Monday, March 14, 2016

How to replace a pie chart?

Pie charts have a bad reputation (among statisticians), but they are widely used. But ... how can we oppose a pie chart on Pie day?

David Robinson at Variance Explained asked:

Which communicates more to you? And can you think of a plot that communicates this data even more clearly?
I would think that the questionnaire is not designed right to begin with. Such data would be clearly presented by six box plot, and we make an easy comparison across tasks. However a percentage points is not exactly the metric we want to compare, no matter it is presented by pie or bar.

2016 Pi Day Art Posters

Martin Krzywinski celebrates Pi day:

the detection of gravitational waves at the LIGO lab and simulate the effect of gravity on masses created from the digits of pipi."

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Frank Chen on Twitter: "1/ Why are people so fired up about a computer winning yet-another-board-game?"

1/ Why are people so fired up about a computer winning yet-another-board-game?

2/ We saw similar media mania around Deep Blue beating Kasparov in 1996-97, but that didn't lead to general #AI breakthroughs

3/ But here are some reasons AI researchers are fired up about AlphaGo beating Lee Se-dol and how it might presage much more general

4/ #AI breakthroughs with applications far beyond board games

5/ First, Go is much more complicated than tic-tac-toe or checkers or chess. GOOG points out Go has a googol more possible positions

6/ compared with chess. Because yo can’t bruce force search space, whole new set of learning algorithms were needed

7/ Second, it shows off how an ensemble of learning techniques (deep learning + reinforcement + Monte Carlo tree search) beats any single

8/ technique in isolation. Monte Carlo tree search is unsung hero (since deep learning gets all the glory), as it’s great way of exploring

9/ very large search space without brute force exploring every node

10/ Third, it perfectly illustrates the pendulum switch in AI away from expert systems (capturing human expertise in algorithms) to

11/ algorithms which learn themselves through experience. A delightful example if this class of algorithms called genetic algorithms

12/ figured out how to play and beat Super Mario World …

13/ Finally, as Google writes:

14/ So the oh-so-tantalizing prospect is that we can program computers to mimic human intuition and flow and imagination

15/ Rather than just solve problems with  brute force computational power and reliable, large memories

16/ So is this #AlphaGo win the beginning of real progress towards generalized intelligence compared to the false start of winning chess?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

More on replication crisis

By Andrew Gelman:

If these researchers knew ahead of time that their data would be analyzed correctly, and that outside teams would be preparing replications, they might be less willing to stake their reputations on shaky findings.
Words worth bearing in mind, even for those outside the psychology studies.

Bad Policy Could Cripple Energy Innovation

Via Scientific American:

The best science and engineering are no match for the whims of lawmakers, so policy and innovation need to work hand in hand, Obama administration officials said.
Not Even News.
Yes, the planet got destroyed. But for a beautiful moment in time we created a lot of value for shareholders.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Google Self-Driving Car May Have Caused an Accident

Via IEEE Spectrum' First ever!

As Urmson noted at the time, none of those near-misses ever threatened to cause serious damage, and the rate at which they occurred had fallen, with only 5 near-misses taking place over a total of about 600,000 kilometers of testing done during the first 11 months of 2011. It really does suggest that Google cars drive more safely than the average person does.