#8: Chris Albon – Connecting Africa to the Internet & Defending Public Discourse

Episode 8 — Chris Albon

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“People think of places in the world that are poorer than the 1st world or poorer than the developed world… and they think they are dumb, they think that they aren’t practical, they think that they don’t do the same things when in fact when you go there…it’s all the exact same things that everyone does all the time – it just happens with different amounts of money.” — Chris Albon

Chris Albon is the Chief Data Scientist of BRCK: a Kenyan startup building a network dedicated to connecting Africa to the internet, and best-selling author of the Machine Learning with Python Cookbook.

For years he’s been contributing to the data science world through so many different outlets:

  • Cofounder of New Knowledge AI – an social media platform focused on protecting companies from disinformation, fighting fake news, and defending public discourse
  • Former host of Partially Derivative – a popular podcast mixing explorations into data science techniques with discussions in the field’s leading experts.
  • Content creator of Machine Learning Flashcards  – simplified, easy to digest flashcards for otherwise-complex machine learning concepts.
  • Blog writer at chrisalbon.com – providing some of best (and definitely most wide-ranging) technical notes out there on machine learning, statistics, deep learning, Python, and so much more.

Our conversation went many places, including:

  • How early childhood experiences (including his heritage in Zimbabwe) led him to focus his career so strictly on social impact, through political and humanitarian efforts
  • How he’s established himself (and his blog) as an authority figure in data science & AI (with 523 resource links and counting) without having a “technical” degree
  • The step-by-step process BRCK takes when incorporating technology into African communities & what he’s learned about challenging his own assumptions while doing so
  • The initial inspiration behind starting the Partially Derivative podcast and why his aim was for it to be the “talk at the bar after the conference”
  • what his newest book — Machine Learning Cookbook with Python — is all about, who it’s for, and the gap it addresses for the community

Enjoy the show!

Show Notes: https://ajgoldstein.com/podcast/ep8/

Chris’ Twitter: https://twitter.com/chrisalbon

AJ’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/ajgoldstein393/ 

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Enjoy!