Four short links: 23 July 2019
Deciphering Linear B, Data Journalism, Innovation Contradictions, Rebuilding Slack
- Applying Deep Learning to Linear B — To compensate for the lack of strong supervision signal, our model design is informed by patterns in language change documented in historical linguistics. […] When applied to the decipherment of Ugaritic, we achieve a 5.5% absolute improvement over state-of-the-art results. We also report the first automatic results in deciphering Linear B, a syllabic language related to ancient Greek, where our model correctly translates 67.3% of cognates.
- Data Science Behind Data Journalism (Chris Knox) — discusses the data analysis that went into a story on vaccination in NZ. A good example of how to use data to do journalism (and not just torture it to say what you want).
- The Hard Truth about Innovative Cultures (HBR) — A tolerance for failure requires an intolerance for incompetence. A willingness to experiment requires rigorous discipline. Psychological safety requires comfort with brutal candor. Collaboration must be balanced with individual accountability. And flatness requires strong leadership. Innovative cultures are paradoxical. Unless the tensions created by this paradox are carefully managed, attempts to create an innovative culture will fail. (via Tim Kong)
- When A Rewrite Isn’t: Rebuilding Desktop Slack — Our plan was to: keep the existing codebase; create a “modern” section of the codebase that would be future-proof and work the way we wanted it to; modernize the implementation of Slack bit by bit, replacing existing code with modern code incrementally; define rules that would enforce a strict interface between existing and modern code so it would be easy to understand their relationship; and continually ship all of the above with the existing app, replacing older modules with modern implementations that suited our new architecture. The final step — and the most important one for our purposes — was to create a modern-only version of Slack that would start out incomplete but gradually work its way toward feature completeness as modules and interfaces were modernized.