Learning how to read is one of the most important steps in empowering someone to build a successful future. In developing nations, access to teachers and classrooms is not universally available so the Global Learning XPRIZE serves to incentivize the creation of technology that provides children with the tools necessary to teach themselves literacy. Kjell Wooding helped create Learn Leap Fly in order to participate in the competition and used Python and Kivy to build a platform for children to develop their reading skills in a fun and engaging environment. In this episode he discusses his experience participating in the XPRIZE competition, how he and his team built what is now Kasuku Stories, and how Python and its ecosystem helped make it possible.
Data mining and visualization are important skills to have in the modern era, regardless of your job responsibilities. In order to make it easier to learn and use these techniques and technologies Blaž Zupan and Janez Demšar, along with many others, have created Orange. In this episode they explain how they built a visual programming interface for creating data analysis and machine learning workflows to simplify the work of gaining insights from the myriad data sources that are available. They discuss the history of the project, how it is built, the challenges that they have faced, and how they plan on growing and improving it in the future.
A relevant and timely recommendation can be a pleasant surprise that will delight your users. Unfortunately it can be difficult to build a system that will produce useful suggestions, which is why this week’s guest, Nicolas Hug, built a library to help with developing and testing collaborative recommendation algorithms. He explains how he took the code he wrote for his PhD thesis and cleaned it up to release as an open source library and his plans for future development on it.
With the proliferation of messaging applications, there has been a growing demand for bots that can understand our wishes and perform our bidding. The rise of artificial intelligence has brought the capacity for understanding human language. Combining these two trends gives us chatbots that can be used as a new interface to the software and services that we depend on. This week Joey Faulkner shares his work with Rasa Technologies and their open sourced libraries for understanding natural language and how to conduct a conversation. We talked about how the Rasa Core and Rasa NLU libraries work and how you can use them to replace your dependence on API services and own your data.
Do you wish that you had a self-driving car of your own? With Donkey you can make that dream a reality. This week Will Roscoe shares the story of how he got involved in the arena of self-driving car hobbyists and ended up building a Python library to act as his pilot. We talked about the hardware involved, how he has evolved the code to meet unexpected challenges, and how he plans to improve it in the future. So go build your own self driving car and take it for a spin!