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The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos
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“A learner that uses Bayes’ theorem and assumes the effects are independent given the cause is called a Naïve Bayes classifier. That’s because, well, that’s such a naïve assumption.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“A good learner is forever walking the narrow path between blindness and hallucination.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Our beliefs are based on our experience, which gives us a very incomplete picture of the world, and it's easy to jump to false conclusions.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“God created not species but the algorithm for creating species.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“People often think computers are all about numbers, but they’re not. Computers are all about logic.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Your job in a world of intelligent machines is to keep making sure they do what you want, both at the input (setting the goals) and at the output (checking that you got what you asked for).”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“data mining means “torturing the data until it confesses.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“If you’re a lazy and not-too-bright computer scientist, machine learning is the ideal occupation, because learning algorithms do all the work but let you take all the credit.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“You could even say that the God of Genesis himself is a programmer: language, not manipulation, is his tool of creation. Words become worlds.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“The second simplest algorithm is: combine two bits. Claude Shannon, better known as the father of information theory, was the first to realize that what transistors are doing, as they switch on and off in response to other transistors, is reasoning. (That was his master’s thesis at MIT—the most important master’s thesis of all time.)”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“We’re face-to-face with our old foe: the combinatorial explosion. Therefore we do what we always have to do in life: compromise. We make simplifying assumptions that whittle the number of probabilities we have to estimate down to something manageable. A very simple and popular assumption is that all the effects are independent given the cause. This means that, for example, having a fever doesn’t change how likely you are to also have a cough, if we already know you have the flu. Mathematically, this is saying that P(fever, cough | flu) is just P(fever | flu) × P(cough | flu). Lo and behold: each of these is easy to estimate from a small number of observations. In fact, we did it for fever in the previous section, and it would be no different for cough or any other symptom. The number of observations we need no longer goes up exponentially with the number of symptoms; in fact, it doesn’t go up at all.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Whoever has the best algorithms and the most data wins. A new type of network effect takes hold: whoever has the most customers accumulates the most data, learns the best models, wins the most new customers, and so on in a virtuous circle (or a vicious one, if you’re the competition).”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Common sense is important not just because your mom taught you so, but because computers don’t have it.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Listen to your customers, not to the HiPPO,” HiPPO being short for “highest paid person’s opinion.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Homo sapiens is the species that adapts the world to itself instead of adapting itself to the world.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Machine learning will not single-handedly determine the future, any more than any other technology; it’s what we decide to do with it that counts, and now you have the tools to decide.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Learning algorithms are the seeds, data is the soil, and the learned programs are the grown plants. The machine-learning expert is like a farmer, sowing the seeds, irrigating and fertilizing the soil, and keeping an eye on the health of the crop but otherwise staying out of the way.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Our goal is to figure out the simplest program we can write such that it will continue to write itself by reading data, without limit, until it knows everything there is to know.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Learning is forgetting the details as much as it is remembering the important parts.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Knowing how to do something isn’t much use if you can’t do it within the available time and memory,”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“In many cases we can do this and avoid the exponential blowup. Suppose you’re leading a platoon in single file through enemy territory in the dead of night, and you want to make sure that all your soldiers are still with you. You could stop and count them yourself, but that wastes too much time. A cleverer solution is to just ask the first soldier behind you: “How many soldiers are behind you?” Each soldier asks the next the same question, until the last one says “None.” The next-to-last soldier can now say “One,” and so on all the way back to the first soldier, with each soldier adding one to the number of soldiers behind him. Now you know how many soldiers are still with you, and you didn’t even have to stop. Siri uses the same idea to compute the probability that you just said, “Call the police” from the sounds it picked up from the microphone. Think of “Call the police” as a platoon of words marching across the page in single file. Police wants to know its probability, but for that it needs to know the probability of the; and the in turn needs to know the probability of call. So call computes its probability and passes it on to the, which does the same and passes the result to police. Now police knows its probability, duly influenced by every word in the sentence, but we never had to construct the full table of eight possibilities (the first word is call or isn’t, the second is the or isn’t, and the third is police or isn’t). In reality, Siri considers all words that could appear in each position, not just whether the first word is call or not and so on, but the algorithm is the same. Perhaps Siri thinks, based on the sounds, that the first word was either call or tell, the second was the or her, and the third was police or please. Individually, perhaps the most likely words are call, the, and please. But that forms the nonsensical sentence “Call the please,” so taking the other words into account, Siri concludes that the sentence is really “Call the police.” It makes the call, and with luck the police get to your house in time to catch the burglar.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Our search for the Master Algorithm is complicated, but also enlivened, by the rival schools of thought that exist within machine learning. The main ones are the symbolists, connectionists, evolutionaries, Bayesians, and analogizers. Each tribe has a set of core beliefs, and a particular problem that it cares most about. It has found a solution to that problem, based on ideas from its allied fields of science, and it has a master algorithm that embodies it.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“every time I fire a linguist, the recognizer’s performance goes up.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Michelangelo said that all he did was see the statue inside the block of marble and carve away the excess stone until the statue was revealed. Likewise, an algorithm carves away the excess transistors in the computer until the intended function is revealed, whether it’s an airliner’s autopilot or a new Pixar movie. An”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“If you had witnessed life on Earth up to ten thousand years ago, that would not have prepared you for what was to come.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“As so often happens in computer science, we’re willing to sacrifice efficiency for generality.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Noise in machine learning just means errors in the data, or random events that you can’t predict.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Knowledge is traded in both directions—manually entered knowledge for use in learners, induced knowledge for addition to knowledge bases—but at the end of the day the rationalist-empiricist fault line runs right down that border, and crossing it is not easy.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Society is changing, one learning algorithm at a time.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World
“Believe it or not, every algorithm, no matter how complex, can be reduced to just these three operations: AND, OR, and NOT.”
Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World

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