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my biased thoughts on the fields of natural language processing (NLP), computational linguistics (CL) and related topics (machine learning, math, funding, etc.)

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Yet another list of things we can do to have more diverse sets of invited speakers

I am super reticent to write this because so many people have written similar things. Yet despite that, we still have things like an initial workshop program with 17 invited speakers of whom 16 are men (at ICML 2018) and a panel where 3 of the 5 panelists are or were previously in the same group at Stanford (at NAACL 2018). And I (and others) still...

Many opportunities for discrimination in deploying machine learning systems

A while ago I created this image for thinking about how machine learning systems tend to get deployed. In this figure, for Chapter 2 of CIML, the left column shows a generic decision being made, and the right column shows an example of this decision in the case of advertising placement on a search engine we’ve built.The purpose of the image at the time...

Column squishing for multiclass updates

Score-based multiclass classifiers typically have the following form: x is a d-dimensional input vector (perhaps engineered features, perhaps learned features), A is a d*k matrix, where k is the number of classes, and the prediction is given by computing a score vector y=Ax. (This is a blog post, not an arxiv paper, so I'm going to be a bit fast a loose...

Humans can still extort more money from me than machines can

Like lots of folks, I wonder sometimes about AI and jobs. I'm neither a believer that there's a catastrophe coming up, nor am I a believer that everything will magically work out and we're not entering a world with new forms of inequities.I did have an experience recently that made me think somewhat differently about what sorts of jobs are at risk.I...

Structured prediction is *not* RL

It's really strange to look back now over the past ten to fifteen years and see a very small pendulum that no one really cares about swing around. I've spent the last ten years trying to convince you that structured prediction is RL; now I'm going to tell you that was a lie :).Short Personal History Back in 2005, John Langford, Daniel Marcu and I had...

Initial thoughts on fairness in paper recommendation?

There are a handful of definitions of "fairness" lying around, of which the most common is disparate impact: the rate at which you hire members of a protected category should be at least 80% of the rate you hire members not of that category. (Where "hire" is, for our purposes, a prediction problem, and 80% is arbitrary.) DI has all sorts of issues,...

Trying to Learn How to be Helpful (IWD++)

Over the past week, in honor women of this International Women's Day, I had a several posts, broadly around the topic of women in STEM. Previous posts in this series include: Awesome People: Bonnie Dorr, Awesome People: Ellen Riloff, Awesome People: Lise Getoor, Awesome People: Karen Spärck Jones and Awesome People: Kathy McKeown. (Today's is delayed...

Awesome people: Kathy McKeown (IWD++)

To honor women this International Women's Day, I have a several posts, broadly around the topic of women in STEM. Previous posts in this series include: Awesome People: Bonnie Dorr, Awesome People: Ellen Riloff, Awesome People: Lise Getoor and Awesome People: Karen Spärck Jones.Continuing on the topic of "who has been influential in my career and helped...

Awesome people: Karen Spärck Jones (IWD++)

To honor women this International Women's Day, I have a several posts, broadly around the topic of women in STEM. Previous posts in this series include: Awesome People: Bonnie Dorr, Awesome People: Ellen Riloff and Awesome People: Lise Getoor.Today is the continuation of the theme "who has been influential in my career and helped me get where I am?"...

Awesome people: Lise Getoor (IWD++)

To honor women this International Women's Day, I have a several posts, broadly around the topic of women in STEM. Previous posts in this series include: Awesome People: Bonnie Dorr and Awesome People: Ellen Riloff.Today is the continuation of the theme "who has been influential in my career and helped me get where I am?" and in that vein, I want to...

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