Fraud detection à la Benford: MCubed webcast series for ML devs premiers this week

This Thursday: Join us for a series of practitioner-led webcasts on all things software development and machine learning, inspired by our MCubed conference series.

While machine learning sounds exciting, it can be quite overwhelming for developers who’ve never had any practical experience with it before. To help you pass that hurdle, we’ve decided to dedicate every first Thursday of the month to real-world machine learning.

In our new, free MCubed webcast series, we’ll bring you up to speed with the latest ML development-related tools, libraries, and cloud service news, before jumping into hand-selected expert talks. Through those, practitioners will help you freshen up on the basics, share serviceable advice from their day to day work, and provide insight into the issues they’re trying to solve.

The goal of every session is to have you walk away with some nuggets of knowledge useful enough to enhance your daily machine-learning practice. Professor Mark Whitehorn will kick off the new format on September 2, 2021 at 11am BST with an introduction to Benford’s distribution.

Benford’s distribution is a pattern that is very common, yet very often overlooked for the simple reason that most people don’t know about it. In fact, it is so common that it is usually the lack of Benford’s distribution that is significant. A good example of this is that fraudulently generated data often fails to display this distribution, so fraud-detection is often quoted as the classic use of Benford’s; however, simply seeing it as a fraud detection tool is to significantly underestimate its power.

In his uniquely approachable way, Prof Whitehorn will outline what a Benford’s distribution looks like but, more importantly, will also explain why it occurs, so that you are able to decide whether the pattern is expected in a given set of data. If it is, then, well, nothing to see here, move along. If it isn’t, further investigation may well yield fascinating insights – and put fraudsters in jail. We’ll round off the session with a look at the latest news in machine learning-related software development.

The next couple of webcasts are already in the works and are planned to probe into things like continuous delivery for machine learning, practical computer vision, and building technology versus buying it off the shelf. However, it’s a format meant for you, the practitioner, so don’t be afraid to get in touch if there’s something you’re struggling with and we’ll see if we can build an episode around that.

We’re looking forward to seeing you on September 2: Sign up here and we will remind you on the day.