Category Archives: Events

Data & Ethics, summary of our last event

In the last months we have seen that Ethics has emerged as an extremely sensitive topic for Data and Analytics community. Most likely, one of the main drivers of this wave of concern was Facebook scandal: Mark Zuckerberg (founder and CEO of Facebook) had to testify in front of US Congress about how his company handles its users’ data and how this could have influenced results in recent elections in several countries. But Facebook is not the only company whose practices are under scrutiny. Tones of questions have also been raised regarding how much personal data Google collects and how this is being used: according to Guillaume Chaslot (an ex-Google engineer), the Youtube algorithm “does not appear to be optimising for what is truthful, or balanced, or healthy for democracy”.

In other words, we are talking not only about privacy but also on how data could even threaten our political system. As Cathy O’Neil writes in her must-read book Weapons of math destruction, “the math-powered applications powering the data economy were based on choices made by fallible human beings. Some of these choices were no doubt made with the best intentions. Nevertheless, many of the models encoded human prejudice, misunderstanding and bias into the software systems that increasingly managed our lives. Like gods, these mathematical models are opaque (…) Their verdicts, even wrong or harmful, were beyond dispute or appeal. And they tended to punish the poor and the oppressed in our society, while making the rich richer”.

As Data-Driven professionals we cannot ignore this inconvenient truth and must address it. This is one of the reasons we at BcnAnalytics organised a session to discuss about Data & Ethics. As speakers we had Carlos Castillo (Distinguished Research Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra) and Gemma Galdon (Founder at Eticas Research & Consulting and Researcher at Universitat de Barcelona).

Carlos focused his talk on algorithmic discrimination. He initially reviewed the concept of discrimination from a philosophical perspective and then explained the concept of group discrimination, which means “disadvantageous treatment to an individual because he or she belongs to a specific socially salient group”. According to Carlos a further step is statistical discrimination which can be observed “when group discrimination happens because of some statistical belief, which means that someone has certain data, has looked at this data and based on statistics extracted from this data has decided to treat someone worse than another person”. After reviewing these concepts, Carlos raised the key issue: machine learning algorithms can discriminate.

Why is that? Machine learning systems take data and extract statistical beliefs from this data and therefore they are enabled to discriminate some individuals, regardless of intention and animosity. The key aspect is the consequences of this algorithm in terms of treating worst a person because he or she belongs to a group. Carlos emphasized that to avoid this discrimination, models need to optimize not only accuracy but also need to look at “the risk of two different populations of not getting the same outcome”. Carlos also highlighted how important is that systems are transparent: “if you get a negative outcome, you have to have a way to challenge this decision in a way that is effective… If I am denied a loan or parole, I need to have a way of effectively challenge the decision to say the systems was wrong in my case”.

Gemma started her talk quoting “The Fall of Public Man” from Richard Sennett. “In a city full of sensors and cameras and surveillance everywhere, where would Romeo and Juliet fall in love?”. From Gemma’s perspective, technology is changing our lives and we really need to ask ourselves: Why we are investing in technology? What kind of societies are these technologies creating or promoting? Are we building the cities that we want to build? Do we want to live in a world where everything is remembered? Do we want to live in a world where we can never forget? As she mentioned: “for the first time in history, forgetting is more expensive than remembering. Everything we do is recorded by a camera or a sensor”. Gemma, then, started to review real cases on non-expected outcomes of certain technologies. For instance, smart borders based on biometrics. They were not part of the legislative debate because they were seen “as technical amendments”, but currently biometrics have become our IDs, and certain individuals self-mutilate when they want to hide their identities. In other words, their bodies became their enemies.

Gemma asked herself: “How can we hide behind a technical amendment? And what about false positives?  There is no redress mechanism”. According to her the most burning issue is we, as society, did not think technology could fail. But it fails. And this triggers the key issue: the way we do technology is very irresponsible and no one is facing the consequences of their actions, the consequences of their false positives…which might be human rights. Gemma ended her speech highlighting the fact we need to start thinking how technology is impacting our civilization: “we have the responsibility to decide how we build a social-technical infrastructure that is responsible and desirable for our generation and the next generations”.

See below the link with full session




Datathon about pollution in Barcelona

 

A few years ago, when we created Bcn Analytics our vision was Barcelona can become a European analytics hub. Our ambition was to foster that different members of community (business, academia, data professionals) could meet and share experiences and knowledge. Now, 3 years after, we feel proud of we accomplished. We have organised 10 meet-ups where fantastic speakers from great organisations have shared their expertise: we had guests from Google, New York University, King.com, La Caixa, Telefonica, Schibsted, Social Point, BBVA, IPSOS or Vistaprint, among others. We also had the chance to organise two Datathons with Social Point so data scientists could compete to win some prizes while having fun with data.

But when we created BcnAnalytics we also wanted to contribute to make Barcelona a better city. We truly believe data can also be for good. So, we are proud to announce we are co-organising the first “Barcelona Pollution Datathon”. What is the Datathon about? First let me share some data points. According to this article 95% of people in Barcelona are breathing more particle pollution than is recommended by World Health Organisation. If you think about, this is scary. In fact air pollution in Barcelona rises by 48% on public transport strike days, study reveals. We thought we could do something to raise awareness on pollution levels and also get data scientists involved. And we decided to co-organise an event with CCCB, BSC, Leitat and Eurecat. That was the spurn of this first “Barcelona Pollution Datathon”.

The Datathon is going to be part of the exhibition “After the End of the World” which is being organised by CCCBB. Participants of the datathon will have to build a prediction model on Barcelona pollution levels. We have more than 3.000€ in prizes thanks to our sponsors Social Point, Holaluz and Gauss & Neumann. We also have the support of Mobile World Congress.

Datathon will be on January 20th and 21st and registration is now open through this link https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf6cMswcosinjbC6-VS13Ih4fIYUPaC3LYV5VcOGxLIiK8-IQ/viewform .

Do not miss it and let people know they can make a difference and also have access to great prizes.

Note: this blog entry has been written by Manuel Bruscas, co-founder of BcnAnalytics.  The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own




Python Hack 17

Are you coming to this year’s PyConEs? Don’t lose the chance to participate in the PythonHack that is organising Kernel Analytics!

We offer three different challenges:
Accuracy Contest: if you want to prove that your models can beat the rest, this is your contest.

Web App solution: for back-end and front-end developers that can give an operative and fancy solution to an open question

Happy Hour challenge: in-person machine learning challenge. Participants will have free drinks during the challenge!
In order for you to assist to all conferences, Kernel is releasing the datasets of the Accuracy Contest and Web App solution one week before the PyConEs begins.

Happy Hour will also take place after Saturday’s conferences end.

Choose which contest you want to participate in and register as soon as you can because there are limited spots.

Here is our website, with detailed information and the registration form: https://hackathon.kernel-analytics.com/#/

Start working soon so you can be one of the fortunate to win one of these prizes 😉

prizes

For any question e-mail us to hackathon@kernel-analytics.com
Hope seeing you in Cáceres!



Next event: Machine Learning series II

We are pleased to anounce our next event and the first in our series: Machine Learning Series II.  It is a great honour to have in our panel Joan Bruna, Assistant Professor at Courant Institute, NYU, in the Department of Computer Science.

Joan Bruna will share the learnings and insights of applying various machine learning techniques to a number of different use cases throughout his career, such as image or real-time video recognition, among others. The conference will combine an initial master class and a debate with the audience.

REGISTER HERE!

WHEN
Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 at 19:00 PM (18:45 registration opens)

WHERE
Aula Capella, ground floor, at Historical Building of Universitat de Barcelona,  at Plaça Universitat, at Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585

Bio. Joan Bruna is an Assistant Professor at Courant Institute, NYU, in the Department of Computer Science, Department of Mathematics (affiliated) and the Center for Data Science, since Fall 2016. He is currently on leave from UC Berkeley (Statistics Department).

His research interests touch several areas of Machine Learning, Signal Processing and High-Dimensional Statistics. In particular, in the past few years he has been working on Deep Convolutional Networks, studying some of its theoretical properties and applications to several Computer Vision tasks.

Before that, he worked at FAIR (Facebook AI Research) in New York, working on Unsupervised Learning. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Courant Institute, NYU, under the supervision of Prof. Yann Lecun.

Joan completed his PhD in 2013 at Ecole Polytechnique, France, under the supervision of Prof. Stephane Mallat. Before his PhD he was a Research Engineer at a semi-conductor company, developing real-time video processing algorithms. Even before that, he did a MSc at Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan in Applied Mathematics (MVA) and his undergrad at UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona) in both Mathematics and Telecommunication Engineering.

 

This event could not be possible without the collaboration of Mobile World Centre.

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Next event: Machine Learning Series I

We are pleased to anounce our next event and the first in our series: Machine Learning Series I. In this talk we will know from 2 industry leaders how they are applying machine learning techniques to produce business results.

It is a great honour to have in our panel Alexandros Kartzoglou, Scientific Director at Telefonica Research Jose A. Rodriguez-Serrano Data Science Team Lead  at BBVA Data & Analytics

REGISTER HERE!

WHEN
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 at 19:00 PM (18:45 registration opens)

WHERE
Mobile World Centre – fontanella 2, 08002 Barcelona

Alexandros Katzoglou is Scientific Director of Telefonica Research in Barcelona, Spain working on Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Recommender Systems, Information Retrieval. His team includes researchers in the areas of HCI, Networks and Systems. We are creating Machine Learning algorithms for customer data and data generated by Network operations. He received his PhD from the Vienna University of Technology and was a visiting fellow at the Statistical Machine Learning group at NICTA/ANU in Canberra, Australia. He frequently teaches Machine Learning courses at the UPF/GSE with some R, Python, Statistics, Recommender Systems and Deep Learning.

Jose A. Rodriguez-Serrano is currently a Data Science Team Lead  at BBVA Data & Analytics since 2015. Formerly, he was Area Manager of the Machine Learning for Services group at Xerox Research Centre Europe, after being a permanent research scientist since 2010 at the Computer Vision Group. Previously he had been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Leeds and Loughborough University, UK. He obtained his PhD in 2009 from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and a degree in Physics in 2003 from the University of Barcelona. His main research topics have been image retrieval and learning to represent objects through embeddings of generative models and discriminative embeddings. He has published papers in IEEE Trans. PAMI, IJCV, CVPR or ICCV, among others and has 25 patents and patent applications. His main interest has been to apply state-of-the-art machine learning research to solve problems of industrial interest, and is fascinated by the challenge of making research outcomes simple to use for non-experts

This event could not be possible without the collaboration of Mobile World Centre.

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Next event: Extracting value from Text

We are pleased to anounce our next event: Extracting value from text. In this talk we will know from 3 industry leaders how they are using advanced text mining techniques to create value from unestructured data.

REGISTER HERE!

WHEN
Monday, February 6th, 2017 at 19:00 PM (18:30 registration opens)

WHERE
Mobile World Centre – fontanella 2, 08002 Barcelona

It is a great honour to have in our panel Hugo Zaragoza, CEO at Websays, RJ Friedlander, CEO at ReviewPro and Alberto Robles, CEO at Expert Systems Iberia.

Hugo Zaragoza is the founding CEO at Websays, a start-up pioneering online opinion analytics. His research is at the frontier of machine learning and information retrieval, always pushing the boundaries of search engines and text mining technologies. Before Websays he worked in industrial research for over 10 years both at Yahoo! Research, where he led the Natural Language Retrieval group, and Microsoft Research, where he helped create the MSN Search engine (now Bing). He is the author of 20 patents and more than 50 articles in renown international conferences (such as WWW or SIGIR).
RJ Friedlander is the founding CEO at Review Pro, a leading provider in Guest Intelligence solutions to independent hotel brands worldwide, which includes both the Online Reputation Management and the Guest Survey Solution modules. The solution uses advanced text mining techniques to enable hoteliers to obtain deeper insight into operational and service strengths and weaknesses, increasing guest satisfaction, ranking on review sites and OTAs, and driving revenue. More than 17 years experience in Internet and technology in Europe, the US and Asia. Expertise both as an operating executive and entrepreneur. Led projects that have generated more than $300 million in revenue. Nearly 10 years as a senior executive in one of Spain’s largest media companies most recently overseeing the business unit that included the group’s digital media and eCommerce companies.

Alberto Robles is the CEO of Expert System Iberia and former Director of ICM (Intelligent Content Management) from iSOCO, a company acquired by Expert System in 2014. With a long professional experience in the technology sector, during his experience in Tecsidel contributed to the creation of a spin-off focused on the application of digital certificates in public administration, the launch of its division in Latin America and the creation of an independent business unit. At ICONUS (Comsa Emte Group company), his work helped increase profits and obtain better business efficiency ratios. Alberto holds a degree in Computer Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC).

COLLABORATORS:
This event could not be possible without the collaboration of Mobile World Centre.

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2nd Barcelona Datathon

 

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BCNAnalytics

 

 

BCNAnalytics and SocialPoint are pleased to invite you to the second Barcelona Gaming Data Hackathon.  40 participants. 10 teams. +€1.5k euros in prizes. 24 hours. Food, t-shirts, great views and awesome people. R, Python, ML, … Ready?

The competition will focus on analyzing the data about the Monster Legends Game (iOS and Android). Teams will participate in 2 different tracks: the accuracy track about building a  recommendation system for monsters and the business insights track, about finding actionable insights from the given datasets.

Register!

Social Point Offices


 

Prizes

  • Accuracy track: 1st prize 750€, 2nd prize 500€
  • Business insights track: unique prize 500€

Schedule

Saturday 15th October

  • 9:00 Opening and participants check in.
  • 9:30 Presentation by BCNAnalytics and SocialPoint. Team Formation
  • 10:00 Competition start. Data sets are released and submission platform begins accepting submissions.
  • 14:00 Lunch all together to a cool place :)
  • 20:00 SocialPoint offices closes

Sunday 16th October

  • 9:00 SocialPoint offices reopen
  • 10:00 Accuracy competition closes. Submission platform stops accepting submissions. Teams can prepare the presentation for the business track.
  • 11:00 Begin presentations
  • 13:00 Jury delivery
  • 13:30 Prizes
  • 14:30 Closing and optional lunch.

Participants and registration process

40 participants, 4 members per team.

To participate to the hackathon, start registering here. If you already have a team formed, indicated the name of it in the registration form. If you don’t have a team, register and we will assign you a team.

The deadline for registering is Monday 10th October. The acceptance process is first come first served. Once you or your team has been accepted, you will be notified about it.


Rules

  • Each participant can only participate in one team.
  • In order to opt to prizes, all teams must participate in both competitions.

This competition would not be possible without the help of SocialPoint. Thanks!

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Next event: how to build the data organization

We are pleased to anounce our next event: How to build the data organization. In this talk we will know from 2 very important data driven organizations how to build the infraestructure and culture that enables the extraction of value  from data inside a company.

It is a great honour to have in our panel Pau Contreras, Chief Data Officer at Unidad Editorial and  Adam Kinney, VP of Data Science at Schibsted Media Group.

Pau Contreras is the Chief Data Officer at Unidad Editorial, where his job is generating the maximum value from its rich data ecosystem  (El Mundo, Marca, Expansión, Telva), leading the strategic development of the people, the systems (Big Data, Data Engineering, Data Science, Digital Analytics) and the business models (Data Monetization) required for the digital transformation of the group. Prior to that, Pau held several positions at Oracle, where he was a Senior Director for Strategic Sales where he led Big Data Analytics sales in several industries. Pau holds a degree in Anthropology from UB, a MSc in Software Engineering and Analytics from UPC, a PDG from IESE and PhD Thesis based on a Complex Adaptative Systems framework for measuring Organizational Innovation.

Adam Kinney is the VP of Data at Schibsted, the company behind sites like fotocasa.esvibbo.esinfojobs.net and many other marketplace and media sites worldwide. He comes from Twitter where he was Head of Analytics, leading a department of over thirty data scientists and engineers. Before Twitter, Adam worked at Google for 5 years in the area of data science and analytics. In Schibsted, he build-up the data organisation in record time with now over fifty data scientists and engineers distributed over London, Oslo, Stockholm, and Barcelona. The data organisation works with all the Schibsted companies in the group to turn data into insights and into data-driven products at scale (like recommendation, profiling for audience targeting, experimentation, natural language processing and image processing). He is currently based in Oslo and before that spent 12 years in San Francisco.

Register here!

WHEN
Monday, October 24, 2016 at 19:00 PM

WHERE
Mobile World Centre – fontanella 2, 08002 Barcelona

COLLABORATORS:

This event could not be possible without the collaboration of Mobile World Centre.

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