Saturday, May 23, 2020

Virus and AI Reset

There are two kinds of AI: classifier and recognizer. Both are in affected by this pandemic. First the classifier - which is just statistical analysis to categorize scenes, events etc. and issue predictions need movement among the subjects i.e. a continuous data feed. With everybody at home across the globe that feed is quite stale and boring. Those annoying ads that were being served which sometimes got you to think that you were being observed are gone aren't they? Second, the recognizer is the AI-technique that has multi-billion dollar industry behind it. Its biggest customer is China and other governments. That industry is facing the same problem as the small biz during shutdown. It had trouble recognizing faces with dark skin and now it is completely stumped recognizing faces with masks. But most of all AI has no answer to these multiple models which are driving multi trillion dollar policy decisions. I was a fan of AI in grad school, saw it find some traction in expert systems and then disappear. I believe we might see that again. This time, I won't be mourning it.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Algos and Data Structures

From the title of this blog, one might wonder if I have something to say along the lines of Nicholas Wirth's famous books Algo and Data Structs. Nope it is about how these compute elements control the digital highways where we arguably spend more time than physical interstate highways.

Imagine on a physical highway, you see a sign which says "All Indians exit here" or if you drive on a street in the restaurant area and only Indian restaurants appear open. It would be illegal wouldn't it? But that is exactly what happens on the digital highways and streets. It does not matter how hard I try to search on popular media platforms, I keep being recommended stuff based on a single factor in my profile. Nationality as deduced by my name.

AI and ML are broad categories of algos that use data (mostly acquired using shady methods) to influence the recommendation engines used on the web. Calling them intelligent is mockery of intelligence. They are codified stereotypes, biases and directed suggestions. Those kinds of algos are good for recognition of something that does not change everyday like your voice and your face, but not for your likes, curiosities and spirit of discovery.

We need these platforms to use data structures that allow end users to load their profile with attached contracts that are enforced. There is no reason why these algos should be allowed to remain opaque. The way they are right now they are in violation of all data privacy laws that come active in 2020.

Happy New Year!

Llama 3 - More ways to run it, but still nothing new

 Llama 3 is out and getting to it can be a challenge. The approval email's URL expires in 24 hours. It can take 8hrs to download. But af...