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When does automation suit your business model?

It’s not that the phone wasn’t sharp enough to cut the orange, it’s that it’s not the right tool for the job.

Most of the time when ML (machine learning) doesn’t meet its business potential, it’s not that your data is incomplete or your data scientists aren’t extroverted introverts, or any of this stuff. It’s usually that ML is not the right tool for your business model.

In this article, I want to discuss the misalignments that may arise between businesses and their automation efforts.

While discussing a new project, my manager told me that artificial intelligence lives at the…


A book review, originally posted on my old blog in 2014

I have just finished reading a great book by Phil Barden called Decoded. The book shows us how branding works in order to influence our purchase decisions.

“Strong brands have a real effect in the brain, and this effect is to enable intuitive and rapid decision making without thinking” — Phil Barden

The main foundation of the book is based on the work of Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman won a Nobel Prize in 2002 for showing that people are not the rational agents that economists once thought they are. In his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman states that the mind…


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Why I am not using business intelligence tools anymore

Every time I need some data, I reach wrong conclusions after using the BI tool we have. As a machine learning engineer, it is usually the case that I want to build a business case to estimate whether automating a certain process worth our efforts or not. I have two options: either write a SQL query to get me this data, or use the BI tool built by our analytics team. The latter option is supposed to be the easier route, but for me, their underlying leaky abstraction put me in trouble more often than not. …


Unless you don’t care much about your own mental health

Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

1- People who try to differentiate between Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

They’re the same fuck’n thing. Okay, if you squint your eyes hard enough, you may notice some differences, but trust me, nobody cares. It’s like people differentiating between England and Great Britain. It’s the same fuck’n thing. Maybe people living on that freaky island care to differentiate, but anybody living elsewhere doesn’t fuck’n care. And by the way, the fact that they call their country great makes it hard for me to take any other naming they come up with seriously.

2- People who watch too many sci-fi movies

Science fiction is cool. But you have to understand that every movie needs a plot. No one will watch…


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My honest* responses to the cliché job interview questions

In a previous post, I wrote about another cliché interview question, What are your weaknesses?. In today’s post, I am going to respond to a different, and maybe trickier, question, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”.

“All happy families are alike; and every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” — Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina

For every job opening, there are dozens or hundreds of applicants, and if you are applying at fuck’n Google, then be warned that they get about 2 zillion applicants each year, most of them are not qualified anyway, just like you…


Photo by Mel Poole via Unspalsh

What can we learn from the single thread by Naval, which is retweeted 50,000 times and counting?

On average twitter threads receive 60% more visibility and engagement*. But who cares about averages? On average, a human has one breast and one testicle, duh! We don’t want on-averages here, we want to learn how the wizards of the internet use threads.

Forget about the surface area game

The common wisdom says that stitching multiple tweets together will give you more exposure. It relies on simple math. If one tweet is going to be seen by 50 people, then 10 tweets will be seen by 500 people. Sounds logical, eh? But the calorie-in calorie-out diet sounds logical too. Logic will get you so far, and…


Can new business models fix our brains, or are we doomed for life?

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Last time I checked, I did not suffer from dementia. I can clearly list the insights I had from the book I’m reading now, but I remember nothing from the fifty something articles I read today on the internet. I can vaguely remember their titles though. One was “How the most successful people do something in the morning”, the other was “7 ways to be successful at something”, it was about making money I think. The rest were combinations of how-tos, lists, and general advices about life, business, and computer science.

But why the heck don’t I remember anything from them?

It’s probably because I just skimmed through them, and…


Photo by Henry Hustava via Unspalsh

My honest* response to the cliché job interview questions

Probably, you were asked the same question in a job interview. Usually, we are not entirely honest when it comes to interviews. Not that everyone gives answers like “my key weakness is working too hard” or “being perfectionist”, but even when responding with actual weaknesses, one tends to tailor them to the employer. We may select the weaknesses that we think are suitable for the job. We may avoid some weaknesses, because we need time to elaborate, and that won’t work in an interview setting.

Nevertheless, these interview questions have some value despite their clichéness. It helps us understand ourselves…


Don’t ask Google whether you need a haircut — Photo by Jay Heike on Unsplash

I was doing this research for whether we should build our own customer relationship management system or should we just buy one. When I typed “build vs buy crm” in Google, I noticed the common advice given by the top results was geared towards a buying decision. I am not talking about Google ads here, but organic results.

In general, we tend to ignore ads when performing a search like this one. We know that advertisers have an incentive to sell you something, so we rather go for organic content instead. …


Little Rock, Arkansa, 1958 by Thomas J. O’Halloran

Other countries shall copy them, because the TV doesn’t have to be boring

In Egypt, the television morphed into one main format, talk shows. Besides soap operas, news and advertisements, the Egyptian television is dominated by talk shows. They aren’t just talk shows, they are the boring type that belongs to the 1960s. The prime time is mainly occupied by fat old men with dyed hair facing the camera and talking about the trending events. Sometimes they have guests, but most of the time they just talk, way more than their guests.

Funny enough, this wasn’t the case all the time. I recall back in the days when we had more diverse programs…

Tarek Amr

I write about what machines can learn from data, what humans can learn from machines, and what businesses can learn from all three.

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