Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Michael Jordan on the delusions of big data

Michael Jordan (the one from Berkeley, not the basketball player) gave an interesting interview to IEEE Spectrum.  it is recommended to read his own words. 

Some of the highlights of Jordan's opinions are:

  1. Using brain metaphors for computing is misleading:   computing does not work like the brain, this is also includes one of Jordan's expertise areas - neural nets.
  2. He says that the advances in computer vision lead us to be able to solve some kind of useful problems, but we are very far from giving machine the vision capabilities of a human
  3. "Big Data" is over-promising.  One can prove many false hypotheses using big data methods.  This is similar to building bridges without a theory of how to build bridges,  some may  survive, and some will collapse... 
  4. If he will have $1B to spend on research, he will invest in natural languages processing...

I think that it adds to some other observations about the overhype of "big data" (for example, see my posting on Noam Chomsky's opinion couple of years ago, or Tim Harford's recent article). 

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