February 25, 2024

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How Machine-Learning Models Could Potentially Overcome Biased Datasets

If the datasets used to train machine-learning models contain biased data, it is likely the system could exhibit that same bias when it makes decisions in practice. A group of researchers at MIT, in collaboration with researchers at Harvard University and a tech company, sought to understand when and how a machine-learning model is capable of overcoming this kind of dataset bias.

The researchers used an approach from neuroscience to study how training data affects whether an artificial neural network can learn to recognise objects it has not seen before. A neural network is a machine-learning model that mimics the human brain in the way it contains layers of interconnected nodes, or neurons, that process data.

A neural network can overcome dataset bias, which is encouraging. But the main takeaway here is that we need to take into account data diversity. We need to stop thinking that if you just collect a ton of raw data, that is going to get you somewhere. We need to be very careful about how we design datasets in the first place.

– Xavier Boix, Research Scientist, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences

The new results show that diversity in training data has a major influence on whether a neural network can overcome bias, but at the same time, dataset diversity can degrade the network’s performance. They also show how a neural network is trained, and the specific types of neurons that emerge during the training process can play a major role in whether it can overcome a biased dataset.

The researchers also studied methods for training the neural network. In machine learning, it is common to train a network to perform multiple tasks at the same time. The idea is that if a relationship exists between the tasks, the network will learn to perform each one better if it learns them together. But the researchers found the opposite to be true—a model trained separately for each task was able to overcome bias far better than a model trained for both tasks together.

When the network is trained to perform tasks separately, those specialised neurons are more prominent. But if a network is trained to do both tasks simultaneously, some neurons become diluted and don’t specialise in one task. These unspecialised neurons are more likely to get confused. But the next question now is, how did these neurons get there?

That is one area the researchers hope to explore with future work. They want to see if they can force a neural network to develop neurons with this specialisation. They also want to apply their approach to more complex tasks, such as objects with complicated textures or varied illuminations.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, MIT researchers have demonstrated diminutive drones that can zip around with bug-like agility and resilience, which could eventually perform these tasks. The soft actuators that propel these microrobots are very durable, but they require much higher voltages than similarly-sized rigid actuators. The featherweight robots can’t carry the necessary power electronics that would allow them to fly on their own.

Now, these researchers have pioneered a fabrication technique that enables them to build soft actuators that operate with 75% lower voltage than current versions while carrying 80% more payload. These soft actuators are like artificial muscles that rapidly flap the robot’s wings. This new fabrication technique produces artificial muscles with fewer defects, which dramatically extends the lifespan of the components and increases the robot’s performance and payload.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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