Volve: not open after all

Back in June, Equinor made the bold and exciting decision to release all its data from the decommissioned Volve oil field in the North Sea. Although the intent of the release seemed clear, the dataset did not carry a license of any kind. Since you cannot use unlicensed content without permission, this was a problem. I wrote about this at the time. To its credit, Equinor listened to the concerns from me and others, and…

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Reproduce this!

There’s a saying in programming: untested code is broken code. Is unreproducible science broken science? I hope not, because geophysical research is — in general — not reproducible. In other words, we have no way of checking the results. Some of it, hopefully not a lot of it, could be broken. We have no way of knowing.Next week, at the SEG Annual Meeting, we plan to change that. Well, start changing it… it’s going to…

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FORCE ML Hackathon: project round-up

The FORCE Machine Learning Hackathon last week generated hundreds of new relationships and nine new projects, including seven new open source tools. Here’s the full run-down, in no particular order…Predicting well rates in real time Team Virtual Flow Metering: Nils Barlaug, Trygve Karper, Stian Laagstad, Erlend Vollset (all from Cognite) and Emil Hansen (AkerBP). Tech: Cognite Data Platform, scikit-learn. GitHub repo.Project: An engineer from AkerBP brought a problem: testing the rate from a well reduces…

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Machine learning goes mainstream

At our first machine-learning-themed hackathon, in New Orleans in 2015, we had fifteen hackers. TImes were hard in the industry. Few were willing or able to compe out and play. Well, it’s now clear that times have changed! After two epic ML hacks last year (in Paris and Houston), at which we hosted about 115 scientists, it’s clear this year is continuing the trend. Indeed, by the end of 2018 we expect to have welcomed…

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How good is what?

Geology is a descriptive science, which is to say, geologists are label-makers. We record observations by assigning labels to data. Labels can either be numbers or they can be words. As such, of the numerous tasks that machine learning is fit for attacking, supervised classification problems are perhaps the most accessible – the most intuitive – for geoscientists. Take data that already has labels. Build a model that learns the relationships between the data and labels.…

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Are there benefits to pseudoscience?

No, of course there aren't.  Balance! The scourge of modern news. CC-BY by SkepticalScience.com Unless... unless you're a journalist, perhaps. Then a bit of pseudoscience can provide some much-needed balance — just to be fair! — to the monotonic barrage of boring old scientific consensus. Now you can write stories about flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, homeopathy, or the benefits of climate change!*So far, so good. It's fun to pillory the dimwits who think the moon landings were…

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What is a sprint?

In October we're hosting our first 'code sprint'! What is that?A code sprint is a type of hackathon, in which efforts are focused around a small number of open source projects. They are related to, but not really the same as, sprints in the Scrum software development framework. They are non-competitive — the only goal is to improve the software in question, whether it's adding functionality, fixing bugs, writing tests, improving documentation, or doing any of the…

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Get out of the way

This tweet from the Ecological Society of America conference was interesting:I am currently moderating a session at #ESA2018 and was instructed by @ESA_org to ask the audience not to take photos of the presentations. This is all backwards,”. Presenters should have an opt-out “no-tweet” option instead, like @BritishEcolSoc does, not a mandatory “no-tweet” pic.twitter.com/PE8nNDwm06— Rob Salguero-Gómez (@DRobcito) August 7, 2018 This kind of thing is now new — many conferences have 'No photos' signs around…

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Life lessons from a neural network

The latest Geophysical Tutorial came out this week in The Leading Edge. It's by my friend Gram Ganssle, and it's about neural networks. Although the example in the article is not, strictly speaking, a deep net (it only has one hidden layer), it concisely illustrates many of the features of deep learning.Whilst editing the article, it struck me that some of the features of deep learning are really features of life. Maybe humans can learn…

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Results from the AAPG Machine Learning Unsession

Click here to visit the Google Doc write-up Back in May, I co-hosted a different kind of conference session — an 'unsession' — at the AAPG Annual Conference and Exhibition in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was successful in achieving its main goal, which was to show the geoscience community and AAPG organizers a new way of collaborating, networking, and producing tangible outcomes from conference sessions.It also succeeded in drawing out hundreds of ideas and…

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