The organizers of the The Fake News Challenge have subjected it to a significant overhaul. In this light, many of my criticisms of the challenge no longer apply.
Last month, I posted a critical piece addressing the fake news challenge. Organized by Dean Pomerleau and Delip Rao, the challenge aspires to leverage advances in machine learning to combat the epidemic viral spread of misinformation that plagues social media. The original version of the the challenge asked teams to take a claim, such as “Hillary Clinton eats babies”, and output a prediction of its veracity together with supporting documentation (links culled from the internet). Presumably, their hope was that an on-the-fly artificially-intelligent fact checker could be integrated into social media services to stop people from unwittingly sharing fake news.
My response criticized the challenge as both ill-specified (fake-ness not defined), circular (how do we know the supporting documents are legit?) and infeasible (are teams supposed to comb the entire web?)
Continue reading “Fake News Challenge – Revised and Revisited”
[This article is a revised version reposted with permission from KDnuggets]
Imagine you’re a doctor tasked with choosing a cancer therapy. Or a Netflix exec tasked with recommending movies. You have a choice. You could think hard about the problem and come up with some rules. But these rules would be overly simplistic, not personalized to the patient or customer. Alternatively, you could let the data decide what to do!
The ability to programmatically make intelligent decisions by learning complex decision rules from big data is a driving selling point of machine learning. Leaps forward in the predictive accuracy of supervised learning techniques, especially deep learning, now yield classifiers that outperform human predictive accuracy on many tasks. We can guess how an individual will rate a movie, classify images, or recognize speech with jaw-dropping accuracy. So why not make our services smart by letting the data tell us what to do?
Continue reading “The Deception of Supervised Learning – V2”