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Notes on a New Philosophy of Empirical Science

arXiv.org Machine Learning

This book presents a methodology and philosophy of empirical science based on large scale lossless data compression. In this view a theory is scientific if it can be used to build a data compression program, and it is valuable if it can compress a standard benchmark database to a small size, taking into account the length of the compressor itself. This methodology therefore includes an Occam principle as well as a solution to the problem of demarcation. Because of the fundamental difficulty of lossless compression, this type of research must be empirical in nature: compression can only be achieved by discovering and characterizing empirical regularities in the data. Because of this, the philosophy provides a way to reformulate fields such as computer vision and computational linguistics as empirical sciences: the former by attempting to compress databases of natural images, the latter by attempting to compress large text databases. The book argues that the rigor and objectivity of the compression principle should set the stage for systematic progress in these fields. The argument is especially strong in the context of computer vision, which is plagued by chronic problems of evaluation. The book also considers the field of machine learning. Here the traditional approach requires that the models proposed to solve learning problems be extremely simple, in order to avoid overfitting. However, the world may contain intrinsically complex phenomena, which would require complex models to understand. The compression philosophy can justify complex models because of the large quantity of data being modeled (if the target database is 100 Gb, it is easy to justify a 10 Mb model). The complex models and abstractions learned on the basis of the raw data (images, language, etc) can then be reused to solve any specific learning problem, such as face recognition or machine translation.


Apple's next iPhone and iOS 12: Here's what Apple should change

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference is always full of surprises. USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham previews what we can expect in Talking Tech. The new iPhone X is seen on display at the Apple Union Square store on Nov. 3, 2017, in San Francisco. The iPhone X's lush screen, facial-recognition skills and $1,000 price tag are breaking new ground in Apple's marquee product line. Now, the much-anticipated device is testing the patience of consumers and investors as demand outstrips suppliers' capacity.



A 20-Year Community Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence Research in the US

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Decades of research in artificial intelligence (AI) have produced formidable technologies that are providing immense benefit to industry, government, and society. AI systems can now translate across multiple languages, identify objects in images and video, streamline manufacturing processes, and control cars. The deployment of AI systems has not only created a trillion-dollar industry that is projected to quadruple in three years, but has also exposed the need to make AI systems fair, explainable, trustworthy, and secure. Future AI systems will rightfully be expected to reason effectively about the world in which they (and people) operate, handling complex tasks and responsibilities effectively and ethically, engaging in meaningful communication, and improving their awareness through experience. Achieving the full potential of AI technologies poses research challenges that require a radical transformation of the AI research enterprise, facilitated by significant and sustained investment. These are the major recommendations of a recent community effort coordinated by the Computing Community Consortium and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence to formulate a Roadmap for AI research and development over the next two decades.


Framing Image Description as a Ranking Task: Data, Models and Evaluation Metrics

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

The ability to associate images with natural language sentences that describe what is depicted in them is a hallmark of image understanding, and a prerequisite for applications such as sentence-based image search. In analogy to image search, we propose to frame sentence-based image annotation as the task of ranking a given pool of captions. We introduce a new benchmark collection for sentence-based image description and search, consisting of 8,000 images that are each paired with five different captions which provide clear descriptions of the salient entities and events. We introduce a number of systems that perform quite well on this task, even though they are only based on features that can be obtained with minimal supervision. Our results clearly indicate the importance of training on multiple captions per image, and of capturing syntactic (word order-based) and semantic features of these captions. We also perform an in-depth comparison of human and automatic evaluation metrics for this task, and propose strategies for collecting human judgments cheaply and on a very large scale, allowing us to augment our collection with additional relevance judgments of which captions describe which image. Our analysis shows that metrics that consider the ranked list of results for each query image or sentence are significantly more robust than metrics that are based on a single response per query. Moreover, our study suggests that the evaluation of ranking-based image description systems may be fully automated.