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Machine Learning Project Ideas

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Ryan Stout and I are giving a talk at RailsConf about Machine Learning tomorrow. To go along with the talk, here is a list of project ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • A robust email and mailing address typo corrector for web forms.
  • A Rickroll detecting browser plugin- it warns you before you follow a link that will likely result in Rickrolling. (Rickroll Protection As A Service?)
  • A per-user clicktrail analyzer that predicts which links a user is most likely to follow, given their history. Use this to highlight or promote high-likelihood links.
  • A user info and usage pattern analyzer that classifies users by likelihood of upgrading to a premium plan.
  • A RubyGem for classifying user generated content into appropriate, inappropriate, spam, NSFW, etc.
  • Along the same lines: a nudity detector for uploaded images.
  • A RubyGem for code optimization based on the current backtrace, possibly using reinforcement learning. For example:
  # This probabilistically selects a choice based on the
  # current backtrace and the history of reinforcement signals seen.
  optimize do
    choice do
      # some code path that ultimately triggers a "reward" or "punishment" signal
    choice do
      # some other code path
  • A story karma predictor that estimates the final score on Hacker News of any article, based on textual content and the poster’s info.
  • A system that classifies support requests by their estimated severity.
  • Make things easier for your users:
    • given them default settings selected by users similar to themselves
    • default to pages they use often; expand modules they interact with frequently

Once you know what’s possible, it’s hard to find a project that wouldn’t benefit from some machine learning.

Have other ideas? Want to discuss these? Post them in the comments and follow @tectonic for updates.