Severin Perez

Recent Posts

Designing Our AI Future

May 02, 2021
If one term has captured the popular imagination of late, it’s artificial intelligence (AI). Depending on whom you ask, it’s either the panacea for humanity’s woes, or a harbinger of the end times. And yet, how many of us can truly say that we understand AI? Can either the optimists or the pessimists actually justify their positions? What does the AI future actually look like?

Asking the Right Question

January 02, 2021
At its core, decision-making is about answering questions. Should we launch this product? Should I order take-out for dinner? Should I go on this date? These are conditional questions that reflect some number of possible futures. The decision occurs when you select one of the futures and take the action that it prescribes.

Introduction to Search Relevance Models

October 13, 2020
Search relevance is a difficult problem in information retrieval. How do you ensure that you get the best results back from searching a collection of documents? Let's explore a few basic strategies, including simple searching, term-frequency searching, and TF-IDF searching.

On Writing Technical Blogs

October 08, 2020
Writing is humanity’s superpower — when done well, it informs, provokes, and entertains. Perhaps that is why blogging is so popular among programmers. We’re a naturally curious community and sharing knowledge is an integral part of our ethos.

Influential NLP Papers on Google Scholar

September 05, 2020
Natural language processing is a complex and evolving field. Part computer science, part linguistics, part statistics--it can be a challenge deciding where to begin. One starting place is to look at the most influential papers in academic literature--if you can master these papers, then you'll be well on the path to becoming an NLP expert.

Key Python Libraries for NLP

August 30, 2020
One of the great things about using Python for natural language processing (NLP) is the large ecosystem of tools and libraries. From tokenization, to machine learning, to data visualization--Python has something for every NLP task in your workflow. Of course, choosing the right tool isn't always so easy.

On Deep Work

March 09, 2020
In 2016, Cal Newport introduced a new term into the business lexicon: deep work. It’s an idea that has since taken hold of disaffected knowledge workers everywhere, due in no small part to the promise that they could finally start doing what they were hired to do--create value. More importantly, intertwined with this promise is something more nebulous--something fragile and fleeting. Dare we call it self-actualization?

Ditch the Daily News Habit

June 18, 2019
Much has been made of the question about what it is to be an informed citizen. We’re instructed to “read widely,” “engage in debate”, “seek out new viewpoints,” etc. The message is clear: the more information you consume, the better informed you will be. On its face, this is reasonable and well-intentioned advice. The problem is that it’s also completely wrong.

The Secret Lives of Memes

November 03, 2018
In the modern sense, we think of a meme as a funny photo, or catchphrase, or joke that comes into our lives for a fleeting moment, typically via the Internet, and then goes on its merry way. But there is something arguably more sinister to the process. To us, the exchange of a meme is a bit of levity, but to the meme, the exchange is a question of survival. To propagate, to live, the meme must spread.

© Severin Perez, 2021