In the movie Fiddler on the Roof there is a debate at one point. After listening to the cases made, a listener agrees with conclusions made from both sides of a conflict. Someone points out that “they can’t both be right!” to which the agreeable listener says “You know, you are also right.” Interestingly, the claim that the two sides of an issue will always be in opposition is not always true. The two sides can be in apparent conflict and both be right. Sometimes, but not always. The classic example is the blind men and the elephant. After feeling the elephant’s leg, one blind man says the elephant is like a tree. After feeling the elephant’s tail, another says the elephant Read More ›
In the last two posts, we examined how scientific publication has ceased to be a good measure of scientific accomplishment, and how the peer review system is being gamed by unscrupulous publishers and researchers alike. Now, we will continue the discussion on the undermining of scientific publication using two examples: SCIgen and citation counts. SCIgen In 2005 three MIT graduate computer science students created a prank program they called SCIgen for using randomly selected words to generate bogus computer-science papers complete with realistic graphs of random numbers. Their goal was “maximum amusement rather than coherence,” and also to demonstrate that some academic conferences will accept almost anything. They submitted a hoax paper titled, “Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy,” Read More ›
An AI-generated film is not an altogether new idea. Rule-based expert systems were used to write short plays over a half century ago, in the early 1960's. Then, as now, don’t expect creativity. That is not what AI does.