Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

TagProbability

Missing piece

Machine Learning: Decision Trees Can Solve Murders

Decision trees increase our chance at a right answer. We can see how that works in a mystery board game like Clue

Entropy is a concept in information theory that characterizes the number of choices available when a probability distribution is involved. Understanding how it works helps us make better guesses.

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Machine Learning: Using Occam’s Razor to Generalize

A simple thought experiment shows us how

This approach is contrary to Fisher's method where we formulate all theories before encountering the data. We came up with the model after we saw the cards we drew.

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Occam’s Razor Can Shave Away Data Snooping

The greater an object's information content, the lower its probability.

One technique to avoid data snooping is based on the intersection of information theory and probability: An object’s probability is related to its information content. The greater an object’s information content, the lower its probability. We measure a model’s information content as the logarithmic difference between the probability that the data occurred by chance and the number of bits required to store the model. The negative exponential of the difference is the model’s probability of occurring by chance. If the data cannot be compressed, then these two values are equal. Then the model has zero information and we cannot know if the data was generated by chance or not. For a dataset that is incompressible and uninformative, swirl some tea Read More ›

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How Do We Know What Superintelligent AI Will Do?

If superintelligent systems existed, logic demonstrates that they would be unpredictable

A lower intelligence can’t accurately predict all decisions of a higher intelligence, a concept known as Vinge’s Principle.

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The World Series: What the Luck?

Who will win the World Series? I don’t know, but I do know that baseball is the quintessential game of luck.

Think about it. Line drives hit right at fielders, mis-hit balls dying in the infield. Fly balls barely caught and barely missed. Balls called strikes and strikes called balls. Even the best batters make twice as many outs as hits. Even the best teams lose more than a third of their games. This season, the Houston Astros had the highest win percentage (66.0%) in baseball, yet they lost two out of six games to Baltimore, which only won a third of their games—not because Baltimore was the better team, but because Baltimore was the luckier team in those two games. The Astros are one of the 10 best teams this season (along with the Yankees, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Cleveland, Oakland, Read More ›

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The Paradox of Luck and Skill

Why did Shane Lowry win the British Open golf championship? Because someone had to

In any competition including academic tests, athletic events, and company management where there is an element of luck that causes performances to be an imperfect measure of ability, there is an important difference between competitions among people with high ability and competitions among people of lesser ability.

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