The Triumph and Tragedy of the Data Scientist

As data scientists, we’re lucky. Data scientists, in the broadest sense, are the very first human beings whose conceptual language — in particular dimensionality-reduction, compression and statistical validation — can explain human bodies and minds, and hence “consciousness,” in neutral, actionable terms.

Our brains are information processors, and data scientists know information theory. We have the golden ticket.I came to data science after a job at Bell Labs, a Caltech Physics Ph.D. and a postdoc at the National Institutes of Health math research branch. I worked at one tech startup after another as a coder and software architect, first calling myself a “specialist in statistical algorithms,” and later chief algorithm officer, while still writing my own queries and code in real languages like Java, SQL and Python — not Matlab or Mathematica.

Author: William Softky

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