Minds and Machines, 20(2):291-301, Biologische Kybernetik, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, July, 2010
Forms of justification for inductive machine learning techniques are discussed and classified into four types. This is done with a view to introduce some of these techniques and their justificatory guarantees to the attention of philosophers, and to initiate a discussion as to whether they must be treated separately or rather can be viewed consistently from within a single framework.
Proceedings of Multiplicity and Unification in Statistics and Probability:1-10, Biologische Kybernetik, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, June, 2009
The field of machine learning has flourished over the past couple of decades. With huge amounts of data available, efficient algorithms can learn to extrapolate from their training sets to become very accurate classifiers. For example, it is straightforward now to develop classifiers which achieve accuracies of around 99% on databases of handwritten digits.
Now these algorithms have been devised by theorists who arrive at the problem of machine learning with a range of different philosophical outlooks on the subject of inductive reasoning. This has led to a wide range of theoretical rationales for their work. In this talk I shall classify the different forms of justification for inductive machine learning into four kinds, and make some comparisons between them.
With little by way of theoretical knowledge to aid in the learning tasks, while the relevance of these justificatory approaches for the inductive reasoning of the natural sciences is questionable, certain issues surrounding the presuppositions of inductive reasoning are brought sharply into focus. In particular, Frequentist, Bayesian and MDL outlooks can be compared.
Journal for General Philosophy of Science, 40(1):51-58, Biologische Kybernetik, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, July, 2009
We compare Karl Poppers ideas concerning the falsifiability of a theory with similar notions from the part of statistical learning theory known as VC-theory. Poppers notion of the dimension of a theory is contrasted with the apparently very similar VC-dimension. Having located some divergences, we discuss how best to view Poppers work from the perspective of statistical learning theory, either as a precursor or as aiming to capture a different learning activity.
Our goal is to understand the principles of Perception, Action and Learning in autonomous systems that successfully interact with complex environments and to use this understanding to design future systems