Item Recommendation with Evolving User Preferences and Experience Machine Learning

Current recommender systems exploit user and item similarities by collaborative filtering. Some advanced methods also consider the temporal evolution of item ratings as a global background process. However, all prior methods disregard the individual evolution of a user's experience level and how this is expressed in the user's writing in a review community. In this paper, we model the joint evolution of user experience, interest in specific item facets, writing style, and rating behavior. This way we can generate individual recommendations that take into account the user's maturity level (e.g., recommending art movies rather than blockbusters for a cinematography expert). As only item ratings and review texts are observables, we capture the user's experience and interests in a latent model learned from her reviews, vocabulary and writing style. We develop a generative HMM-LDA model to trace user evolution, where the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) traces her latent experience progressing over time -- with solely user reviews and ratings as observables over time. The facets of a user's interest are drawn from a Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) model derived from her reviews, as a function of her (again latent) experience level. In experiments with five real-world datasets, we show that our model improves the rating prediction over state-of-the-art baselines, by a substantial margin. We also show, in a use-case study, that our model performs well in the assessment of user experience levels.

Weaponized drones: Connecticut bill would allow police to use lethal force from above NBC News


Imagine this scenario: A terror suspect is holding hostages in a public space. A police-operated drone with a camera swoops in to assess the situation and determines he is armed and dangerous.

Writers from The Onion and Pixar Are Helping Make Google's AI Funnier


Funny artificial intelligence is nothing new. We might be used to Siri's bad jokes on our iPhones or messing with Amazon's Alexa. And recently an AI robot Sophia tried out a pickup line on Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes last week. Now Google has joined the trend of human-like artificial intelligence to make AI a little more fun. Its new assistant was developed in part by comedy writers from Pixar and The Onion, the satirical newspaper that is sometimes just too honest for these crazy times we live in, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Conformity bias in the cultural transmission of music sampling traditions Machine Learning

One of the fundamental questions of cultural evolutionary research is how individual-level processes scale up to generate population-level patterns. Previous studies in music have revealed that frequency-based bias (e.g. conformity and novelty) drives large-scale cultural diversity in different ways across domains and levels of analysis. Music sampling is an ideal research model for this process because samples are known to be culturally transmitted between collaborating artists, and sampling events are reliably documented in online databases. The aim of the current study was to determine whether frequency-based bias has played a role in the cultural transmission of music sampling traditions, using a longitudinal dataset of sampling events across three decades. Firstly, we assessed whether turn-over rates of popular samples differ from those expected under neutral evolution. Next, we used agent-based simulations in an approximate Bayesian computation framework to infer what level of frequency-based bias likely generated the observed data. Despite anecdotal evidence of novelty bias, we found that sampling patterns at the population-level are most consistent with conformity bias.

A sticky HDP-HMM with application to speaker diarization Machine Learning

We consider the problem of speaker diarization, the problem of segmenting an audio recording of a meeting into temporal segments corresponding to individual speakers. The problem is rendered particularly difficult by the fact that we are not allowed to assume knowledge of the number of people participating in the meeting. To address this problem, we take a Bayesian nonparametric approach to speaker diarization that builds on the hierarchical Dirichlet process hidden Markov model (HDP-HMM) of Teh et al. [J. Amer. Statist. Assoc. 101 (2006) 1566--1581]. Although the basic HDP-HMM tends to over-segment the audio data---creating redundant states and rapidly switching among them---we describe an augmented HDP-HMM that provides effective control over the switching rate. We also show that this augmentation makes it possible to treat emission distributions nonparametrically. To scale the resulting architecture to realistic diarization problems, we develop a sampling algorithm that employs a truncated approximation of the Dirichlet process to jointly resample the full state sequence, greatly improving mixing rates. Working with a benchmark NIST data set, we show that our Bayesian nonparametric architecture yields state-of-the-art speaker diarization results.