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Comment back testing (Score 1) 48

> The artificially intelligent algorithms began to train themselves using existing data to look for patterns and create their own "rules." Then, they began testing these guidelines against other records. And as it turns out, all four of these methods "performed significantly better than the ACC/AHA guidelines," Science reports.

This is merely back testing. It's easy to come up with an algorithm that works with data set A and they works with data set B. People have been claiming back tested algorithms to predict stock market returns and election returns for ages. And in forward testing the algorithms always fail.

This is not to say that a machine-based approach to predicting heart ailments cannot work. But for it to be proven, it has to be forward tested: it has to work with new patients.


Submission + - DOOMed rocket crashes and burns

mcgrew (sm62704) writes: "New Scientist is reporting that John Carmak's "Armadillo Aerospace" has suffered a large setback in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge after one of its two main rockets crashed and burned.

During the test, Texel lifted off and hovered without incident, then descended again and touched the ground. But it then rose again unexpectedly and began accelerating upward. "Crap, it's going to fly into the crane, I need to kill it," Carmack recalls thinking.

He hit the manual shutdown switch, turning off the vehicle's engine in mid-flight. Texel was about 6 metres above the ground and fell like a stone. One of its fuel tanks broke open when it hit the ground, spewing fuel that ignited and engulfed the vehicle in flames. "It made a fireball that would make any Hollywood movie proud," Carmack says.
No one was hurt in the crash, but the vehicle was destroyed."

Submission + - Imprisoned as terrorist for access to library (

An anonymous reader writes: All major German newspapers already reported about this (english version available); and I guess it is also important for /. readers planing to work in Germany. Dr. Andrej H., a german sociologist, was detained upon the order of the office of the federal prosecutor on suspicion of the formation of a terrorist association for the following reasons:
-the suspect, with a doctoral degree in political science and, "as an employee of a research institute, had access to libraries where he could inconspicuously do the research required for the founding of a militant group"
-the suspected participation in the "militant group" is based on the fact of some meetings alone
-Dr. Andrej H.'s involvement in the terrorist group can be deduced from his intellectual engagement in subjects broached in the writings of the "mg"; a 1998 publication of Dr. Andrej H. contained various "key words and phrases" also found in the texts of the "militant group" (including, for example, the term "gentrification" widely used in urban sociology)


Submission + - Can DARPA predict what you'll do next? (

An anonymous reader writes: Not yet, but not for lack of trying. New Scientist is reporting a DARPA-funded patent which attempts to determine your inner state by analysing your past behaviour. It then uses this to predict what you'll do next. And it already works in some military war game scenarios, says the patent.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - US Launches "MySpace for Spies" (

adamofgreyskull writes: "The FT is reporting that the US Government is planning to introduce "A-Space", "an internal communications tool modelled on the popular social networking sites, Facebook and MySpace" in order to better share information within the intelligence community. Various agencies, domestic and foreign seem to have voiced concerns about the security and efficacy of this solution to a problem that I'm not sure should exist for any intelligent intelligence agency..


A-Space will be equipped with web-based email and software that recommends areas of interest to the user just like Amazon suggests books to its customers. The site will also allow users to create and modify documents, and determine user privileges, in a similar fashion to Google Documents.

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