This week, I will present a summary of the first bit of The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos.
Here are my key takeaways from the prologue:
- Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations we can perform without thinking about them. —Alfred North Whitehead
- Never has man had the remarkable tool, that can turn raw products into a useful product that is as useful as machine learning, which turns raw data into algorithm, a byproduct of a creative computer
- saying that machine learning is all about finding correlations is like bricks make us a house, we obviously cannot lives in brick shells, and machine learning is obviously not just correlations, it really is a black box what happens in there!
- As machine learning plays a bigger and bigger role in our lives, we, the citizens of the owe it to ourselves to understand what is going on inside the black box so that we may prevent misuse
- If Amazon and Netflix were salespersons, Amazon would take you to the aisle where you are most likely to find items you will like, while Netflix will take you to an obscure aisle, full of products that you think are odd, but end up liking. Remember, Netflix isn’t charging you enough to only show you blockbusters, and thus, must show you less sought-after items, while Amazon thrives on volume, and will happily show you what sells
- There are 5 schools of thought on AI, and the book explores each of these, but the problem is that each algorithm is better for some tasks and worst for some, which explains why there is push for a “Master Algorithm” which encompasses all schools of thought