I came across an interesting talk by Google’s Peter Norvig at NASA.
Of course, you should listen to the talk – let me blog about a couple of points that are of interest to me:
Algorithms that get better with Data
Peter had two good points:
- Algorithms behave differently as they churn thru more data. For example in the figure, the Blue algorithm was better with a million training dataset. If one had stopped at that scale, one would be tempted to optimize that algorithm for better performance
- But as the scale increased, the purple algorithm started showing promise – in fact the blue one starts deteriorating at larger scale. The old adage “don’t do premature optimization” is true here as well.
- In general, Google prefers algorithms that get better with data. Not all algorithms are like that, but Google likes to go after the ones with this type of performance characteristic.
There is no serendipity in Google Search or Google Translate
- There is no serendipity in search – it is just rehashing. It is good for finding things, but not at all useful for understanding, interpolation & ultimately inference. I think Intelligent Search is an oxymoron ;o)
- Same with Google Translate. Google Translate takes all it’s cue from the web – it wouldn’t help us communicate with either the non-human inhabitants of this planet or any life form from other planets/milky ways.
- In that sense, I am a little disappointed with Google’s Translation Engines. OTOH, I have only a minuscule view of the work at Google.
The future of human-machine & Augmented Cognition
- The future is partnership with machines ie let them do what they are best at. I had written about this earlier – we really do not want machines to be like us !
- In that sense augmented cognition is key
And, don’t belong to the B-Ark !