Build image search, image captioning, similar words and similar images using a single model

It’s common knowledge that neural networks are really good at one narrow task, but they fail at handling multiple tasks. This is unlike the human brain which is able to use the same concepts at amazingly diverse tasks. For example, if you have never seen a fractal before and I show you one right now.

This beauty is courtesy math. (via

After seeing the image of a fractal, you’ll be able to handle multiple tasks related to it:

  • In a set of images, tell apart a fractal from a cat

It’s a mystery that deep learning works so well. Even though there are several hints about why deep neural networks are so effective, the truth is that nobody is entirely sure and theoretical understanding of deep learning is very much an active area of research.

In this tutorial, we’ll scratch a tiny aspect of the problem in an unusual manner. We will make neural networks paint abstract images for us, and then we will interpret those images to develop a better intuition on what might be happening under the hood. Also, as a bonus, by the end of the tutorial…

During holidays I wanted to ramp up my reinforcement learning skills. Knowing absolutely nothing about the field, I did a course where I was exposed to Q-learning and its “deep” equivalent (Deep-Q Learning). That’s where I got exposed to OpenAI’s Gym where they have several environments for the agent to play in and learn from.

The course was limited to Deep-Q learning, so as I read more on my own. I realized there are now better algorithms such as policy gradients and its variations (such as Actor-Critic method). …

Generating style-specific text from a small corpus of 2.5k sentences using a pre-trained language model. Code in PyTorch

Let’s do a quick Turing Test. Below, you’ll see ten machine learning project ideas. Five of them are generated by a human and five of them are generated by a neural network. Your task is to tell them apart.

Ready? (Don’t overthink. Just go with your gut).

  1. Stock trading learner

Building an image classifier has become the new “hello world”. Remember the day when you first came across Python and your print “hello world” felt magical? I got the same feeling a couple months back when I followed the PyTorch official tutorial and built myself a simple classifier that worked pretty well.

I was astounded by the accuracy of my simple classifier. If I recall correctly, on the MNIST handwritten digits dataset, it was north of 98% on the test set. (As a side note, this shows how far we’ve come along when a highly accurate image classifier can be…

Put a plan in place for thinking before you actually start thinking.

Big decisions in life are gut-wrenching. Who to marry, where to work, who to hire, how to fire, which subject to major in, how to make a career change, which car to buy, where to invest, et cetera. We stall and brood over those because all such decisions represent major forks in our life. Usually (but not always) these are one-way roads. After all, you don’t buy a house or choose a company to work for every other day.

Given the importance of big decisions in our lives, it’s a surprise that nobody teaches us how to handle them. We’re…

Understanding a success story in all its nuances is similar to understanding how the world works, and doing that takes effort. Half-understanding success is dangerous as you’ll waste time and energy looking at only a few sides of the multi-sided dice of success.

We thrive on stories. We want to know who did what to whom and what happened after that. People watch the news for hours and binge on Netflix because we’re evolutionarily wired to seek stories. Our ancestors who told and listened to stories had a higher survival rate because stories bound them together. Stories helped form groups that killed Mammoths and take over the world.

Stories bind people together because they provide a natural boundary between us-and-them. Those who share similar stories are ultimately similar people — Christians bound together by Biblical stories, USA bound together by stories of freedom…

Identify compensatory behaviors, understand underlying motivations and design a solution for supporting those motivations.

Most entrepreneurs are aware of product-market fit. It’s a good advice but I have an issue with the term “product-market fit”. It makes an entrepreneur focus on product first, market second. The words we choose to describe the world end up shaping the world for us. This means not all “social networks” are the same and the words you choose to describe an innovation have a significant influence on how much customers value it.

Repeated usage of the term product-market fit develops a mental model where the entrepreneur’s inclination is to make a product (or get an idea) first and…

Expose yourself to understanding the “why” of your profession

Many designers I know started their design practice by first practicing on Photoshop. Almost all marketers I know entered the field by reading articles on content marketing, Adwords, or Facebook Ads (SEO is long gone). Engineers in my day started learning web programming with PHP (apparently these days it’s Javascript / NodeJS).

Most self-made professionals get attracted to the methods and tools because they get immediate results. Want to do content marketing? Sign up on Medium, write an article and spread it. Want to write your first app? Use Bootstrap in the frontend and Mongo/NodeJS on the backend, and you’re…

Few B2C products dominate the market, hence the largest tech companies in the world are predominantly B2C. But for startups, B2B proves to be a better option after failure in B2C.

In my conversations with other entrepreneurs, I’ve come across tens of startups that started with a B2C angle but eventually succeeded as a B2B company. Outside of my experience, famous examples include Slack that started as a gaming company. VWO’s competitor, Optimizely, started as a company that made math teaching apps for children. In my experience, it’s far more common to pivot from B2C to B2B than the reverse. Why does that happen?

I love getting into details of the structure of success and analyzing things beyond surface level impressions. …

Paras Chopra

Founder and Chairman of @Wingify. Writes on

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