Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thoughts on NIPS 2015 and OpenAI

A few weeks ago, I attended NIPS 2015, which turned out to be (by far) the largest machine learning conference ever. With nearly 4000 attendees, the conference saw a roughly 50% increase from the previous year. Much of this growth seems fueled by industry interest, especially in topics such as deep learning and large scale learning. Deep learning, in particular, seems to be all the rage these days, at least in the public zeitgeist. I think this is great for the field, because this degree of interest will also percolate to the rest of machine learning more broadly.

There have been plenty of posts regarding NIPS already (see: Sebastien Bubeck, Neil Lawrence, John Langford, Paul Mineiro, and Hal Daume), with plenty of great pointers to interesting NIPS papers that I'll hopefully get around to reading soon. On my end, I didn't get a chance to see too many papers, in part because I was helping presenting a poster during one poster session, and a demo during another. But I did very much enjoy many of the talks, especially during the workshops.


Perhaps the biggest sensation at NIPS was the announcement of OpenAI, which is a non-profit artificial intelligence research company with $1B in endowment donated by people such as Sam Altman, Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, and others. The core ideal of OpenAI is to promote open research in Artificial Intelligence. For the most part, not much is known about how OpenAI will operate (and from what I've gathered, the people at OpenAI haven't fully decided on a strategy yet either). One thing that I do know on good authority is that OpenAI will NOT be patenting their research.

Nonetheless, there have already been many reactions to OpenAI, from the usual "robots will steal our jobs" trope, to nuanced concerns voiced by machine learning expert Neil Lawrence observing that open access to data is just as important as open access to research and systems. I do very much agree with Neil's point and I think that one of the best things that OpenAI can do for the research community is to generate interesting new datasets and testbeds. There have also been concerns voiced that the founding team is overwhelmingly deep learning people. I don't think this is much of an issue at the moment, because representation learning has been the biggest practical leap forward and giving broader access to learned representations is a great thing.

The announcement has even caught the attention of rationalists such as Scott Alexander, who voiced concerns about whether AI research should be open at all, for risk of losing control of the technology and potentially leading to the catastrophic results. Scott's concern is a meta-concern about the current mentality of AI research being an arms race and institutions such as OpenAI not focusing on "controlling" access to AI that could become dangerous. These meta-concerns are predicated on the assumptions that hard takeoff of AGI is a legitimate existential threat to humanity (which I agree with), and that existing institutions such as OpenAI could directly lead to that happening (which I strongly disagree with). I realize that OpenAI ponders about human-level intelligence in their opening blog post, but that's just a mission statement of sorts. For instance, Google, while awesome, has (thus far) fallen quite short of their mission to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". Likewise, I don't expect OpenAI to succeed in their mission statement anytime soon.

Most machine learning experts probably do take an overly myopic view of machine learning progress, which is partly due to the aforementioned research arms race but also just due to how research works (i.e., it is REALLY hard to make tangible progress on something that you can't even begin to rigorously and precisely reason about). However, from what I've read, rationalist non-experts conversely tend to phrase things in such imprecise terms that it's hard to have a substantive discussion between the two communities. I imagine the "truth", such as it is, is somewhere in the middle. Perhaps one should gather both camps together for a common discussion.

What is definitely going to happen, in the near term, is that access to AI technologies will be an increasingly important competitive advantage moving forward. And it's great that institutions such as OpenAI will help promote open access to those technologies.

I am optimistic that the crew at OpenAI will explore alternative mechanisms in contrast to NSF-style funding of research, and how places like the Allen Institute engages in research. I think it'll be exciting to see what comes out of that process. Hopefully, OpenAI will also engage with places like the Future of Humanity Institute, and maybe even create forums that bring together people like Stuart Russell, Eric Horvitz, Scott Alexander and Eliezer Yudkowsky.

Cynthia Dwork on Universal Adaptive Data Analysis

Cynthia Dwork gave a great talk on using differential privacy to guard against overfitting when re-using a validation set multiple times. See this Science paper for more details. The basic idea is that, when you use your validation set to evaluate the performance of a model, do so in a differentially private way so that you don't overfit to the idiosyncrasies of the validation set. See, for instance, this paper describing an application to Kaggle-style competitions. This result demonstrates a great instance of (unexpected?) convergence between different areas of study: privacy-preserving computation and machine learning.

Jerry Zhu on Machine Teaching

Jerry Zhu has been doing very interesting work on Machine Teaching, which he talked about at the NIPS workshop on adaptive machine learning. Roughly speaking, machine teaching is the computational and statistical problem of how to select training examples to teach a learner as quickly as possible. One can think of machine teaching as the converse of active learning, where instead of the learner actively querying for training examples, a teacher actively provides them.

Machine teaching has a wide range of applications, but the one that I'm most interested in is when the learner is a human. As models become necessarily more complex in the quest for predictive accuracy, it is important that we devise methods to keep these models somehow interpretable to humans. One way is to use a machine teaching approach to quickly show the human what concepts the trained model has learned. For instance, this approach would have applications debugging complicated machine learning models.

Rich Caruana on Interpretable Machine Learning for Health Care

On the flip side, Rich Carauna talked about training models that are inherently interpretable by domain experts, such as medical professionals. Of course, these models are only applicable in restricted domains, such as when there is a "sufficient" set of hand-crafted features such that a generalized additive model can accurately capture the phenomenon of interest. The approach was applied to two settings: predicting the risk of pneumonia and 30-day re-admission.

One interesting consequence of this study was that these interpretable models could be used to tease out biases in the data collection process. For instance, the model predicted that patients with asthma are at lower risk of dying from pneumonia. Consulting with medical experts revealed that, historically, patients with asthma are more closely monitored for signs of pneumonia and so the disease is detected much earlier than for the general populace. Nonetheless, it's clear that one wouldn't want a predictive model to predict a lower risk of pneumonia for patients with asthma -- that was simply a consequence of how the historical data was collected. See this paper for details.

Zoubin Ghahramani on Probabilistic Models

Zoubin Ghahramani gave a keynote talk on probabilistic models. During this deep learning craze, it's important keep in mind that properly quantifying uncertainty is often a critical component as well. We are rarely given perfect information, and so we can rarely make perfect predictions. In order to make informed decisions, our models should make calibrated probabilities regarding so that we can properly weigh different tradeoffs. Recall that one of the critical aspects of the Jeopardy! winning IBM Watson machine was being able to properly calibrate its own confidence in the right answer (or question). Another point that Zoubin touched on was rational allocation of computational resources under uncertainty. See also this great essay on the interplay between machine learning and statistics by Max Welling.

Interesting Papers

As I mentioned earlier, I didn't get a chance to check out too many posters, but here are a few that I did see which I found quite interesting.

Generalization in Adaptive Data Analysis and Holdout Reuse
by Cynthia Dwork, Vitaly Feldman, Moritz Hardt, Toniann Pitassi, Omer Reingold, Aaron Roth
This paper generalizes previous work on adaptive data analysis by: 1) allow the query to the validation set be adaptive to the result of previous queries, and 2) provide a more general definition of adaptive data analysis.

Logarithmic Time Online Multiclass Prediction
by Anna Choromanska, John Langford
This paper studies how to quickly construct multiclass classifiers whose running time is logarithmic in the number of classes. This approach is especially useful for settings where the number of classes is enormous, which is also known as Extreme Multiclass Classification.

Spatial Transformer Networks
by Max Jaderberg, Karen Simonyan, Andrew Zisserman, Koray Kavukcuoglu
This paper studies how to incorporate more invariants into convolutional neural networks beyond just shift invariance. The most obvious cases are being invariant to rotation and skew. See also this post.

Optimization as Estimation with Gaussian Processes in Bandit Settings
by Zi Wang, Bolei Zhou, Stefanie Jegelka
A preliminary version of this paper was presented at the Women in Machine Learning Workshop at NIPS, and will be formally published at AISTATS 2016. This is a really wonderful paper that unifies, to some extent, two of the most popular views in Bayesian optimization: UCB-style bandit algorithms and probability of improvement (PI) algorithms. One obvious future direction is to also unify with expected improvement (EI) algorithms as well.

Fast Convergence of Regularized Learning in Games
by Vasilis Syrgkanis, Alekh Agarwal, Haipeng Luo, Robert E. Schapire
This paper won a best paper award at NIPS, and analyzed the setting of learning in a repeated game. Previous results showed a regret convergence of O(T-1/2), and this paper demonstrates an asymptotic improvement to O(T-3/4) for individual regret and O(T-1) for the sum of utilities.

Data Generation as Sequential Decision Making
by Philip Bachman, Doina Precup
This paper takes the view of sampling from sequential generative models as sequential decision making. For instance, can we view sequential sampling as an Markov decision process? In particular, this paper focuses on the problem of data imputation, or filling in missing values. This style of research has been piquing my interest recently, since it can offer the potential to dramatically speed up computation when sampling or prediction can be very computationally intensive.

Sampling from Probabilistic Submodular Models
by Alkis Gotovos, S. Hamed Hassani, Andreas Krause
Andreas's group has been working on a general class of probabilistic models called log-submodular and log-supermodular models. These models generalize models such as determinantal point processes. This paper studies how to do inference on these models via MCMC sampling, and establish conditions for fast mixing.

The Self-Normalized Estimator for Counterfactual Learning
by Adith Swaminathan, Thorsten Joachims
This paper addresses a signficant limitation of previous work on counterfactual risk minimization, which is overfitting to hypotheses that match or avoid the logged (bandit) training data, which the authors call propensity overfitting. The authors propose a new risk estimator which deals with this issue.


FeepingCreature said...

Belatedly -

I think there is a worry with RNN-style AI that is often overlooked, which is that people tend to look at a neural network and go "This obviously cannot lead to a strong self-improving AI by itself" -> "therefore it is safe". I think there's a risk that the strong difficulty of strong AI does not lie with planning and logic, but with making sense of our complicated, messy world. Human intelligence is a very recent evolutionary step; human sensory processing has a billion-year history. If modern machine learning can catch up to humans in the sensory processing department, I worry there's a risk that the remaining path to full-blown intelligence will be relatively short - a conceptual breakthrough, rather than a question of insufficient power.

custom essay writing service said...

As i am a mechanical student, this type of conference and group discussions or seminars help me a lot. Deep learning on a particular subject area may give us a deep knowledge.

Essay Writing Service said...

I think it is quite difficult to possess machine learning. Because machine learning generally depends up on the software you use on the web or on your desktop everyday.

bitcoin australia said...

Yup I agree its really difficult to posses machine learning and people not get used to but eventual it will due to the advent of the technology and social media.

EssaysMasters said...

This is an interesting topic, but I do not think that it is convenient and sufficiently developed. In addition, it will not be available to most students.

Anonymous said...

The information you share is very useful. website

Unknown said...

Hi everybody! I'm a student on machine learning faculty. It's an incredibly beautiful branch of science. I get so more homework and sometimes I don't have a time. Therefore I use writingleader. For machine learning, the future and that says it all.

I'll be back (c)Terminator

Anonymous said...

This is very nice post. I found your website perfect for my needs
anime app tv

Unknown said...

I think it must be difficult to write a university coursework on machine learning. I am a student of medical university. It is not the easy subject also. If I have some difficulties I use internet resources

Joson Froster said...

If you feel that you need help when it comes to writing sociology papers then we could help you. Here at sociology papers we have some of the best professional writers that are ready and waiting to make your academic writing very much easier. In fact, we can take all the stress and hard work out of writing, so that you are free to get on with whatever else you choose to do

You may decide to try and buy a sociology research paper online somewhere but you need to be aware of some things. Those sites will offer sociology papers for sale but they have been sold to hundreds of other people. You have no idea where those papers came from and who wrote them. You do not know the academic level of the writer and chances are you will have to spend time tweeking the paper to your professor’s specifications. For that kind of hassle you might as well just write the paper yourself.

EmmaTomson said...

I'm a student and I'm not really good at writing and making some presentation. In the situation when I need to write some article or coursework for my university I use an Here you can get quality writing help.

gbwhatsapp apk said...
videoder apk

Mihail337 said...

In the healthcare business, nurses are finding that individuals who have pursued an RN-BSN diploma program tend to be times prepared to proceed from traditional patient care to distinct roles in the health care sector. You can read more at nursing essays

Anonymous said...

I read this post and found it as an interesting one. There is a lot of useful information that can help many people. Also, if you don't have time for writing papers then you can buying term papers and make your papers done on time!

S Happy said...

Nice post. It is really interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Hotels in Tuticorin, Hotels in Thoothukudi, Best Hotel in Tuticorin

shivani said...

A befuddling web diary I visit this blog, it's incredibly grand. Strangely, in this present blog's substance made motivation behind fact and sensible. The substance of information is instructive
Oracle Fusion Financials Online Training
Oracle Fusion HCM Online Training
Oracle Fusion SCM Online Training

Anonymous said...

that are pretty interesting predictions. let's see..

jenish said...

The blog is really nice with lot of information. Keep posting more in the future blog post. keep sharing more.
Event Management in Pondicherry
Wedding Decorators in Trichy
Wedding Photographers in Trichy
Wedding Planner in Pondicherry
Wedding Decorators in Pondicherry
Candid Photography Pondicherry
Wedding Photographers in Pondicherry

DedicatedHosting4u said...

This is really a big and great source of information. We can all contribute and benefit from reading as well as gaining knowledge from this content just amazing
experience Thanks for sharing such a nice information.

MindtechAffiliates said...

I am overwhelmed by your post with such a nice topic. Usually, I visit your blogs and get updated with the information you include but today’s blog would be the most appreciable...

Cpa offers

Mobile app Development said...

Wonderful post. Keep it up good work. We are one of the best Mobile App Development Company in Gurgaon

Poojarao said...

Rice Bags Manufacturers
Pouch Manufacturers
wall putty bag manufacturers
Lyrics with music

Poojarao said...

we have provide the best ppc service.
ppc company in gurgaon
website designing company in Gurgaon
PPC company in Noida
seo company in gurgaon
PPC company in Mumbai
PPC company in Chandigarh

Poojarao said...

we have provide the best fridge repair service.
fridge repair in faridabad
Videocon Fridge Repair in Faridabad
Whirlpool Fridge Repair in Faridabad
Hitachi Fridge Repair In Faridabad
Washing Machine Repair in Noida
godrej washing machine repair in noida
whirlpool Washing Machine Repair in Noida
IFB washing Machine Repair in Noida
LG Washing Machine Repair in Noida

Poojarao said...

gmp certification in delhi
ISO Certification in Noida
iso certification in delhi
ce certification in delhi
iso 14001 certification in delhi
iso 22000 certification in delhi
iso 27001 certification in delhi
website designing services
seo serivces in delhi

Susan said...

This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you.

Laurie Hughes said...

My name is donald boykins , am here to appreciate Dr Akhigbe for using his herbal medicine to cure my Herpes virus. Is about 3 years and  6 months now I have been living with this virus and it has been a serious problem to me, I was so confused cause i have been taking several drugs to be cured but all of my effort was in vain,one morning I was browsing through the internet then I saw several testimonies about Dr. Akhigbe curing people from Herpes virus and immediately i contacted Dr. Akhigbe on his email:, i told him about my troubles and he told me that i must be cured, he gave me some instructions and which i rightly followed. so he prepared a herbal medicine  and sent it to me which i used for 2 weeks and i was cured everything was like a dream to me and my Herpes virus was totally gone, dr .Akhigbe, God bless you and give you more power and ability for more cure.I don't know if there is any one out there suffering for herpes virus or any of these diseases..DIABETES, CANCER, HIV/AIDS, HERPES  HEPATITiS A AND B , HEART DISEASE, CHRONIC DISEASE,EPILEPSY, LUPUS, STROKE,PARKINSON'S DISEASE, SPINAL CORD INJURY, ECZEMA, KIDNEY DISEASE, ACME, BACK PAIN,EXTERNAL INFECTION, CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE etc.   why don't you contact dr.Akhigbe today and be free from your diseases because he is very good and honest Doctor and he is also called the godfather of herbal root contact him via email; or whatsApp him on +2348142454860  website

Rhianne Jhane said...

Say, you got a nice article.Really thank you! Want more.

OGEN Infosystem (P) Limited said...

Nice blog. OGEN Infosystem is leading Web Designing Company in Delhi, India, visit our website for web designing and SEO Services.
Website Design Company

pubg mobile said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Thanks for the stuff you shared. And also check this All Govt Notifications.

Mobile app Development said...

Thanks for your great information. I like this topic. This site has lots of advantage. We are top Mobile App Development | Mobile App Development Company in India | Website Development Company in Delhi | Website Designing Company in Gurgaon.

digitallife said...

Event videography phoduction house in gurgaon
Event photography in delhi
Event photography in india
Best event photography production house in delhi
Best videography production house in Delhi

food photography in india
food photography in Delhi
Best food photography production house in Delhi

Documentary photography in Delhi
Documentary videography in India
Documentary videography in Delhi (ncr)
documentry photography in india
documentry photography in delhi
documentary photography in india

industrial photography in india
Industrial photography in Delhi (NCR)
best industrial photography in Gurgaon
Best corporate videography in Delhi

hrroman said...

If you are stuck with your online management assignment then in this case you can opt for our Management

Assignment help
. we provide the best assignment assignment help online .
We also provide Leadership 20Assignment 20Help. for students across the globe.
for more information contact us +16692714848

customized gifts for him said...

Thank you for coming to my shop.My online shop provides professional and customized gifts ! include personalized gifts for mom,meaningful gifts for mom, customized gifts for mom and other gifts!
personalized gifts for mom
personlized gifts for dad
personalized new baby gifts

customized gifts for him said...

rustic pillows for couch
children's decorative pillows
pillow covers geometric

Nouman Shakeel said...

pakistani whatsapp group links
indian whatsapp group links

Unknown said...

Guest House in Patna
Guest House in Boring Road
Hotel in Patna
Hotel in Boring Road
Cheap Rate Hotel in Patna
Cheap Rate Hotel in Boring Road
Cheap Rate Guesthouse in Patna
Cheap Rate Guest House in Boring Road
Wifi Hotel in Patna
Wifi Hotel in Boring Road
Affordable Hotel in Patna
Affordable Hotel in Boring Road
Best Hotel in Patna
Best Hotel in Boring Road

Unknown said...

Guest House in Patna
Guest House in Boring Road
Hotel in Patna
Hotel in Boring Road
Cheap Rate Hotel in Patna
Cheap Rate Hotel in Boring Road
Cheap Rate Guesthouse in Patna
Cheap Rate Guest House in Boring Road
Wifi Hotel in Patna
Wifi Hotel in Boring Road
Affordable Hotel in Patna
Affordable Hotel in Boring Road
Best Hotel in Patna
Best Hotel in Boring Road

Open bin files said...

Open bin files

Open apk file on PC said...

Open apk file

Nox app said...

Nox app

Open DLL files said...

Open DLL files

Open MKV Files said...

KT Travel Blogger said...

Such an amazing post,enjoy to read this article,like the way you write, informative post, keep posting.
3 Star Hotel of Mussoorie mallroad
Latest Sport News
Top 10 hotels in himachal pradesh
A Trip to Mount Abu

Channel Activation said...

Roku device activation

If you wish to activate the Roku device, then switch it on. After that, the Roku Logo shall appear on the screen out of nowhere. Now, a code shall appear on display. Your job is to write down the code and submit it on the website. At first, the Roku device has to be in sync with the account. Or else, things might become challenging. In case of any issues, you can report them to the support team and finish them off within time. Always be sure of what you’re going to do.

Michael Lee said...

How to install HP OfficeJet 4650?

At first, start hp officejet 4650 setup, unpacking the box and powering up the printer using the power cable. Next, you need to insert the ink cartridges and place the paper into them. After that, you need to print the alignment page and check for the alignment. Then, visit the HP support site to download the drivers for the HP Officejet 4650 printer. Choose the operating system and its version from the list available. You can even check this by reaching the system’s details. You can then install the drivers and then connect the HP printer to the wireless network using the wireless setup wizard. Once after this, the users can start with the printing process.

Michael Lee said...

How to connect my Canon Pixma Printer to the network, execute the setup?

Complete Canon Pixma Printer to start printing your documents at an excellent speed and quality. At first, you need to connect your printer to the network. Check if the WPS feature is compatible. If yes, enable the feature and provide the appropriate credentials. Once if the connection is active, start updating the Printer software. Visit the software download page; provide the device name and the version. To execute the setup, you can also choose the standard connection method. Navigate to our portal and read the information provided. For canon printer setup assistance, contact our Printer support. In the event that you come across setup issues and errors, resolve it using the appropriate troubleshooting guide. If the Canon Pixma Printer errors remain even after troubleshooting, you can go for a device replacement.

Contact our customer support team @ +1-850-761-8950

jameskent said...

Yes! The Roku users can stream and watch Super Bowl 2021 live on FOX Sports. But it's this time CBS has got the rights to stream it. So you can download CBS on Roku from the channel store and activate it to watch Super Bowl. Also, certain live TV streaming services can help you to stream the game live using Hulu with Live TV that has a 7-day free trial, fuboTV which is accessible in 4K with a 7-day free trial; Sling TV and YouTube TV that has a 14-day extended free trial for a restricted time

raza said...

Hi I read all about this which you explain on your site
Also, I love the way to explain things. I really like your
Work keep it up dude you are doing good!
i also explain about Join Pak Navy
Let me know if you like my work too.

vé máy bay đi Nga said...

Aivivu - đại lý chuyên vé máy bay trong nước và quốc tế

vé máy bay đi Mỹ Vietnam Airline

vé máy bay đi hồ chí minh bamboo

vé máy bay đi hà nội

vé khứ hồi hà nội nha trang

vé máy bay đi quy nhơn tháng 1

xe đưa đón sân bay

combo phú quốc tháng 12/2021

Snehal Harshe said...

Thank you so much for sharing all this wonderful information !!!! It is so appreciated!! You have good humor in your blogs. So much helpful and easy to read!
Artificial Intelligence Course in Pune

Vé máy bay từ Canada về việt nam said...

Aivivu đại lý vé máy bay, tham khảo

vé máy bay đi Mỹ giá bao nhiêu

lịch bay từ mỹ về việt nam

lich bay tu duc ve viet nam

tin tức các chuyến bay từ nhật về việt nam

mua ve may bay tu han quoc ve viet nam

từ canada về việt nam quá cảnh ở đâu

khách sạn cách ly tại tphcm

Unknown said...

ONLEI Technologies
Python Training
Machine Learning
Data Science
Digital Marketing
Industrial Training In Noida
Winter Training In Noida
IT Training

Unknown said...

Python Training

Anonymous said...

Fast-track your data analytics and machine learning course with guaranteed placement opportunities. Most extensive, industry-approved experiential learning program ideal for future Data Scientists.

efrosinisabbatini said...

VIRTUAL TINTS - titanium tv tv - The Tatiana Art
VIRTUAL TINTS by 바카라 게임 the Tatiana Art · The trekz titanium Tatiana titanium carabiners Art titanium exhaust · The Tatiana Art · The Tatiana Art. By Tatiana Art. titanium max trimmer

Alice_12 said...

I recommend a website which can help you have more reviews about travel, places things to do

Anton Dcruze said...

It is really a great post by you.
Making task is one of the pieces of a professional education that gives a superior comprehension of the subject to the understudy. The greater part of the understudies stuck while making their task. Are you additionally one of them. In the event that indeed, there are numerous task creators in market who will give assistance you in making your tasks and assist you with achieving passing marks.
A wide range of subjects where understudies generally look for online task help are BSBSUS201 assessment answers Help, Management Assignment Help, bsbdiv501 appraisal replies, and so on.

Anna said...

I'd advise you to use this service:  The price of your order will depend on the deadline and type of paper (e.g. bachelor, undergraduate etc). The more time you have before the deadline - the less price of the order you will have. Thus, this service offers high-quality essays at the optimal price.