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1000x Faster Data Augmentation – The Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Blog

In this blog post we introduce Population Based Augmentation (PBA), an algorithm that quickly and efficiently learns a state-of-the-art approach to augmenting data for neural network training. PBA matches the previous best result on CIFAR and SVHN but uses one thousand times less compute, enabling researchers and practitioners to effectively learn new augmentation policies using a single workstation GPU. You can use PBA broadly to improve deep learning performance on image recognition tasks.
machine_learning  big_data 
13 days ago by amy
Analytics, Policy, and Governance | Yale University Press
"The first available textbook on the rapidly growing and increasingly important field of government analytics
"This first textbook on the increasingly important field of government analytics provides invaluable knowledge and training for students of government in the synthesis, interpretation, and communication of “big data,” which is now an integral part of governance and policy making. Integrating all the major components of this rapidly growing field, this invaluable text explores the intricate relationship of data analytics to governance while providing innovative strategies for the retrieval and management of information."
political_science  governance  big_data  book  via:cshalizi 
17 days ago by rvenkat
Can tracking people through phone-call data improve lives?
At least 20 mobile-phone companies have donated their proprietary information to such efforts, including operators in 100 countries that back an initiative called Big Data for Social Good, sponsored by the GSMA, an international mobile-phone association. Cash to support the studies has poured in from the UN, the World Bank, the US National Institutes of Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. Bengtsson co-founded a non-profit organization in Stockholm called Flowminder that crunches massive call data sets with the aim of saving lives.

Yet as data-for-good projects gain traction, some researchers are asking whether they benefit society enough to outweigh their potential for misuse. That question is complicated to answer. Aid agencies are secretive about the details of their projects. The GSMA celebrates some data-for-good analyses as weapons against epidemics and disasters, but rarely points to peer-reviewed research to support the claims. And in the fields of public health, computer and social science, a decade of published call-record studies have yet to notably assist the communities they track.
mobile_phones  location_data  data_for_good  humanitarianism  mapping  big_data  privacy  global_health 
19 days ago by shannon_mattern
The ethics of smart cities
With ethics-washing, a performative ethics is being practised designed to give the impression that an issue is being taken seriously and meaningful action is occurring, when the real ambition is to avoid formal regulation and legal mechanisms. It is, in effect, virtue signalling, providing empty or superficial support for a position and prioritising appearance over action. The hope is to reassure the public, policy-makers and government with respect to any concerns they might have, and in so doing, promote products and initiatives, enhance reputation and attract investment....

Ethics-washing can also occur through the deliberate or unintentional avoidance of more fundamental normative questions about what kind of society we want to create. As Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren Klein note, this means that wider moral philosophy concepts such as such as justice, rights, oppression, equity, citizenship, commons and the public good are largely ignored. Instead, attention is focused on more procedural technical and legal concerns – bias, fairness, transparency, consumer rights, accountability, compliance and redress. ...

both companies and cities have sought to reposition their initiatives as "citizen-centric". However, this label has largely acted as an empty signifier, designed to silence detractors or bring them into the fold while not altering the technocratic workings, profit-driven orientation, or ethos of stewardship (for citizens) and civic paternalism (deciding what's best for citizens) of smart city schemes.
ethics  bias  fairness  smart_cities  big_data 
8 weeks ago by shannon_mattern

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