Machine Learnings — Facebook’s big algorithm change

January 15, 2018 Sam DeBrule

Machine Learnings — Facebook’s big algorithm change


Awesome, not awesome.

“Death prediction is an emerging field in medical technology and artificial intelligence. [A] company, Aspire Health, claims its algorithms can save families thousands by predicting the point at which elderly patients should shift from hospitals, where they receive ongoing treatment, to in-home palliative care, where they’re made comfortable but aren’t expected to recover. The families save money by foregoing expensive procedures that won’t buy much time.”— Sidney Fussell, Reporter Learn More on Gizmodo >

#Not Awesome
“In 2015, A black software developer embarrassed Google by tweeting that the company’s Photos service had labeled photos of him with a black friend as “gorillas.” …More than two years later, one of those fixes is erasing gorillas, and some other primates, from the service’s lexicon. The awkward workaround illustrates… a shortcoming of existing machine-learning technology.

With enough data and computing power, software can be trained to categorize images or transcribe speech to a high level of accuracy. But it can’t easily go beyond the experience of that training. And even the very best algorithms lack the ability to use common sense, or abstract concepts, to refine their interpretation of the world as humans do.” — Tom Simonite Learn More on WIRED >

What we’re reading.

1/ In response to public outcry and research that points to psychological harm caused by passive consumption of information on social media, Zuckerberg urges Facebook’s product managers change their algorithms to prioritize “meaningful interaction.” Learn More on The New York Times >

2/ For many of us, our sense purpose is tied to the work we do. Over the coming decades as automation transforms the nature of our work, our sense of self-worth will transform too. Learn More on Harvard Business Review >

3/ Investors are increasingly turning to machine learning programs to enhance the way they manage their funds, and a firm’s power will hinge upon their ability to “harvest” data. Learn More on The New York Times >

4/ Companies have risen and fallen on the back of the Facebook algorithm. This most recent change to their News Feed algorithm will hurt many media companies, but it may come at the benefit of many more individuals. Learn More on Motherboard >

5/ In a move that will set a precedent for the global Tech ecosystem, the French government broadens its powers to potentially block foreign acquisitions of AI companies. Learn More on Reuters >

6/ You won’t be able to use the technology for many years, but scientists have created the first algorithm “to interpret — and accurately reproduce — images seen or imagined by another person.” Learn More on Science >

7/ A team of 100 people runs a 24-hour drive-a-thon on with its self-driving car to learn what it will take to keep a fleet of autonomous vehicles running at “maximum capacity.” Learn More on Medium >

What we’re building.

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Links from the community.

“Turning Design Mockups Into Code With Deep Learning” submitted by Avi Eisenberger (@aeisenberger). Learn More on FloydHub >

“Accountability, Generalizability, and Rigor in Finance Research: Machine Learning in Markets (Part II)” submitted by Samiur Rahman (@samiur1204). Learn More on Zachary David >

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Machine Learnings — Facebook’s big algorithm change was originally published in Machine Learnings on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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