Machine Learning Times
Machine Learning Times
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I Helped Build ByteDance’s Censorship Machine

 Originally published in Protocol, Feb 18, 2021. This is the story of Li An, a pseudonymous former employee at ByteDance, as told to Protocol’s Shen Lu. I wasn’t proud of it, and neither were my coworkers. But that’s life in today’s China. It was the night Dr. Li Wenliang struggled for his last breath in

Institutionalizing Ethics in AI Through Broader Impact Requirements

 Originally published in Nature Machine Intelligence, Feb, 2021. Turning principles into practice is one of the most pressing challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) governance. In this Perspective, we reflect on a governance initiative by one of the...

Gradient Descent Models Are Kernel Machines (Deep Learning)

 Originally published in infoproc.blogspot.com, Feb 7, 2021. This paper shows that models which result from gradient descent training (e.g., deep neural nets) can be expressed as a weighted sum of similarity functions (kernels) which measure the similarity...

Worried About Your Firm’s AI Ethics? These Startups Are Here to Help.

 Originally published in MIT Technology Review, Jan 15, 2021. A growing ecosystem of “responsible AI” ventures promise to help organizations monitor and fix their AI models. Rumman Chowdhury’s job used to involve a lot of translation. As...

Machine Learning Models are Missing Contracts

 Why pretrained machine learning models are often unusable and irreproducible — and what we can do about it. Introduction A useful approach to designing software is through contracts. For every function in your codebase, you start by writing...

How Facebook is Using AI to Improve Photo Descriptions for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

 Originally published in [email protected], Jan 19, 2021. When Facebook users scroll through their News Feed, they find all kinds of content — articles, friends’ comments, event invitations, and of course, photos. Most people are able to instantly...

Learning the Language of Viral Evolution and Escape

 Originally published in AAAS, Jan 15, 2021. Natural language predicts viral escape Viral mutations that evade neutralizing antibodies, an occurrence known as viral escape, can occur and may impede the development of vaccines. To predict which mutations...

Guilty or Not Guilty: Weight of Evidence

 You have been invited to serve as a juror in a criminal related case. After hearing testimony, the presiding judge offers a summary of the proceeding. “Evaluate the evidence,” he declares. Whether it was an eyewitness account,...

Machine Learning is Going Real-Time

 Originally published in Chip Huyen, Dec 27, 2020. After talking to machine learning and infrastructure engineers at major Internet companies across the US, Europe, and China, I noticed two groups of companies. One group has made significant...

How Machine Learning Works for Social Good

  Originally published in KDnuggets, Nov 2020. This article is based on a transcript from Eric Siegel’s Machine Learning for Everyone (on Coursera). View the video version of this specific article Just as businesses tap the value...

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