Peppercorns and Machine Learning System Design


at Sheffield ML Group Research Retreat on Jun 2, 2017 [reveal]
Neil D. Lawrence, Amazon Research Cambridge and University of Sheffield


Machine learning is fundamental to two important technological domains, artificial intelligence and data science. In this talk we will attempt to make a simple definition to distinguish between the two, then we will focus on the challenges of machine learning in application to artificial intelligence particularly from the perspective of systems design. We expect a particular challenge to be the deployment of such systems in real environment, where unforeseen consequences of interaction with real world environments will produce embarrassing failures. Because these failures are not bugs, in that the system will be performing as designed, but failures of imagination of the designers we introduce a new term for them: ‘peppercorns’.