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The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy published new guidelines and FAQs to ease adoption of President Obama’s open data policy. In May,  the president signed an order mandating that agencies use machine-readable and open data formats when they collect or create information so it can be re-used efficiently.

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photo: Google's new deep learning architectures

Google researchers have developed new methods for analyzing language using deep learning techniques. They’ve also open sourced an implementation of their work so any researchers can experiment with it. It could be the first of many deep learning tools designed for mass consumption. Read more »

In Brief

When it comes to data, soccer is the new baseball. The latest issue of the Economist has an article breaking down English Premiere League soccer players using data, and a subsequent blog post includes an interactive tool from machine learning startup Ayasdi that lets readers explore the data. Earlier this week, Disney researchers presented their analysis of an entire year’s worth of ball-position data for a professional soccer league and how that can affect the outcome of games.

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In Brief

A Chicago-based startup called AvantCredit has raised a $20 million series B round for its personal loan service that uses machine learning algorithms to assess credit-worthiness. AvantCredit closed a $34 million Series A round earlier this year. It’s taking a page out of the ZestFinance playbook — lending to underserved markets at rates less usurious than traditional payday-loan providers — although that company now acts only as an underwriter rather than an actual lender.

In Brief

Looker, a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based business intelligence startup, has raised a $16 million series A round from Redpoint Ventures and First Round Capital. In an age of data tools targeting lay users, Looker is taking a different approach by trying to empower smart data analysts with its custom modeling language. The company closed a $1.7 million seed round in March.

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