Category Archives: Government

One link think

In the swirl of events, I’m often left wondering if there’s something deeper going on.  Our leaders seem to be increasingly missing the bigger picture.  A glimpse, here and there, into the underlying cause of dead ends we’ve reached: problems with capitalism, the media, politics, climate, conflict, health care.   Is there a common cause?

2016 might arguably be characterized as the year we all decided we’d had enough of government as usual.  Between Brexit, the Trump ascendancy, and the sheer energy behind the Bernie Sanders campaign, it seems that many are thinking, “enough is enough”.  And that’s the good news.  When disenfranchised groups have zero representation, then terrorism and revolt seem to be the inevitable outcomes.

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Machine Learning Services and Solutions

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You need the experience and world-class expertise of a team that has built thousands of machine learning and data management systems for dozens of clients.  And you need to do it simply, controlling risk, and so that it maximizes your outcomes, be they revenues, minimized costs, wellness, sustainability, or more.

If this is you, then drop us a line, and let’s talk.

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Qualifications

We invented the field of machine learning inductive transfer.  Then we took machine learning into dozens of organizations over the years, implementing neural networks, decision trees, regression systems, and more,  in areas like hazardous waste management, forensic hair analysis, computer vision, and DNA pattern recognition for the Human Genome Project, and budgeting, where our systems built the calculators for over $100M of US government spending.

We are a five-star rated team, pushing the boundaries of machine learning into the new field of decision intelligence, which we invented.

What we can do for you

We build and integrate machine learning systems, and we’re passionate about demystifying this technology and making it accessible so that machine learning can be used throughout your organization to drive competitive advantage.

It’s all about your business, and your bottom line.

We do things like connecting data between S3 and Mahout / EMR,  running regressions in R / H2O, designing learning visualizations, designing success measurement code, finding the right number of hidden units in a neural network, and designing a machine learning solution to provide maximum value to your company, as soon as possible. We have a development and architecture team, can manage a team of analysts, train your staff, and can present to your executives.

But the details are less important than the business value they bring to you. We are known by our world-class clients to be fast, effective, and delightful to work with.

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Machine Learning Services and Solutions

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L.Y. Pratt
Machine learning consulting: deep learning, decision intelligence, recommender systems, predictive analytics, market data analysis, and more.
UNITED STATES | MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA
I will help you to understand how your data stack and machine learning can drive value for your organization, and how to supercharge your investment in these technologies to create business value.
Did you know that 10% of your data contains 90% of the value?  This means that most organizations are leaving money on the table: they could get to value from their data stack ten times faster.
Don’t wait to design an application that uses your data until all the data is cleansed, migrated, and processed. Because designing an initial model or baseline machine learning system can provide critical cost- ad time-saving intelligence.

I can help. I’m a five-star rated machine learning engineer (see some testimonials below).  I  invented the fields of inductive transfer and decision intelligence.  My CV is here.  I write regularly about machine learning topics.

Drop me a line and let's talk!

What I can do for you

I build and integrate machine learning systems, and I’m passionate about demystifying this technology and making it accessible so that machine learning can be used throughout your organization to drive competitive advantage.

My work includes tasks like connecting data between S3 and Mahout / EMR,  running regressions in R or H2O, designing learning visualizations, designing success measurement code, finding the right number of hidden units in a neural network, and designing a machine learning solution to provide maximum value to your company, as soon as possible. I am a coder, can manage a team of analysts, train your staff, and present to your executives.

Over the years, I’ve built thousands of machine learning systems: neural networks, decision trees, regression systems, and more,  in areas like hazardous waste management, forensic hair analysis, computer vision, and DNA pattern recognition for the Human Genome Project.

I speak the language of business as well as “machine learning”-ese.  I’ll work with you on a focused project to get your needs met, and we’ll do it in record time and with minimal impact to your people and systems.

Working with my team at Quantellia, we also go deeper into the data stack, providing data management, robust high-performance enterprise-grade survey systems, and  our award-winning World Modeler™ software with data binding to many sources.

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Guest post: Can technology help fix us?

No matter whether you pull for Donald or Bernie or are an “occupier” or a “tea partier” or anywhere in between, you have to admit that we have a problem. The system is broken, due to gerrymandering, big money, or any other possible reason that you can name. We have issues, such as “income inequality,” or “climate change” that are of major concern to one of our major parties while the other is somewhat unconcerned to the extent that some within the party don’t think that the problems exists; we have one party claiming credit for what it sees as tremendous success of its health care bill while the other party constantly tries to repeal or dismantle it.

Gone are the days of the bipartisanship that brought us the Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills (even in the face of southern segregationists) and Environmental legislation. We have a booming economy in terms of Wall Street and corporate profits and a stagnant one in terms of worker salaries and buying power. Continue reading

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Data from the future in the presidential race

Looking back on the presidential election of 2012, one view of the Obama win is to attribute it to his team’s understanding of a phase shift in electoral dynamics: Democrats looked at historical turnout numbers and perceived a systemic change; in contrast many believed that Republican certainty in a Romney win was based on a reasonably expected regression to the mean.  This is the essential idea behind “data from the future“.   We ignore these principles in this system, as in many others, at our peril.

In light of this history, it’s worth asking if the fundamental dynamics of how elections are won is shifting this year again. Continue reading

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Showing up: #Hack4Congress goes to Washington

Earlier this year, the newly appointed White House CTO Megan Smith told Wired Magazine that the tech industry needs to “show up” in DC.  It’s starting to happen: award-winning teams from around the country flew to Washington earlier this week to attend the #hack4congress finalist presentation, which you can watch below.
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Decision Intelligence in conflict and disaster recovery

In our years building decision intelligence models for domains like banking, telecom, and more, the project that I am most proud of is the work that we did for Liberia in collaboration with The Carter Center.

The basic idea: countries are complex systems. Understanding how to recover after a conflict or disaster can be a particular challenge. Decision makers often end up working accidentally at cross purposes, due to shared, but invisible, mental models of a situation. This often produces unintended negative consequences. Continue reading

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Towards two-marshmallow government

There’s a well-known psychological experiment, where children are offered a marshmallow, and told that if they could wait a few minutes before eating it, they’d get two. The kids who could handle the delayed gratification were more successful in later life.

I visited a city on the east coast of the US recently, and was surprised to see deteriorated infrastructure—cracking sidewalks and broken walls—right next to brand-new construction. On the plane back, my seatmate—a long-term resident—expressed her frustration with city planners. “They seem to have a bit of tunnel vision,” she explained, going on to say that the lack of a light rail and a downtown sports center were also symptoms of short-term thinking. Fearful of the construction impact, local residents voted these initiatives down.

Like the one-marshmallow kids, these residents weren’t able to envision a future in which a short-term cost led to a much greater long-term benefit. Continue reading

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Welcome to the age of unintended consequences

So one of my favorite things about decision intelligence is its promise to help to overcome unintended consequences. As a way to capture both mental models, as well as providing an ongoing infrastructure to gather evidence to support and refine what start out as mental models and end up as sophisticated systems models, I’m tremendously excited about the future of what we can do.

Look at failures through the lens of unintended consequences, then fix broken systems. Click To Tweet

I’ve been maintaining a scoop.it site with interesting examples of unintended consequences, and starting to detect systematic patterns: Continue reading

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The magical diminishing returns link, and why it can fix government budgeting (and yours, too)

A couple of years ago, I was honored to be invited to help with a US government budget. My team and I would fly to Washington, take the metro into Union Station, and meet with our clients, who were struggling with an important question: “how to do more with less?” as they distributed funds to hundreds of departments.

In the midst of the project, sequestration loomed, and then materialized, so this question became critical. Continue reading

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