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The Evolution of Neural Networks

The Evolution of Neural Networks

Recently, Deep Learning has gone up from just being a niche field to mainstream. Over time, its popularity has skyrocketed; it has established its position in conquering Go, learning autonomous driving, diagnosing skin cancer, autism and becoming a master art forger.

Before delving into the nuances of neural networks, it is important to learn the story of its evolution, how it came into limelight and got re-branded as Deep Learning.

The Timeline:

Warren S. McCulloch and Walter Pitts (1943): “A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity”

Here, in this paper, McCulloch (neuroscientist) and Pitts (logician) tried to infer the mechanisms of the brain, producing extremely complicated patterns using numerous interconnected basic brain cells (neurons).  Accordingly, they developed a computer-programmed neural model, known as McCulloch and Pitt’s model of a neuron (MCP), based on mathematics and algorithms called threshold logic.

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Marvin Minsky (1952) in his technical report: “A Neural-Analogue Calculator Based upon a Probability Model of Reinforcement”

Being a graduate student at Harvard University Psychological Laboratories, Minsky executed the SNARC (Stochastic Neural Analog Reinforcement Calculator). It is possibly the first artificial self-learning machine (artificial neural network), and probably the first in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

Marvin Minsky & Seymour Papert (1969): “Perceptron’s – An Introduction to Computational Geometry” (seminal book):

In this research paper, the highlight has been the elucidation of the boundaries of a Perceptron. It is believed to have helped usher into the AI Winters – a time period of hype for AI, in which funds and publications got frozen.

Kunihiko Fukushima (1980) – “Neocognitron: A Self-organizing Neural Network Model for a Mechanism of Pattern Recognition Unaffected by Shift in Position” (this concept is an important component for Convolutional Neural Network – LeNet)

Fukushima conceptualized a whole new, much improved neural network model, known as ‘Neocognitron’. This name is derived from ‘Cognitron’, which is a self-organizing multi layered neural network model proposed by [Fukushima 1975].

David B. Parker (April 1985 & October 1985) in his technical report and invention report – “Learning – Logic”

David B. Parker reinvented Backpropagation, by giving it a new name ‘Learning Logic’. He even reported it in his technical report as well as filed an invention report.

Yann Le Cun (1988) – “A Theoretical Framework for Back-Propagation”

You can derive back-propagation through numerous ways; the simplest way is explained in Rumelhart et al. 1986. On the other hand, in Yann Le Cun 1986, you will find an alternative deviation, which mainly uses local criteria to be minimized locally.

 

J.S. Denker, W.R. Garner, H.P. Graf, D. Henderson, R.E. Howard, W. Hubbard, L.D. Jackel, H.S. Baird, and I. Guyon at AT&T Bell Laboratories (1989): “Neural Network Recognizer for Hand-Written ZIP Code Digits”

In this paper, you will find how a system ascertains hand-printed digits, through a combination of neural-net methods and traditional techniques. The recognition of handwritten digits is of crucial notability and of immense theoretical interest. Though the job was comparatively complicated, the results obtained are on the positive side.

Yann Le Cun, B. Boser, J.S. Denker, D. Henderson, R.E. Howard, W. Hubbard, L.D. Jackel at AT&T Bell Laboratories (1989): “Backpropagation Applied to Handwritten ZIP Code Recognition”

A very important real-world application of backpropagation (handwritten digit recognition) has been addressed in this report. Significantly, it took into account the practical need for a chief modification of neural nets to enhance modern deep learning.

Besides Deep Learning, there are other kinds of architectures, like Deep Belief Networks, Recurrent Neural Networks and Generative Adversarial Networks etc., which can be discussed later.

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Indian Startups Relying on Artificial Intelligence to Know Their Customer’s Better

Indian-Startups-Relying-on-Artificial-Intelligence-to-Know-Their-Customers-Better

Artificial Intelligence was there decades ago, but everyone is talking about AI and Big Data in India’s startup ecosystem of late.

Budding startups are looking for new talent with AI expertise to inspect and evaluate consumer data and provide customized services to the users. At the same time, tech honchos such as Apple have discovered the huge potentials hidden within Indian companies that help their clients with data processing, image and voice recognition, and no wonders, investors are too hopeful for Indian AI startups.

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Here are a slew of Indian unicorns – companies valued at $1 billion or more that are putting in use the exploding technology of AI in the best way possible:

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Paytm

An eye-piercing transformation from being an e-wallet to selling flight or movie tickets, Paytm is now implementing machine learning to bring order into chaos. The company’s chief technology offer, Charumitra Pujari, said, “You could Google and try to look for something. But a better world would be when Google could on its own figure out Charu is looking for ‘x’ at this time. That’s exactly what we’re doing at Paytm,” he further added, “If you’ve come to buy a flight ticket, because I understand your purchase cycle, I show that instead of a movie ticket or transactions.”

In order to identify and prevent fraudulent activities, machines are constantly assessing illicit accounts that purposefully sign up to derive advantage of promo codes, or for money laundering intention. The fraud-detection engine is extremely efficient, leaving no room for human error, Pujari stated.

The team at Paytm is versatile – machine learning engineers, software engineers, and data scientists are in action in Toronto, Canada, as well as in Paytm’s headquarters in Noida, India. Currently, they have 60 people working for them in each location – “We know the future is AI and we will need a lot more people,” said Pujari.

Ola cabs

One of the most successful ride-hailing apps in India, Ola uses machine learning tech to track traffic, crack through driver habits, improve customer experience and enhance the life of each vehicle they acquired. AI plays a consequential role in interpreting day-in-day-out variations in demand and to decipher how much supply is required to cater to its increased demand, how variable are traffic predictions and how rainfall affects the productiveness of vehicles.

olacabs-picture

“AI is understanding what is the behavioral profile of a driver partner and, hence, in which way can we train him to be a better driver partner on (the) platform,” co-founder and chief technology officer Ankit Bhati said, the algorithms put into the car-pooling service works great in pulling down travel times by coordinating with various pick-up points and destinations, while sharing one single vehicle, he further added.

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Flipkart

According to a report in Forbes, Flipkart – India’s largest domestic e-commerce player has already re-designed its app’s home screen to give a more personalized version of services to its mushrooming 120 million patrons. Machine learning models crack each customer’s gender, brand preference, store affinity, price range, volume of purchases and more. In fact, in future, the company is going forward to figure out the reasons about when and why the returns are made, and as a result will try to reduce their happenings. 

Flipkart

A squad of 25 data scientists at Flipkart have started using AI to observe the past buyer behavior to predict their future purchases. “If a customer keys in a query for running shoes, we show only the category landing pages of the particular brand the customer wants to see, in the price point and styles that (are) preferred, as gauged by previous buying behaviour, therefore ensuring a faster, smoother checkout process,” Ram Papatla, the vice president of product management at Flipkart, said recently at an interview with a leading daily.

ShopClues, InMobi, SigTuple and EdGE Network are myriad other Indian startup players who are making it really big by utilizing the powerful tentacles of AI and machine learning.

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Role of Self Service Analytics in Businesses

Role of Self Service Analytics in Businesses

Self Service Analytics is proving useful for business users, who are working on business data without necessarily having a background in technology and statistics. It is essentially bridging the gap between trained data analysts and normal business users.

Following are the characteristics of Self Service Analytics:

  1. Business Users Independence:

Self Service Analytics reduces dependency on IT and Data warehousing teams, thereby reducing the turnaround time for a request made by a business user.

It does so by continuously collating and loading real time data into a singular stream without disparity, which is easily accessible through browsers. Thus, it helps business users in taking decisions on Real-Time basis.

This feature benefits organizations because vital decisions made within time can be more profitable as compared to the traditional way of analysing data, which may not be a good idea in respect to the urgency constraint.

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  1. Easier and Reduced Cost of Operations:

Often, the company’s data are fragmented and widespread across various divisions. This increases the headache of channelling the data meaningfully and in a wholesome manner.

Further to this, preparing reports using this data becomes a cumbersome job for the IT department or the department, which is serving such request. Hence, it may lead to increased cost of time or decreased quality of efficiency at which the operations have to run. However, many a times, these reports fail to give an overview of the operations in an organisation.

Self-service BI integrates data from different systems and delivers a “Single Version of Truth”. Accessing this data and running computations on it requires only a browser for access and eliminates the need to install, maintain and administer large-footprint software clients on each user’s workstation.

If Self Service Analytics is hosted on SaaS, it will further reduce the cost of machinery and maintenance associated with it. The provision for usage can be increased or decreased in no time according to the usage pattern. This really means that Self Service Analytics helps you adapt with time and Pay-Per-Use model, which is a leading trend in most of the industries.

  1. Resolving the conflict over accuracy:

Typically, a business user using Excel would have a local copy of data and run computations on it. He can merge and transform it by using various formulas and finally derive a conclusion.

This is dangerous because in live operations, data keeps changing and data integrity is at stake by working on local copies. Thus, accuracy in decision-making becomes a game of luck.

In Self Service BI, the data from the source is extracted, transformed and loaded into a unique data model, which goes with all operations. In this case, data integrity is assured. In addition, all business users have the same source of data, removing the risk that working with different local copies have.

Therefore, from the above stated facts, we can conclude that Self Service Analytics is a need for today’s businesses.

However, there are a few risks involved in Self Service Business Analytics:

  1. Loose corporate governance and make data available to business users directly may be taken advantage of in an undue manner.
  2. Business users may not be properly trained or skilled to make decisions.
  3. Relying heavily on any tool without some real life experience and insight into the background of that data can result into an impaired decision-making.

If all the above-mentioned risks are mitigated and proper corporate governance structure is in place, Self Service Analytics can be very beneficial for the success of any organization.

To excel in Self-Service Analytics, why not take up Machine Learning courses in Delhi from DexLab Analytics! They are informative, interesting and elaborate.





 

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Can We Fight Discrimination With Better Machine Learning?

Can We Fight Discrimination With Better Machine Learning?

With the increase in use of machine learning, for taking important corporate as well as national operational decisions, it is important to set across some core social domains. They will work to make sure that these decisions are not biased with discrimination against certain categories whatever they may be applied into.

In this post, we will discuss the crucial matters of “threshold classifiers”, a part of some machine learning operations that is critical to the issues of discrimination. With a threshold classifier one can essentially make a yes/no decision, which in turn helps to put things in perspective with one category or the other. Here we will take a look at how these classifiers work, the ways in which they can potentially be biased and how one may be able to turn an unfair classifier into a much fairer one.

By opting for a course on Machine Learning Using Python, you will be able to grasp the subject matter of this topic better.

In order to provide an illustrative example, we will concentrate on loan granting scenarios where the bank may approve or deny a loan based on one single, number computed automatically like a Credit score.

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In the above-mentioned diagram, the dark dots represent people who do pay off their loans and debts, while the lighter dots show those who would not. In an ideal scenario, we may get to work with statistics that cleanly distinguish the classes as in the left example. However, sadly this is far more common to see a situation wherein at the right where the group overlaps.

A standalone statistic can stand in for several different variables, and boiling them down to just one number. In case of the credit score, which is evaluated by looking at several numbers of factors, that include income, promptness in debt repayment and much more. The number might even correctly represent the likelihood that a person may pay off a debt or also default, or might not. This relationship is actually pretty blurred and it is rare to find a statistic that correlates perfectly with real-world outcomes.

And that is exactly where the idea of a “threshold classifier” comes in: the bank selects a particular cut-off or threshold, and the people who have their credit scores are mentioned below it, will be denied of loans and people above it are usually granted the lending. However, real banks have several more additional complexities, but this simple model is often useful for studying some of the fundamental issues. Also to be clear, Google does not use credit scores for their products!

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Take our credit risk management courses in Delhi to know more about financial management with data driven insights.

The above-mentioned diagram makes use of synthetic data to show how a threshold classifier works. For further simplification of the explanation, we will be staying away from realistic credit scores  or the data what you see shows just the simulated data with a score based on the range of 0 to 100.

As can be well understood, selecting a threshold needs some tradeoffs. Too low and the bank wil l end up giving loans to many people who default; if too high many people who actually do deserve a loan will not get them.

So, how to determine the right threshold? That is subjective. One important goal may be to maximize the number of appropriate decisions. (Can you tell us what threshold will do that in this example scenario?)

Another financial situational goal may be to, maximize profit. At the bottom of the above mentioned diagram, is a readout hypothetical “profit” which is based on the model wherein a successful loan will make USD 300, but a default will cost a bank USD 700. So what will be the most profitable threshold? And does it match the threshold with the maximum correct decisions?

Discrimination and categorization:

The aspect of how to make a correct decision is defined, and with sensitivities to which factors will become particularly thorny, when a statistic like a credit score ends up distributed separately in between the two teams.

Let us imagine that we have two teams of people ‘orange’ and ‘blue’. We are keen on making small loans, subject to the following rules:

  • A successful loan will make USD 300
  • But an unsuccessful loan will make USD 700
  • Everyone will have a credit score of range 0 to 100

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How to simulate loan decisions for different groups:

Drag the black threshold bars either left or right to alter the cut-offs for loans. Click on the varying preset loan strategies:

In the above mentioned case, the distributions of the two groups are slightly varying. While the blue and the orange people are equivalently likely to pay off a debt. But if you take look for a pair of thresholds that maximize total profit (or click on max profit button), then you will be able to see that the blue group is held in a slightly higher standard than the orange one.

How to improve machine-learning systems:

An important outcome of the paper by Hardt, Price, and Srebro depicted that – when mentioned essentially in any scoring system, it will be possible to efficiently to find the thresholds that meet any of the above mentioned criteria. Put in other words, even if you do not posses control over   the underlying scoring system (which is quite a common case) it will still be possible to attack the issue of discrimination.

 

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Facebook is planning to evaluate its quest for generalised AI

Facebook Artificial Intelligence Researchers

A major misconception about artificial intelligence is the fact that today’s robots possess a very generalized intelligence, however, we are fairly efficient in leveraging large datasets to accomplish otherwise complex tasks. Nevertheless we still fail and fall flat at the prospect of replicating the breadth of human intelligence.

Care to contribute to AI development in today’s world? Then take up a Machine Learning course online with us. But in order to move forward a generalized intelligence, Facebook is ensure that we know how to evaluate the process. In a recently released paper, Facebook’s AI research (FAIR) lab has outlined just that as a part of its CommAI framework.

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We will need our systems to be able to communicate and will be able to learn through language effectively even when they lack in context and discussing thing in undefined terms.

Furthermore, such systems should be capable of learning up new skills, fairly simply. As per Facebook this skill set is called “learning to learn”. Present machine learning models may be trained on data and be used for classifying defined objects. We can also make use of transfer learning to quickly adapt a model to achieve the same task on the new data, however our machines cannot completely teach themselves without heavy to moderate intervention from the developers.

It is in general agreed upon, that in order to generalize across several tasks, a program should be capable of compositional training. And that is of storing and recombination solutions to sub-problems across the different tasks, as per the team from Facebook.

As per Facebook they consider these capabilities to be of more of a prerequisite to being a generalized AI than the true Turing test. Alan Turing created the original Turing test in the 1950s. It is usually understood to be a means of assessing machine learning intelligence with respect to human intelligence.

However, with the maturation of the field of Ai the Turing test has lost a lot of its relevance. Facebook hopes to offer a nice alternative way to think about the necessary requirements of a modern generalized AI which should be less of a research distraction than the more rigid Turing Test.

The team at FAIR which include – Marco Baroni, Armand Joulin, Allan Jabri, Germán Kruszewski, Angeliki Lazaridou, Klemen Simonic and Tomas Mikolov have also developed another open source platform for the testing and training of AI systems.

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3 Exceptional Free E-Books On Machine Learning

books on e-learning

According to the experts at Wikipedia Machine Learning happens to be computer science sub-field that has its origins in the detailed examination of recognition of patterns as well as the “computational learning theory” as put into practice in the world of A.I. or artificial intelligence.The subject investigates the study as well as the construction of algorithms which have the ability to pick up skills from and make predictions on the basis of the data that is available.

In this blog post we list some of the key texts that help out students and researchers in this particular field of study.

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1. Machine Learning, Neural and Statistical Classification

Edited By: D.J. Spiegelhalter, D. Michie and C.C. Taylor

This book has for its base the ESPRIT or EC project Statlog which compared and made evaluations about a broad range of techniques on classification while at the same time assessing their merits and demerits in addition to applications across the range. The volume listed here is the integrated one which conducts a brief examination of a particular method along with their commercial application to real world scenarios. It encourages cross-disciplinarystudy of the fields of machine learning, neural networks as well as statistics.

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2. Bayesian Reasoning and Machine Learning

Written By: David Barber

The methods of machine learning have the ability to mine out the values out of data sets that are nothing short of being vast without taxing the computational abilities of the computer. They have established themselves as essential tools in industrial applications of a wide range like analysis of stock markets, search engines as well as sequencing of DNA and locomotion of robots. The field is a promising one and this book helps the students of computer science grasp the tough subject even if their mathematical backgrounds are decent at best.

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3. Gaussian Processes for Machine Learning

Authors: Christopher Williams and Carl Rasmussen

Gaussian Processes or more known simply as GPs serve as a practical, principled and probabilistic approach to the learning as conducted in kernel machines. The Machine Learning community has been providing increased attention towards GPs throughout the better part of the last decade and the book serves the important function of sufficing as a unified and systematic treatment of the role of practical as well as theoretical aspect of GPs as present in machine learning. There was a long felt need for such a book and it does not disappoint with its self-contained and comprehensive treatment. This book is highly useful for students as well as researchers in the fields of applied statistics and machine learning.

If your appetite for knowledge on machine learning is far from being satiated, contact DexLab Analytics. It is a pioneering Data Science training institute catering for hundreds of aspiring students. Their analytics courses in Delhi are widely popular.

 

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