As we embark on the next decade of innovations in AI, Daniel Pitchford looks back at the five biggest industry milestones of the 2010s, how they impacted investment in the sector and how they've shaped the advance of technology. The 2010s will be known for the advent of one of the most powerful technologies on the planet – Artificial Intelligence. Over the next decade, as more funding is made available for its development and it becomes more accepted by companies and consumers alike, it is worth reviewing some of the major milestones over the last decade that have made this advancement possible. The game is on, Watson: IBM's Jeopardy triumph The first major milestone of AI hitting the mainstream was when IBM's "super-computer" Watson beat long-standing Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in 2011. Watson won the $1m TV game show with $77,147, leaving Jennings and Ruttner far behind at $24,000 and $21,600 respectively.
The goal of Machine Learning to automatically learn from data, extract knowledge and to make decisions without any human intervention. Such automatic (aML) approaches show impressive success. Recent results even demonstrate intriguingly that deep learning applied for automatic classification of skin lesions is on par with the performance of dermatologists, yet outperforms the average. As human perception is inherently limited, such approaches can discover patterns, e.g. that two objects are similar, in arbitrarily high-dimensional spaces what no human is able to do. Humans can deal only with limited amounts of data, whilst big data is beneficial for aML; however, in health informatics, we are often confronted with a small number of data sets, where aML suffer of insufficient training samples and many problems are computationally hard. Here, interactive machine learning (iML) may be of help, where a human-in-the-loop contributes to reduce the complexity of NP-hard problems. A further motivation for iML is that standard black-box approaches lack transparency, hence do not foster trust and acceptance of ML among end-users. Rising legal and privacy aspects, e.g. with the new European General Data Protection Regulations, make black-box approaches difficult to use, because they often are not able to explain why a decision has been made. In this paper, we present some experiments to demonstrate the effectiveness of the human-in-the-loop approach, particularly in opening the black-box to a glass-box and thus enabling a human directly to interact with an learning algorithm. We selected the Ant Colony Optimization framework, and applied it on the Traveling Salesman Problem, which is a good example, due to its relevance for health informatics, e.g. for the study of protein folding. From studies of how humans extract so much from so little data, fundamental ML-research also may benefit.