Do Not Forget to Show Your Work

November 24, 2016

Showing work is messy, necessary step to prove how one arrived at a solution.  Most of the time it is never reviewed, but with big data people wonder how computer algorithms arrive at their conclusions.  Engadget explains that computers are being forced to prove their results in, “MIT Makes Neural Networks Show Their Work.”

Understanding neural networks is extremely difficult, but MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has developed a way to map the complex systems.  CSAIL figured the task out by splitting networks in two smaller modules.  One for extracting text segments and scoring according to their length and accordance and the second module predicts the segment’s subject and attempts to classify them.  The mapping modules sounds almost as complex as the actual neural networks.  To alleviate the stress and add a giggle to their research, CSAIL had the modules analyze beer reviews:

For their test, the team used online reviews from a beer rating website and had their network attempt to rank beers on a 5-star scale based on the brew’s aroma, palate, and appearance, using the site’s written reviews. After training the system, the CSAIL team found that their neural network rated beers based on aroma and appearance the same way that humans did 95 and 96 percent of the time, respectively. On the more subjective field of “palate,” the network agreed with people 80 percent of the time.

One set of data is as good as another to test CSAIL’s network mapping tool.  CSAIL hopes to fine tune the machine learning project and use it in breast cancer research to analyze pathologist data.

Whitney Grace, November 24, 2016
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


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