Abduction, of inference to the best explanation, is a form of inference that goes from data describing something to a hypothesis that best explains or accounts for the data.
D is a collection of data (facts, observations, givens).
H explains D (would, if true, explain D).
No other hypothesis can explain D as well as H does.
... Therefore, H is probably true.
– Josephson & Josephson, Abductive Inference
From a pig heart being successfully transplanted into a human, to being able to redirect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, there have been all manner of weird and wonderful scientific discoveries in 2022. They include the human genome finally been mapped after two decades, the unearthing of Africa's oldest known dinosaur, and the release of the first ever image of a supermassive black hole at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. There was also the alarming discovery that microplastics are everywhere – including in us – and the hugely-anticipated first images from the world's most powerful space telescope James Webb, which will peer back to the dawn of the universe. Here, MailOnline looks at 10 of the most interesting advances this year. The year began with a bang scientifically when just a week into it a dying man became the first patient in the world to get a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig.
When you picture a scientist, do you see a white coat-clad PhD-holder pipetting away at a lab bench? Or maybe a skygazer with a different day job who goes out on clear nights for a good view of the stars? Historically speaking, both of those examples fit the bill. German-British astronomer William Herschel was originally an amateur who observed the night sky using homemade telescopes. He discovered Uranus in 1781, working alongside his sister, Caroline Herschel, who made multiple discoveries herself.
Introduction to equality, diversity and inclusion and development of your code of conduct – Debra Fearnshaw (University of Nottingham): This session will explore what equality, diversity and inclusion means, what EDI can look like in research and why this is important. The session will also have an interactive element to help you create a code of conduct for your event. Bio: I am an experienced Programme Manager, currently managing 2 EPSRC research projects plus additional projects within my portfolio to support my passion for improving research culture and embedding equality, diversity and inclusion into research. Recent projects include a secondment to EPSRC to complete a strategic EDI project and a Faculty of Engineering review of REF Impact and how future portfolios can become more diverse and inclusive. I am currently working on a research culture project to raise the visibility and recognition of research enabling roles.
This paper revisits datasets and evaluation criteria for Symbolic Regression, a task of expressing given data using mathematical equations, specifically focused on its potential for scientific discovery. Focused on a set of formulas used in the existing datasets based on Feynman Lectures on Physics, we recreate 120 datasets to discuss the performance of symbolic regression for scientific discovery (SRSD). For each of the 120 SRSD datasets, we carefully review the properties of the formula and its variables to design reasonably realistic sampling range of values so that our new SRSD datasets can be used for evaluating the potential of SRSD such as whether or not an SR method con (re)discover physical laws from such datasets. As an evaluation metric, we also propose to use normalized edit distances between a predicted equation and the ground-truth equation trees. While existing metrics are either binary or errors between the target values and an SR model's predicted values for a given input, normalized edit distances evaluate a sort of similarity between the ground-truth and predicted equation trees.
We are pleased to announce that this summer AI4SD will be running a hybrid residential summer school from the 20th-24th June 2022 at the University of Southampton. This summer school will introduce you to basic python programming, different areas of machine learning including mathematical foundations for ML, classification and clustering, kernel methods, introduction to deep learning and case studies in chemistry including reinforcement learning in chemistry. There will also be talks to upskill scientists in other relevant areas including Group Management, Presentation Skills, Research Data Management, Referencing, LaTeX, GitHub and Ethics. The summer school will include a hackathon where students can compete in teams to solve the same problem in the best way. Group presentations will take place on the friday and prizes will be given to the winning team.
The Allen Telescope Array, used by Northern California's SETI Institute in its often difficult-to-fund search for extraterrestrial life.Redding Record Searchlight / Zuma Press This story was originally published by Undark and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Science is built on the boldly curious exploration of the natural world. Astounding leaps of imagination and insight--coupled with a laser like focus on empiricism and experimentation--have brought forth countless wonders of insight into the workings of the universe we find ourselves in. But the culture that celebrates, supports, and rewards the audacious mental daring that is the hallmark of science is at risk of collapsing under a mountain of cautious, risk-averse, incurious advancement that seeks merely to win grants and peer approval. I've encountered this problem myself.
It may sound obvious, perhaps even clichéd, but this mantra is something that must be remembered in ongoing political negotiations over Horizon Europe, which could see Switzerland and the UK excluded from EU research projects. We need more, not fewer, researchers collaborating to solve today's and tomorrow's challenges. By closely working with Swiss and British researchers, who have long played key roles, Horizon Europe projects will benefit – as they have in the past. This is the motivation behind ETH Zurich, which collaborates with IBM Research on nanotechnology, leading the Stick to Science campaign. This calls on all three parties – Switzerland, the UK and the EU – to try and solve the current stalemate and put Swiss and British association agreements in place.
Abduction is a form of inference that seeks the best explanation for the given observation. Because it provides a reasoning process based on background knowledge, it is used in applications that need convincing explanations. In this study, we consider weighted abduction, which is one of the commonly used mathematical models for abduction. The main difficulty associated with applying weighted abduction to real problems is its computational complexity. A state-of-the-art method formulates weighted abduction as an integer linear programming (ILP) problem and solves it using efficient ILP solvers; however, it is still limited to solving problems that include at most 100 rules of background knowledge and observations.
Welcome to AI book reviews, a series of posts that explore the latest literature on artificial intelligence. Recent advances in deep learning have rekindled interest in the imminence of machines that can think and act like humans, or artificial general intelligence. By following the path of building bigger and better neural networks, the thinking goes, we will be able to get closer and closer to creating a digital version of the human brain. But this is a myth, argues computer scientist Erik Larson, and all evidence suggests that human and machine intelligence are radically different. Larson's new book, The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Why Computers Can't Think the Way We Do, discusses how widely publicized misconceptions about intelligence and inference have led AI research down narrow paths that are limiting innovation and scientific discoveries.
An iconoclastic philosopher and polymath, Charles Sanders Peirce (1837-1914) is among the greatest of American minds. In 1872, Peirce conducted a series of experiments to determine the distribution of response times to an auditory stimulus, which is widely regarded as one of the most significant statistical investigations in the history of nineteenth-century American mathematical research (Stigler, 1978). On the 150th anniversary of this historic experiment, we look back at Peirce's view on empirical modeling through a modern statistical lens.