Seth Wenig/AP

Uber is in the prediction business, but it wants to get better. So the company's artificial intelligence team has proposed a new algorithm that it says improves its forecasting of demand in extreme situations like bad weather and major holidays.

Uber researchers are applying a machine-learning architecture called "long short-term memory" (LSTM) to predict demand for drivers during "holidays, concerts, inclement weather, and sporting events." In a new blog post, they said that this new approach improved the accuracy of their existing forecasting algorithm between 2% and 18%.

Why it matters: Better AI forecasting models could impact fields as diverse as medicine and earthquake prediction. The latest craze among hedge funders is using LSTM architecture to predict asset price changes.

How it works: Traditional statistical modeling requires humans to decide the relevance of historical data to the given forecast. In the LSTM architecture, a predictive algorithm improves itself by finding data relationships otherwise unrecognized by humans. In Uber's case, these data are the number of completed rides, app views, current riders, outside temperature, and wind speed.

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Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 30,306,469 — Total deaths: 948,147— Total recoveries: 20,626,515Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 6,705,114 — Total deaths: 198,197 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.

Court battles shift mail-in voting deadlines in battleground states

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Michigan joins Pennsylvania in extending mail-in ballot deadlines by several days after the election, due to the coronavirus pandemic and expected delays in U.S. Postal Service.

The latest: Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled that all ballots postmarked before Nov. 2 must be counted, so long as they arrive in the mail before election results are certified. Michigan will certify its general election results on Nov. 23.

Ina Fried, author of Login
59 mins ago - Technology

Interview: Unity CEO explains his company's unusual IPO

CEO John Riccitiello virtually ringing the NYSE bell as Unity shares began trading on Friday. PhotoL Unity

Unity Technologies was just one of many companies with blockbuster IPOs this week, but it took a decidedly different approach, using data rather than handshakes to decide who got to invest and at what price. CEO John Riccitiello explained why in an interview with Axios.

Why it matters: Traditionally, bankers and companies set IPO prices based on conversations and expectations, a process that has been criticized as basically leaving money on the table.