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dmendyk
dmendyk
2/3/2017 10:27:37 AM
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Platinum
Coincidenza?
A semi-informed observer might draw a connection between the rise in mobile broadband and the rise in "nationalist" movements. But we know better, right?

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/3/2017 3:11:08 PM
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Platinum
Re: Coincidenza?
Correlation doesn't mean causation... The rise of nationalism.. isn't due to broadband infrastructure at all. 

http://twentytwowords.com/funny-graphs-show-correlation-between-completely-unrelated-stats-9-pictures/

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dmendyk
dmendyk
2/3/2017 3:13:48 PM
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Platinum
Re: Coincidenza?
#alternativefacts. There are plenty of people who lay the current situation in the U.S. directly at the feet of fake news generators who spread their messages through ...

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/3/2017 3:26:53 PM
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Platinum
Re: Coincidenza?
#alternatefacts I suppose if you want to believe a correlation, despite examples that run counter to the hypothesis... 

How does the broadband of the Philippines compare? 

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dmendyk
dmendyk
2/3/2017 3:38:33 PM
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Platinum
Re: Coincidenza?
Internet subscriptions in the Philippines are growing bigly, as is availability of broadband service, according to several organizations that track these statistics.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/3/2017 5:40:40 PM
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Platinum
Re: Coincidenza?
Well, then I guess for the sake of free democracy-- people should demand slower internet speeds and less connectivity!? :P

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dmendyk
dmendyk
2/3/2017 5:46:23 PM
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Platinum
Re: Coincidenza?
Bad news travels quickly. Fake news travels at the speed of light. It's just something we have to deal with now.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/3/2017 9:05:49 PM
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Platinum
Re: Coincidenza?
Information of all kinds travels fast now. Does fake news travel faster than real news? Maybe a more discerning audience would stop fake news in its tracks.....

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dmendyk
dmendyk
2/4/2017 2:22:46 PM
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Platinum
Re: Coincidenza?
It's all about amplification and the willingness to embrace the "facts" that fit our respective world views. One person's "discerning audience" is another person's "out of touch elites." And so it goes.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/4/2017 5:16:09 PM
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Platinum
Re: Coincidenza?
Some "facts" are more disprovable than others. But as long as people feel things aren't right, there will be fake facts to support gut feelings.

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batye
batye
2/4/2017 11:35:03 PM
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Platinum
Re: Coincidenza?
@mhhf1ve interesting point as this days everything could be manipulated and good thing could be presented umder other light as bad.... sad and scary reality we are living in...

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clrmoney
clrmoney
2/3/2017 10:35:43 AM
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Platinum
OECD Mobile Reports
The United States has the highest total for OECD and I think thats great for us and Japan has the highest when it come to data subscriptions and Korea has the highest when it comes to data and voice subscriptions. Because the mobile world has a lot to offer like the high speed gigabytes etc.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/3/2017 3:09:17 PM
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Platinum
international data caps?
I'm curious how the countries with the fastest broadband handle data cap policies? Do they have generous data caps? Or almost no data caps at all? With speeds of 300Mbps, it would be pretty easy to eat up a 3GB/mo data cap plan. I've seen VZW ads here in the US that try to convince everyone that some large majority of people don't use more than 3GB of data per month, but if mobile broadband speeds were >100Mbps, I think that stat would be completely wrong.

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dmendyk
dmendyk
2/3/2017 3:15:13 PM
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Platinum
Re: international data caps?
I don't think countries impose data caps. That's up to operators to do or not do.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/3/2017 3:24:04 PM
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Platinum
Re: international data caps?
I wasn't trying to imply that countries impose data caps. (Although, arguably some communications regulations are more favorable to data caps than others...)

If I had worded my question better... I was wondering if ISPs in the countries with fast broadband had the same kind of data cap policies as the US does. 

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/3/2017 3:35:25 PM
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Platinum
Re: international data caps?
Looks like Finland doesn't impose mobile data caps like the US wireless carriers do. Interesting. 

http://dfmonitor.eu/

I think "unlimited" might have a different definition across the pond....

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dmendyk
dmendyk
2/3/2017 3:40:44 PM
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Platinum
Re: international data caps?
I'm guessing that population density -- or lack thereof -- is a factor in Finland's capless data plans. Kind of like why there aren't any traffic jams in Wyoming.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/3/2017 5:03:21 PM
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Platinum
Re: international data caps?
Heh. Except there are still data caps in Wyoming...

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batye
batye
2/3/2017 6:46:04 PM
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Platinum
Re: international data caps?
@mhhf1ve  welcome to my club most ISP in Canada have data caps everywhere... sad...

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srufolo1
srufolo1
2/3/2017 6:30:32 PM
User Rank
Platinum
OECD And Colombia
It will be interesting to see the statistics on Colombia once it is fully acceded into the OECD. That country appears to be growing by leaps and bounds.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
2/4/2017 4:02:49 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Because distributions matter
I'm going to raise a fussy point from Adi's excellent article:

In fact, 12 member states (Japan, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the US, Estonia, Australia, South Korea, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand and Switzerland) now have more than 100% penetration of mobile broadband (i.e., some citizens have more than one mobile phone with a corresponding data package).


That's true but the thing that it means that is apt to be more important is that the number of people with 2 or more mobile phone+package combinations is greater than the number with zero.  The ones with zero are still there -- but they're now in the smallest part of the distribution that goes

None --- One --- Lots.

The have-nots have not even numerical clout anymore.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/5/2017 12:48:39 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
The "greater than 100%" penetration stat reminded me of a similar stat back when pagers were still popular. The penetration of pagers stat figure was oddly high because the people who used them often had many pagers for different purposes. But there were vast numbers of people who never used or owned a pager at all. So the penetration stat was a bit misleading to the casual observer.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
2/5/2017 1:41:58 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
Mhhf1ve, Yes, exactly. Distributions matter a lot. If you go by strict means the average person has slightly less than one ovary and slightly less than one testicle.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/5/2017 2:18:55 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
The mathematical mean can hide a lot of information. If Bill Gates walks into a bar the average net worth of everyone in the room goes up considerably. I'd never heard of it put in terms of reproductive anatomy....

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batye
batye
2/5/2017 11:31:30 PM
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Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
@mhhf1ve interesting to know... from my point of view... math could be used for anything and everything as long as you use right calculations... - how I see it...

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/6/2017 12:54:46 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
Math *can* be used for anything, but there's a good reason why people say, "lies, damn lies, and statistics" -- because results can be presented to highlight or ignore parts of reality. And then some people can warp math completely to publish alternative facts....

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batye
batye
2/6/2017 1:06:43 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
@mhhf1ve yes, you are right this days anything could be bend and twisted... but pure math based on the true formulas/unbias calculations is the other story...

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/6/2017 2:11:56 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
Ha! Don't put too much faith in "pure math" either -- unless you can explain the Banach-Tarski paradox to me! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banach–Tarski_paradox

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batye
batye
2/6/2017 2:17:05 AM
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Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
@mhhf1ve interesting I learn math in school long time ago... seems like life time ago... sorry :) 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
2/6/2017 9:50:50 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
mhhf1ve, batye,

There's a Godel's Theorem for Incompleteness (i.e. any non-trivial logically consistent system with a finite number of axioms must allow some unprovable-but-true statements) which implies that in all systems there are necessarily singularities, places where the system breaks down and results are undefined or nonsensical (black holes, dividing by zero, infinite informational entropy, syllogisms with "nothing" comparisons are all examples).

I would venture a guess that the reason there's no Godel's Theorem for Lying (in any non-trivial logically consistent system of communication, it will be possible for scoundrels to deceive fools) is that it's too obvious for anyone to bother to prove.

"You can prove anything with math" ignores the important point that you can also prove anything with words, pictures, or probably snow sculptures, quilts, and cake decorations, but math is uniquely checkable and verifiable. Making them use math at least forces liars to a higher level!

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/6/2017 11:16:17 AM
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Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
If only everyone held liars to the higher standard of mathematical proofs... :P

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Ariella
Ariella
2/7/2017 3:26:55 PM
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Author
Re: Because distributions matter
LOL @mhhf1ve well, mathematical proof alone is not necesarily a sufficient standard. That's the argument that underlies the book Weapons of Math Destruction.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/8/2017 2:23:32 AM
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Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
I'll have to check out that book now. And brush up on my math skills?

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Ariella
Ariella
2/8/2017 9:06:39 AM
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Author
Re: Because distributions matter
@mhhf1ve It's somewhat more political than mathematical. Her argument is that the algorithms people point to for justifying not hiring, not allowing parole, not lending, etc. further institutitionalize discriminatory practices in society. I didn't read the whole book myself, but I did get far enough to realize one thing about the author who claims she has to take care of all the grocery shopping and meal preparation for her family because her husband is inept at it, very likely her husband is far cleverer than she thinks.

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Ariella
Ariella
2/8/2017 9:06:40 AM
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Author
Re: Because distributions matter
@mhhf1ve It's somewhat more political than mathematical. Her argument is that the algorithms people point to for justifying not hiring, not allowing parole, not lending, etc. further institutitionalize discriminatory practices in society. I didn't read the whole book myself, but I did get far enough to realize one thing about the author who claims she has to take care of all the grocery shopping and meal preparation for her family because her husband is inept at it, very likely her husband is far cleverer than she thinks.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/8/2017 7:03:43 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
@Ariella - aha. Algorithms are written by human beings, so it makes sense that we'd program machines to simply amplify our biases and desires. I don't think there's a great counter argument.. unless we're using algorithms that learn somehow completely independently of us -- and come up with inscrutable methods that we don't completely understand in the end. (Ahem, Looking at you, AlphaGo!)

So do we abide by algorithms we know have biases.. or trust algorithms that we can't even understand ourselves? 

 

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Ariella
Ariella
2/8/2017 8:51:40 PM
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Author
Re: Because distributions matter
@mhhf1ve precisely! that's the subject of a blog I wrote recently (awaiting publication). The concern about just this has given rise to a number of organizations looking into the issues. The Association for Computing Machinery US Public Policy Council (USACM), recently advanced 7  Principles for Algorithmic Transparency and Accountability :

1. Awareness: Owners, designers, builders, users, and other stakeholders of analytic systems should be aware of the possible biases involved in their design, implementation, and use and the potential harm that biases can cause to individuals and society.

2. Access and redress: Regulators should encourage the adoption of mechanisms that enable questioning and redress for individuals and groups that are adversely affected by algorithmically informed decisions.

 3. Accountability: Institutions should be held responsible for decisions made by the algorithms that they use, even if it is not feasible to explain in detail how the algorithms produce their results.

 4. Explanation: Systems and institutions that use algorithmic decision-making are encouraged to produce explanations regarding both the procedures followed by the algorithm and the specific decisions that are made. This is particularly important in public policy contexts.

5. Data Provenance: A description of the way in which the training data was collected should be maintained by the builders of the algorithms, accompanied by an exploration of the potential biases induced by the human or algorithmic data-gathering process. Public scrutiny of the data provides maximum opportunity for corrections. However, concerns over privacy, protecting trade secrets, or revelation of analytics that might allow malicious actors to game the system can justify restricting access to qualified and authorized individuals.

6. Auditability: Models, algorithms, data, and decisions should be recorded so that they can be audited in cases where harm is suspected.

 7. Validation and Testing: Institutions should use rigorous methods to validate their models and document those methods and results. In particular, they should routinely perform tests to assess and determine whether the model generates discriminatory harm. Institutions are encouraged to make the results of such tests public.

 

Association for Computing Machinery US Public Policy Council (USACM), though the terms differ slightly. Their Principles for Algorithmic Transparency and Accountability  are:

1. Awareness: Owners, designers, builders, users, and other stakeholders of analytic systems should be aware of the possible biases involved in their design, implementation, and use and the potential harm that biases can cause to individuals and society.

2. Access and redress: Regulators should encourage the adoption of mechanisms that enable questioning and redress for individuals and groups that are adversely affected by algorithmically informed decisions.

 3. Accountability: Institutions should be held responsible for decisions made by the algorithms that they use, even if it is not feasible to explain in detail how the algorithms produce their results.

 4. Explanation: Systems and institutions that use algorithmic decision-making are encouraged to produce explanations regarding both the procedures followed by the algorithm and the specific decisions that are made. This is particularly important in public policy contexts.

5. Data Provenance: A description of the way in which the training data was collected should be maintained by the builders of the algorithms, accompanied by an exploration of the potential biases induced by the human or algorithmic data-gathering process. Public scrutiny of the data provides maximum opportunity for corrections. However, concerns over privacy, protecting trade secrets, or revelation of analytics that might allow malicious actors to game the system can justify restricting access to qualified and authorized individuals.

6. Auditability: Models, algorithms, data, and decisions should be recorded so that they can be audited in cases where harm is suspected.

 7. Validation and Testing: Institutions should use rigorous methods to validate their models and document those methods and results. In particular, they should routinely perform tests to assess and determine whether the model generates discriminatory harm. Institutions are encouraged to make the results of such tests public.

 

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/9/2017 12:49:39 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
Wow. I can see how principles and rules like that make sense for systems that interact with physical bits -- e.g. Machines with moving parts like cars and robotic arms, etc. But I wonder if the same principles should be adopted for algorithms that just move digital bits around -- like auto trading or search algorithms or recommendation systems.

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Ariella
Ariella
2/9/2017 10:00:33 AM
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Author
Re: Because distributions matter
@mhhf1ve I believe they are intended for all contexts in which algoirhts will be applied to real life situations. This is a general concern today, especially given the rising adoption of AI. The CEO of IBM came out with a statement about the company policy on it, which also called for transparency. 

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/9/2017 11:25:50 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
Heh. Interesting that the CEO of IBM has a public statement on the principles of AI (but not on the amicus brief filed against the travel ban).... Immigration of foreign AI could be a threat to national security, too. We'll probably need a ban on algorithms pretty soon.

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Ariella
Ariella
2/9/2017 11:48:41 AM
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Author
Re: Because distributions matter
@mhhf1ve The comments on the WSJ's article on the subject add some interesting points of discussion to the question of the companies' motivation to speak or not to speak, as well as that of presidents imposing travel bans. See https://www.wsj.com/articles/tech-firms-including-apple-google-fight-immigration-order-1486369396 

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/9/2017 12:46:56 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
The WSJ comments section looks a bit chaotic to me... any point(s) in particular that are interesting regarding the decision for a company to publicly speak out or not? It looks like many people are simply against billion-dollar companies angling for their own interests. That's not particularly enlightening, but I think it's interesting to see that Tesla wasn't on the initial list and now it's joined on.

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Ariella
Ariella
2/9/2017 12:55:42 PM
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Author
Re: Because distributions matter
@mhhf1ve sure, businesses have to do what's in their self-interest, but that doesn't prevent many from claimng far nobler motivation. Anywya to return to what IBM did say about its core principles, see http://www.techrepublic.com/article/3-guiding-principles-for-ethical-ai-from-ibm-ceo-ginni-rometty/

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/9/2017 2:13:24 PM
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Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
I have a gut feeling that says these AI principles would still not have prevented incidents like Google face recognition algorithm from labeling an African American person a "gorilla" -- because the path to that outcome wasn't something that could have been anticipated. Perhaps the transparency of training data principle might have given humans the opportunity to catch racial bias in training data, but.. it's not guaranteed. 

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Ariella
Ariella
2/9/2017 2:15:32 PM
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Author
Re: Because distributions matter
@mhhf1ve no guarantees for prevention, but the push for transparency can allow one to discover what went into the programming to remedy the problem. 

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/9/2017 2:21:41 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
Oh sure, I'm not against having the principles. And they will definitely be useful for figuring out what happened *after* something goes wronge. I'm just a bit concerned that nothing will help prevent a negative singularity.....

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Ariella
Ariella
2/9/2017 2:24:23 PM
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Author
Re: Because distributions matter
@mhhf1ve like all risks, you can't avoid them altogether, but you can do your best to manage and reduce them. It starts with awareness.

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mhhf1ve
mhhf1ve
2/9/2017 3:13:53 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
> "It starts with awareness."

Agreed. Very true. Let's hope it all works out -- (and we won't have AI taking over the world, in a bad way). :P

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Ariella
Ariella
2/7/2017 3:26:55 PM
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Author
Re: Because distributions matter
LOL @mhhf1ve well, mathematical proof alone is not necesarily a sufficient standard. That's the argument that underlies the book Weapons of Math Destruction.

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Adi
Adi
2/6/2017 5:47:06 AM
User Rank
Author
Re: Because distributions matter
JohnBarnes, mhhf1ve - A valid, and important, criticism. My initial draft did have a paragraph discussing this exact issue with the research approach, but then I went off on a bit off a tangent, and I want to try and keep my posts relatively brief. But this is important, and should at least have been pointed out. 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
2/6/2017 9:41:03 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Because distributions matter
Hey, no blame here, Adi! I was just bringing up the math end of things because

1) I'm a big-data, statistics geek, and it seemed like a highly relevant point that was jumping out of the numbers, and

2) Distributions really do matter, often much more than aggregate or summary numbers, and far too many people on the biz/mgt side just don't seem to get that, probably because it means actually getting in there and looking at the data rather than just looking at a final number. "The bottom line" is often the slogan of hard-headed practical people, but it is at least as often the slogan of bone-headed people who want to go to lunch early.

Just my chance to piggy-back a favorite sermon onto your always-excellent reporting.

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