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Abductive Reasoning: AI-Alerts

DRNets can solve Sudoku, speed scientific discovery


Say you're driving with a friend in a familiar neighborhood, and the friend asks you to turn at the next intersection. The friend doesn't say which way to turn, but since you both know it's a one-way street, it's understood. That type of reasoning is at the heart of a new artificial-intelligence framework – tested successfully on overlapping Sudoku puzzles – that could speed discovery in materials science, renewable energy technology and other areas. An interdisciplinary research team led by Carla Gomes, the Ronald C. and Antonia V. Nielsen Professor of Computing and Information Science in the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, has developed Deep Reasoning Networks (DRNets), which combine deep learning – even with a relatively small amount of data – with an understanding of the subject's boundaries and rules, known as "constraint reasoning." Di Chen, a computer science doctoral student in Gomes' group, is first author of "Automating Crystal-Structure Phase Mapping by Combining Deep Learning with Constraint Reasoning," published Sept. 16 in Nature Machine Intelligence.

Can we trust scientific discoveries made using machine learning?


Rice University statistician Genevera Allen says scientists must keep questioning the accuracy and reproducibility of scientific discoveries made by machine-learning techniques until researchers develop new computational systems that can critique themselves. Allen, associate professor of statistics, computer science and electrical and computer engineering at Rice and of pediatrics-neurology at Baylor College of Medicine, will address the topic in both a press briefing and a general session today at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). "The question is, 'Can we really trust the discoveries that are currently being made using machine-learning techniques applied to large data sets?'" "The answer in many situations is probably, 'Not without checking,' but work is underway on next-generation machine-learning systems that will assess the uncertainty and reproducibility of their predictions." Machine learning (ML) is a branch of statistics and computer science concerned with building computational systems that learn from data rather than following explicit instructions. Allen said much attention in the ML field has focused on developing predictive models that allow ML to make predictions about future data based on its understanding of data it has studied.