Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The Deception Of Data Scientists Exposed

As you know readers I am one of life's sceptics, not a miserable curmudgeonly doubter as some terminally optimistic types might expect a sceptic to be, but someone who questions everything, particularly if it sounds like hype. And like most people who had the benefit of the Renaissance Education model, I have a built in bullshit detector.

One thing that has regularly been setting off my bullshit detector recently is 'Data Science.'

WTF. Gathering, collating and presenting information (aka data when it is 'given' to a computer - the old Latin classes coming in handy again there,) is the age old skill of the clerk. It has nothing to do with science, which these days is the most abused word in the English language.

Data Science is often linked with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, two phrases that are only loosely defined because we only have a very sketchy understanding of how intelligence originates, and machines cannot learn in the way a human (or an animal,) learns, they can only perform programmed operations.

As I had a major deadline to meet this week I haven't done much by way of new writing, but here's an interesting take on AI and machine learning I came across today.

Machine learning — Is the emperor wearing clothes?

A behind-the-scenes look at how machine learning works

by
Go to the profile of Cassie Kozyrkov
Cassie Kozyrkov
 
Machine learning uses patterns in data to label things. Sounds magical? The core concepts are actually embarrassingly simple. I say “embarrassingly” because if someone made you think it’s mystical, they should be embarrassed. Here, let me fix that for you.
The core concepts are embarrassingly simple.
Our thing-labeling example will involve classifying wine as yummy or not-so-yummy and we’ll keep all the ideas simple enough to enjoy alongside a glass of wine… or three. If wine is not your cup of tea, here’s an alcohol-free version of the same text.

How does it work? - read more:

 

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