpected finding came to light courtesy of a data jockey who goes by the Internet alias SirGuessalot, who in fact wasn’t guessing at all. Instead, he and his partner, PlanetThanet, relied on the hard math skills that make them top contenders in a sport tailor-made for the 21st century: competitive number-crunching.
The used car defect prediction contest is one of dozens hosted by San Francisco online startup Kaggle, whose creators believe they can tap the global geek population’s instinct for one-upmanship to mine better answers faster from the world’s ever-rising mountain of data.
“Competitions bring together a wide variety of people into a wide variety of problems,” said Jeremy Howard, who became Kaggle’s president and chief scientist after winning multiple competitions himself. “You get people looking at stuff they’d never look at otherwise.”
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