In this Dec. 6 edition of the Big Data Roundup we look at machine learning use-cases, how Microsoft is bringing business intelligence into Cortana, a new big data summit for Apache Kafka users, plus a quiz on how well you know the difference between big data terms and Pokemon names.

Jessica Davis, Senior Editor

December 6, 2015

3 Min Read
<p align="left">(Image: PonyWang/iStockphoto)</p>

10 Great Tech Gifts For Under $100

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This week we have updates on some very cool use-cases of machine learning, how Wikipedia is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to improve its anti-vandalism efforts, Microsoft's Cortana getting integration with Power BI, and more.

Plus we ask the question, is it Pokémon or big data?

But let's start off with different question. What do competing in the Tour de France, prevention of white collar crime, and understanding legal documents have in common? They are all challenges that are being tackled using machine learning. We've got information on those use-cases and more for a total of 11 that employ machine learning to work on a host of problems. Let us know in the comments if you've seen other interesting use-cases.

Wikipedia Leans on AI

Plus here's another one that's not on that list: dealing with the problem of online vandalism at Wikipedia. The organization behind the online open source encyclopedia relies on a community of volunteer editors to create entries, edit them, and vet the revisions. But online vandalism of entries and the subsequent stricter editing controls have discouraged new editors from participating. To fix that, Wikipedia has implemented a new package of machine learning algorithms designed to detect vandalism and free up editors for tasks that only humans can perform.

Microsoft Cortana Integrates With Power BI

Meanwhile, Microsoft is bringing business intelligence to one of its more popular tools. You may know Microsoft Cortana as the company's version of Apple's Siri or Google Now -- a digital assistant that can tell you about the weather forecast and list your and appointment times for today. Microsoft has announced plans to pull business information into Cortana by integrating it with Power BI. The company made the features available in a public preview that started December 1. Users can type or speak questions to Cortana, and the digital assistant will analyze user data in Power BI to generate answers, which may include numerical values, charts, maps, and reports.

More Spark Support

Pledging its support for Apache Spark, Cloudera this week announced it has matured Apache Spark integration within Apache Hadoop environments, adding support for Spark SQL and MLlib into the recently launched Cloudera Enterprise 5.5 and CDH 5.5. Cloudera noted that Spark is the most active project in the Apache Software Foundation and has "soared in popularity within the open source community and across customer use cases."

[Check out the leaders in the wearables market for the third quarter. Read FitBit, Apple Lead Wearables Market In Q3, IDC.]

Kafka Summit

Another Big Data Apache project is getting its own event. Confluent, the company whose founders created Apache Kafka, announced its first Apache Kafka Summit, scheduled for April 26, 2016 in San Francisco. Confluent said that the summit is designed to bring together experts, core committers, and leading production users of Kafka, stream-processing frameworks, and related projects. Attendees can expect to learn about project directions and Kafka use-cases for large-scale, real-time data integration.

Pokémon or Big Data?

Finally this week, one developer has created a highly important test of big data knowledge: Is it Pokémon or big data? As a mere editor at the older side of GenX, I could not hope to catch 'em all. But thanks to some coaching from Pokémon enthusiasts in my house I did score 93%. Let us know how you do in the comment section.

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About the Author(s)

Jessica Davis

Senior Editor

Jessica Davis is a Senior Editor at InformationWeek. She covers enterprise IT leadership, careers, artificial intelligence, data and analytics, and enterprise software. She has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology. Follow her on twitter: @jessicadavis.

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