Phil 2.19.19

7:00 – 6:00 ASRC TL IRAD

  • Something to listen to tomorrow morning? Tracing the Spread of Fake News
    • Two years after a presidential election that shocked so many, we are still trying to understand the role that fake news sources played, and how a swarm of propaganda clouded social media. Now a comprehensive study has looked carefully at the impact of untrustworthy online sources in the election, with some surprising results, and some suggestions for how to avoid problems in the future. In the studio for this episode is David Lazer, Professor of Political Science and Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University. He is one of the authors of Fake news on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which was just published in Science Magazine. 
  • Finished my writeup on Clockwork Muse. Now I need to make slides by Thursday.
  • Visual analytics for collaborative human-machine confidence in human-centric active learning tasks
    • Active machine learning is a human-centric paradigm that leverages a small labelled dataset to build an initial weak classifier, that can then be improved over time through human-machine collaboration. As new unlabelled samples are observed, the machine can either provide a prediction, or query a human ‘oracle’ when the machine is not confident in its prediction. Of course, just as the machine may lack confidence, the same can also be true of a human ‘oracle’: humans are not all-knowing, untiring oracles. A human’s ability to provide an accurate and confident response will often vary between queries, according to the duration of the current interaction, their level of engagement with the system, and the difficulty of the labelling task. This poses an important question of how uncertainty can be expressed and accounted for in a human-machine collaboration. In short, how can we facilitate a mutually-transparent collaboration between two uncertain actors—a person and a machine—that leads to an improved outcome? In this work, we demonstrate the benefit of human-machine collaboration within the process of active learning, where limited data samples are available or where labelling costs are high. To achieve this, we developed a visual analytics tool for active learning that promotes transparency, inspection, understanding and trust, of the learning process through human-machine collaboration. Fundamental to the notion of confidence, both parties can report their level of confidence during active learning tasks using the tool, such that this can be used to inform learning. Human confidence of labels can be accounted for by the machine, the machine can query for samples based on confidence measures, and the machine can report confidence of current predictions to the human, to further the trust and transparency between the collaborative parties. In particular, we find that this can improve the robustness of the classifier when incorrect sample labels are provided, due to unconfidence or fatigue. Reported confidences can also better inform human-machine sample selection in collaborative sampling. Our experimentation compares the impact of different selection strategies for acquiring samples: machine-driven, human-driven, and collaborative selection. We demonstrate how a collaborative approach can improve trust in the model robustness, achieving high accuracy and low user correction, with only limited data sample selections.
  • Look into principle of least effort and game theory. See if there is anything
    • Human Behaviour and the Principle of Least Effort. An Introduction to Human Ecology
      • Subtitled “An introduction to human ecology,” this work attempts systematically to treat “least effort” (and its derivatives) as the principle underlying a multiplicity of individual and collective behaviors, variously but regularly distributed. The general orientation is quantitative, and the principle is widely interpreted and applied. After a brief elaboration of principles and a brief summary of pertinent studies (mostly in psychology), Part One (Language and the structure of the personality) develops 8 chapters on its theme, ranging from regularities within language per se to material on individual psychology. Part Two (Human relations: a case of intraspecies balance) contains chapters on “The economy of geography,” “Intranational and international cooperation and conflict,” “The distribution of economic power and social status,” and “Prestige values and cultural vogues”—all developed in terms of the central theme. 20 pages of references with some annotation, keyed to the index. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
    • Decision Making and the Avoidance of Cognitive Demand
      • Behavioral and economic theories have long maintained that actions are chosen so as to minimize demands for exertion or work, a principle sometimes referred to as the “law of less work.” The data supporting this idea pertain almost entirely to demands for physical effort. However, the same minimization principle has often been assumed also to apply to cognitive demand. We set out to evaluate the validity of this assumption. In six behavioral experiments, participants chose freely between courses of action associated with different levels of demand for controlled information processing. Together, the results of these experiments revealed a bias in favor of the less demanding course of action. The bias was obtained across a range of choice settings and demand manipulations, and was not wholly attributable to strategic avoidance of errors, minimization of time on task, or maximization of the rate of goal achievement. Remarkably, the effect also did not depend on awareness of the demand manipulation. Consistent with a motivational account, avoidance of demand displayed sensitivity to task incentives and co-varied with individual differences in the efficacy of executive control. The findings reported, together with convergent neuroscientific evidence, lend support to the idea that anticipated cognitive demand plays a significant role in behavioral decision-making.
    • Intuition, deliberation, and the evolution of cooperation
      • Humans often cooperate with strangers, despite the costs involved. A long tradition of theoretical modeling has sought ultimate evolutionary explanations for this seemingly altruistic behavior. More recently, an entirely separate body of experimental work has begun to investigate cooperation’s proximate cognitive underpinnings using a dual process framework: Is deliberative self-control necessary to reign in selfish impulses, or does self-interested deliberation restrain an intuitive desire to cooperate? Integrating these ultimate and proximate approaches, we introduce dual-process cognition into a formal game theoretic model of the evolution of cooperation. Agents play prisoner’s dilemma games, some of which are one-shot and others of which involve reciprocity. They can either respond by using a generalized intuition, which is not sensitive to whether the game is oneshot or reciprocal, or pay a (stochastically varying) cost to deliberate and tailor their strategy to the type of game they are facing. We find that, depending on the level of reciprocity and assortment, selection favors one of two strategies: intuitive defectors who never deliberate, or dual-process agents who intuitively cooperate but sometimes use deliberation to defect in one-shot games. Critically, selection never favors agents who use deliberation to override selfish impulses: Deliberation only serves to undermine cooperation with strangers. Thus, by introducing a formal theoretical framework for exploring cooperation through a dual-process lens, we provide a clear answer regarding the role of deliberation in cooperation based on evolutionary modeling, help to organize a growing body of sometimes conflicting empirical results, and shed light on the nature of human cognition and social decision making.
    • Complexity Aversion: Influences of Cognitive Abilities, Culture and System of Thought
      • Complexity aversion describes the preference of decision makers for less complex options that cannot be explained by expected utility theory. While a number of research articles investigate the effects of complexity on choices, up to this point there exist only theoretical approaches aiming to explain the reasons behind complexity aversion. This paper presents two experimental studies that aim to fill this gap. The first study considers subjects’ cognitive abilities as a potential driver of complexity aversion. Cognitive skills are measured in a cognitive reflection test and, in addition, are approximated by subjects’ consistency of choices. In opposition to our hypothesis, subjects with higher cognitive skills display stronger complexity aversion compared to their peers. The second study deals with cultural background. The experiment was therefore conducted in Germany and in Japan. German subjects prefer less complex lotteries while Japanese are indifferent regarding choice complexity.
    • Space Time Dynamics of Insurgent Activity in Iraq
      • This paper describes analyses to determine whether there is a space-time dependency for insurgent activity. The data used for the research were 3 months of terrorist incidents attributed to the insurgency in Iraq during U.S. occupation and the methods used are based on a body of work well established using police recorded crime data. It was found that events clustered in space and time more than would be expected if the events were unrelated, suggesting communication of risk in space and time and potentially informing next event prediction. The analysis represents a first but important step and suggestions for further analysis addressing prevention or suppression of future incidents are briefly discussed.
  • Large teams develop and small teams disrupt science and technology
    • One of the most universal trends in science and technology today is the growth of large teams in all areas, as solitary researchers and small teams diminish in prevalence1,2,3. Increases in team size have been attributed to the specialization of scientific activities3, improvements in communication technology4,5, or the complexity of modern problems that require interdisciplinary solutions6,7,8. This shift in team size raises the question of whether and how the character of the science and technology produced by large teams differs from that of small teams. Here we analyse more than 65 million papers, patents and software products that span the period 1954–2014, and demonstrate that across this period smaller teams have tended to disrupt science and technology with new ideas and opportunities, whereas larger teams have tended to develop existing ones. Work from larger teams builds on more-recent and popular developments, and attention to their work comes immediately. By contrast, contributions by smaller teams search more deeply into the past, are viewed as disruptive to science and technology and succeed further into the future—if at all. Observed differences between small and large teams are magnified for higher-impact work, with small teams known for disruptive work and large teams for developing work. Differences in topic and research design account for a small part of the relationship between team size and disruption; most of the effect occurs at the level of the individual, as people move between smaller and larger teams. These results demonstrate that both small and large teams are essential to a flourishing ecology of science and technology, and suggest that, to achieve this, science policies should aim to support a diversity of team sizes.
  • Meeting with Panos about JuryRoom. Interesting! Tony Smith looks like someone to ping. Need to ask Panos

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