Musings of an Aussie Fan…

I never cheered for Australia. I almost always hated them. I hated the way they used to make India surrender down under. I almost wept when in the 2003 world cup final, Ricky Ponting singlehandedly beat Dada’s team mercilessly. I felt so helpless when Matthew Hayden would buldgeon sixes after sixes, when Adam Gilchrist would come in at five down for 100 and almost everytime hit a century even on Indian pitches. I used to silently watch in disappointment McGrath and Brett Lee and even the side hero Gillespie make Indian batsmen surrender so completely, so brutally.

Of course I cheered for India. I will remember the majestic 281 by Laxman forever. That moment still gives me goosebumps as for the first time India took a raging bull by horn and fought it instead of surrendering meekly as it would do earlier. A fight which subsequently became the team’s culture and which now every player carries. I danced as Ishant made Ponting dance to his deliveries in Australia. I was elated when Dravid and Laxman would score double centuries and centuries in almost every test in the Australia in perhaps 2004. I rose to cloud nine when Sachin would dance down and hit Warne for sixes over his head…

But overall, Australia always outmatched India. More often than not I would watch India surrendering to – better players. Out of desperation, I would support anyone who would stand upto Aussies. I used to find solace in their victories against the Aussies and feel sad when they lost. So perhaps I cheered for Cook more than I cheered for Sachin down under. I was perhaps as frustrated as Klusner when Alan Donald ran himself out. I shouted so loud a NO when Gibbs dropped Steve Waugh that night. I felt so happy when the Proteas chased down 438…

Ohhh.. I hated the Aussies. I hated them coz they were a class apart. I hated them coz they would beat everyone everywhere – a mark of true champion. I hated them coz they were legends. Yet I don’t know when my hate also turned into a respect. For the same reasons, I also respected them. I always put Ponting above Sachin and today rate Smith higher than Kohli in the best batsmen debates. Of course in bowling there has never been any match.

I don’t know when my envy turned into admiration and admiration turned into awe. I realise I am an Aussie fan despite my hate. They were just so brilliant. The baggy green – it carries with itself the pride vested into it by generations of champions – men who played it fair and hard.

But today, I am heartbroken. Perhaps as much as on that fateful 2003 final. Perhaps even more. Smith had no right. He had no right to so recklessly abuse the baggy green. He has hurt not just me – but millions of fans across the globe and all the legends who once wore it before him. He has no place among the legends. He doesn’t deserve it. That cheat!!!



AI for Social Change: Building Blocks

Hello folks

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help us solve the many problems of common and deprived people in India. My goal is to employ it to solve these mass problems… To use AI for social change… To make it like electricity – only one step further since there are still many who don’t have access to electricity.

People use their spare time gardening or stamp collection and like. I have been using mine lately towards this purpose. So over some holidays and weekends, I happened to go through understanding the nuts and bolts – the algorithms and the technologies – how it actually works.

The space of AI has completely changed in the past 2-3 years. Other than the algorithmic and computational advances, the best thing to have happened to it is Andrew Ng. I have never come across a better teacher in my life. I had worked on some of these concepts some 10 years ago but could never understand them. He really demystifies everything and explains each concept from the scratch and in a really easy to understand language.

The best part of his courses is that even if you are intimidated by the Math, by all the high sounding jargon floating around, even if you are a complete novice at beginning, after doing them, you would be at par with the best in the field and would have real shot at solving some of the biggest problems people face.

So for the benefit of those interested in working on it, I am sharing out a detailed learning path. Once you are up and are interested in joining me for creating a better society using AI, do message me on .  I look forward to work with an awesome team :-)

Learning Path: Basic Building Blocks

Machine learning is nothing but linear algebra, differential calculus and probability theory combined. If you don’t understand any of these, don’t worry :-) Andrew will take you along…This is his best part.

Everyone who wants to do anything and everything in this field, must go through the very famous and free Machine Learning Course by Andrew on Coursera. Week 1 to Week 6 are an absolute essential which take you through the basics upto creating a neural network. Remaining weeks deal with specialized topics and may be done later based on necessity.

Remember, listening to someone is one thing and actually dirtying your hands is another. Programming assignments are most important and to really master the concepts, you must do them. Also keep a diary and pen handy if it suits your way of learning as it does mine. A trick – if you feel lost somewhere in the tutorials among all the matrices and vectors, just work out if the dimensions in your matrix multiplications match – it almost every time gives you the right answer.

Learning Path – Advanced

Once you have figured out the basics, the next step is to do his Deep Learning Specialization – a series of 5 courses. It is not free but there is a workaround for those who don’t want to pay yet.

The first course – Neural Networks and Deep Learning – can almost be done for free. Coursera allows you to watch all the tutorials and do programming assignments for free. This course is again essential for everyone as it teaches you how to code real deep neural networks in a real programming language – Python. Even if you know nothing about Python, don’t worry, Andrew teaches you step by step.

Once you do the first course, unfortunately this is how long Coursera takes you for free. But don’t worry. Andrew has a Youtube channel where you can now watch the videos of his subsequent courses for free.

His second course again is an essential where he takes you through all optimization algorithms and many more.

Now if you want to work in Computer Vision, jump to the fourth course on Convolutional Neural Networks. He explains absolutely latest algorithms with such an ease, it is really amazing.

On the other hand, if you want to work in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) or speech recognition, do his fifth course on Recurrent Neural Networks and Sequential Models.

While or after watching his video tutorials, you may feel the urge of practicing it in terms of programming. Unfortunately his programming assignments are not free. So you can either follow some internet tutorials on Tensorflow (a bit confusing for beginners) or better, Keras (awesome for beginners).

Finally, you can do his third course on Structuring Machine Learning Projects on a need basis.

Next Steps

If you are here, you are already at par with the leading AI professionals in the world. So now message me :-)

Lets work together to build a better society.


#ArtificialIntelligence #MachineLearning #DeepLearning #AIforSocialChange #AISC