Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Idiots (Score 1) 227

The idiots don't understand the difference between group tendencies and individual prediction. Picking people for jobs based on genes is stupid because you get a much better (although for many things still not very good) indication by giving an actual performance test.

And no dcblogs, nobody chooses basketball players by their genes. They're selected by their *height* and their ability to play basketball.

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 1) 883

It's not different, except that this time there's nowhere to hide.

When the machines replaced unskilled labor the unskilled laborers either became "skilled" or servants (or both). Now that the machines are about to replace skilled labor we can continue the charade and all become servants to each other, or we can stop being stupid and enjoy real freedom.

Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 5, Insightful) 883

No, he's a realist. The world is being reinvented right now, and our silly play money is going to have to be reinvented to match.

Last time this happened the world changed entirely. We call it the industrial revolution. This time it's going to happen faster, and the changes are going to be much more drastic.

Comment Re:Gibberish (Score 1) 70

Not exactly.

To use your terminology, the capacity of a neural network to learn more complex functions is roughly governed by the number of parameters. This is true of most machine learning algorithms. More complex functions allow you to overfit simple data, or to learn reasonable models for more complex data. More complex data includes things like more image classes, more words, more relationships among elements, more states, etc. In other words, many of the things that we think of when we talk about "memory." Recurrent and analogous neural networks already have a memory of prior states but these are built into the network architecture as additional connections. Other people have experimented with more flexible memories, also built-in and composed of connections. These are limited as I said in my OP and so do not represent "the vast data storage of conventional computers."

Comment Re:Gibberish (Score 3, Insightful) 70

A neural network normally uses it's own connection weights as "memory" or storage. There's a tradeoff between making a network with enough parameters to store lots of information and making one that's fast, efficient and doesn't overfit problems. In many cases you're practically limited by how much memory you've got on your video card. Having a neural net that can learn to store some information separately from its own processing apparatus is interesting.

Comment Re:Observations (Score 1) 192

Cases where there's a definitive test like that are a slam dunk for a computer system. See these symptoms, order this test, act on the result (yes, you, probably through a proxy, likely paid several hundred to several thousand dollars for that). The tough ones are where the signs and symptoms are vague or there isn't a simple test.

Comment Re:This doesn't prove what they were hoping to pro (Score 3, Informative) 192

The listed authors are someone with a Bachelor's of Arts, someone else with a Masters of Arts and a couple of medical doctors. The first MD appears to have completed a research fellowship (probably six months to a year). The senior author appears to be the most scientifically qualified, with an MSc in epidemiology. An MSc isn't exactly highly trained in science, although it is pretty good for an MD.

I have to write my own abstract this morning, but a quick scan of this thing brings up some concerns.

First, it's a "research letter" which is basically an abstract. There's very little detail about what they actually did.

Second, and perhaps most important, the responses from the humans were free text, which was evaluated (non blinded) by the study authors to decide whether or not the respondents had listed the correct diagnosis; there's no discussion of what the evaluation criteria were, what they did if the top three couldn't be established, how partial answers were handled, or what they did if more than three diagnoses were listed or not ranked.

Third, they have repeated responses from some physicians and not others, but their simple chi squared test of proportion doesn't take that into account.

Fourth, there's no discussion of how the online programs were used: how did they input the case histories? What did they do if a question couldn't be answered? Was all the information in the case histories used by each of the programs?

Lastly, they list several limitations themselves: the vignettes they used are very simplified, the human respondents weren't controlled and may not be a representative sample (they were doctors who routinely use a volunteer diagnosis web site), and online symptom checkers are not the only type of diagnostic system and others may have superior performance.

Slashdot Top Deals

"The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy." -- Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards