Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Which machine learning algorithm should I use?

Which machine learning (ML) algorithm should I use? It's a common question I get asked and usually, once I know something about the application and the data I can make an educated guess: a clustering algorithm, a neural net, k-nearest neighbour... But, I've been working in ML for decades. For ML newbies this is a hard problem because there are so many ML algorithms to choose between. SAS have created a resource designed primarily for beginner to intermediate data scientists or analysts who are interested in identifying and applying machine learning algorithms to address the problems of their interest. Read their blog post to learn how to navigate their flow chart.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Machine learning: the power and promise of computers that learn by example

Machine Learning is becoming more important in many aspects of our daily lives. However, most of the general public and importantly politicians and policymakers are quite ignorant of its scope, strengths and weaknesses. To better inform people the UK's prestigious Royal Society has recently released a report titled Machine learning: the power and promise of computers that learn by example.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Elon Musk leads 116 experts calling for outright ban of killer robots

I recently come back from the IJCAI-17 conference in Melbourne. 2,000 of the worlds leading AI researchers gathered together to share their latest research and discuss the future. One of the first things the conference did was to release an open letter to the world's media. The open letter, signed by Tesla chief and Google's Mustafa Suleyman, urges UN to block use of lethal autonomous weapons to prevent third age of war Some of the world's leading robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Diversity in Computer Science

Google has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. It started when one of their software engineers wrote a blog post that argued that the reason why relatively few woman worked for Google was because men were kind of biologicaly better suited to coding. Once the blogger was identified Google fired him. He's now suing the company for infringing his freedom of speach. 60 female Google employees are considering suing as well, claiming sexism and a pay gap. The Guardian has written an article titled "Why are there so few women in tech? The truth behind the Google memo". 

Friday, August 4, 2017

"A new study shows..."

Apparently "A new study shows..." are the four most dangerous words in science. A fascinating article in Wired profiles John Arnold, a billionaire who is spending his fortune on the Reproducibility Project. What they are finding, somewhat worryingly, is that the majority of published research can't be reproduced. They argue that the current competitive and often secretive science model is flawed and that science should be more open and collaborative. It's hard to disagree.

Monday, July 24, 2017

What are the algorithms that affect your life?

My colleague, Mark Wilson, brought this news article to my attention; by the ABC titled "How algorithms make important government decisions — and how that affects you"  it describes how computer programs are legally allowed to make decisions in Australia. This is part of an ongoing series, by Simon, titled "The important algorithms we know nothing about — and why we need to know more". Some people will I imagine find this troubling.