Thursday, March 15, 2018

Whale hunting...

A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a journalist, David Farrier. He had a very interesting story and was looking for my AI opinion. He had come across a company in Christchurch that allegedly had created a groundbreaking AI, called Zach AI, that could create patient-doctor consultation notes. The AI had been created by Uni drop-out Albi Whale and the company went by the unlikely name of "Terrible." Did I think this was for real? I first went online and could find no record of an A. Whale ever publishing at an AI conference or in a journal. It seemed unlikely that a single person could beat teams of researchers at Google, Amazon, Apple and IBM so I asked some colleagues working at these companies if they'd ever come across A. Whale or Zach AI. All came up blank.
You can read David Farrier's (long) article here and a recent follow-up piece here. It would seem that scammers are jumping on the AI band waggon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Google wants to teach you ML

Google has created an online resource to help people (newbies and experienced practitioners) learn more about machine learning (ML). If you have an interest in learning more check it out here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Software "no more accurate than untrained humans"

AI and machine learning has been in the news almost constantly for the last year, so you'd be forgiven for thinking that the era of decisions being made by computers is now here and people should just let the AIs take over. However, we must be careful. A program in use since 1998 in the US, called Compas (Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions), used to assess more than a million US defendants may not be accurate enough for potentially life-changing decisions. The accuracy of the program used for bail and sentencing decisions has been called into question after it was found to be no more accurate at predicting the risk of reoffending than untrained people. Read more about this in this Guardian article,

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

AlphaZero learns chess in four hours

You may have heard of Google's deep learning system AlphaGo that learned to play Go better than the best human. Well, the latest incarnation, AlphaZero, has learned to play chess better than the best computer chess playing system, Stockfish. However, what is most remarkable is that AlphaZero took only four hours to learn how to play chess! Read all about it in Machine learning is advancing very rapidly.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mozilla’s Open Source Speech Recognition Model and Voice Dataset

Mozilla has just announced the initial release of Mozilla’s open source speech recognition model that has an accuracy approaching what humans can perceive when listening to the same recordings. They are also releasing the world’s second-largest publicly available voice dataset, which was contributed to by nearly 20,000 people globally. This looks like it will be a very useful resource for researchers.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Republicans are about to kill the open internet and this town will pay the price

You've probably heard of "net neutrality" but maybe unsure what it is. Put simply it's the idea that every packet of information crossing the Internet has equal priority. Whether you're watching Netflix, listening to Spotify or playing Minecraft all the data is treated equally. Some people who argue for the "free market" claim that Internet service providers (ISPs) should be allowed to prioritise data from certain sources and to specific customers, of course for a fee. Apple, which has huge cash reserves, could for example pay ISPs to prioritise data from Apple Music giving users a better service at no visible cost to them. However, many argue that this would go against the founding principles of the Internet. To see what the future may hold in an unequal Internet look no further than the small rural town of Winlock, Washington – where the Internet is dead slow, if available at all – the residents there are major proponents of net neutrality and argue the Internet is a basic necessity. The Guardian has an interesting article on this.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Computers in the kitchen

Is there nowhere now that computers aren't being used? You'd have thought perhaps that the kitchen would be relatively free of computers. Well, you'd be wrong. Recent innovations in 3D printing are letting innovate chefs create wonderful looking (and hopefully great tasting) dishes. This website illustrates some of the fabulous things that can be made from 3D printers and computer-assisted lathes.