Did Germany Cheat in World Cup 2014?

– By Andy Thurai (@AndyThurai)

This blog originally appeared on BigML blog site.

Now that I got your attention about Germany’s unfair advantage in the World Cup, I want to talk about how they used analytics to their advantage to win the World Cup—in a legal way.

player-performance

I know the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind talking about unfair advantage is either performance-enhancing drugs (baseball & cycling) or SpyCam (football, NFL kind). Being a Patriots fan, it hurts to even write about SpyCam, but there are ways a similar edge can be gained without recording the opposing coaches’ signals or play calling.

It looks like Germany did a similar thing, legally, and had a virtual 12th man on the field all the time. For those who don’t follow football (the soccer kind) closely, it is played with 11 players on the field.

So much has been spoken about Big Data, Analytics and Machine Learning from the technology standpoint. But the World Cup provided us all with an outstanding use case on the application of those technologies.

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Which kind of Cyborg are you?

By Andy Thurai (@AndyThurai)

[This article is a result of my conversations with Chris Dancy (www.Chrisdancy.com) on this topic. The original version of this was published on Wired magazine @ http://www.wired.com/insights/2014/01/kind-cyborg/].

Machines are replacing humans in the thinking process. The field of Cognitive Thinking is a mixture of combining rich data collection (with wide array of sensors), machine learning, predictive analysis, and cognitive anticipation in a right mix. Machines can do “just-in-time-machine-learning” rather than using predictive models and are virtually model free.

The Cognitive Computing concept revolves around few combined concepts:

  1. Machines learn and interact naturally with people to extend what either humans or machines could do on their own.
  2. They help human experts make better decisions.
  3. These machines collect richer data sets and use them in their decision making process, which creates the need for intelligent interconnected devices. This creates a network of intelligent sensors feeding the super brain.
  4. Machine learning algorithms sense, predict, infer, think, analyze, and reason before they make decisions.

Which kind of cyborg are you?

The field of cybernetics has been around for a long time. Essentially, it is the science (or art) of the evolution of cyborgs.  The cyborgs have evolved from assistive cyborgs to creative cyborgs. Not only can they adapt to human situations, but they are also able to learn from human experiences (machine learning), think (cognitive thinking), and figure out (situation analysis) how to help us rather than being told.

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