An Epic Failure: Overstated AI Claims in Medicine

an-epic-failure:-overstated-ai-claims-in-medicine

Epic Systems, America’s largest electronic health records company, maintains medical information for 180 million U.S. patients (56% of the population). Using the slogan, “with the patient at the heart,” it has a portfolio of 20 proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms designed to identify different illnesses and predict the length of hospital stays. As with many proprietary … Read more

The Word “AI” Has Become a Marketing Ploy

the-word-“ai”-has-become-a-marketing-ploy

Justin Wang received a bachelor’s degree from Murdoch University in 2012 with a grade of 83.7% and a master’s degree in Information Technology Management from the University of Sydney in 2016 with a grade of 82.5%. In January 2017, he founded a Singapore-based company with the mysteriously cool name Scry in order to “manage information technology to … Read more

Using Benford’s Law to Detect Bitcoin Manipulation

using-benford’s-law-to-detect-bitcoin-manipulation

For a while, there was a popular belief among finance professors that the stock market is “efficient” in the sense that stock prices are always correct — the prices that an all-knowing God would set. Thus, investors can buy any stock, even a randomly selected stock, and be confident that they are paying a fair price. … Read more

The Great American Novel Will Not be Written by a Computer

the-great-american-novel-will-not-be-written-by-a-computer

I’ve written before about how computer algorithms are like Nigel Richards, the New Zealander who has won multiple French-language Scrabble tournaments even though he does not understand the words he is spelling. Computers can similarly manipulate words in many useful ways — e.g., spellchecking, searching, alphabetizing — without any understanding of the words they are … Read more

A Vulnerable System: Fake Papers and Imaginary Scientists

a-vulnerable-system:-fake-papers-and-imaginary-scientists

In the last two posts, we examined how scientific publication has ceased to be a good measure of scientific accomplishment, and how the peer review system is being gamed by unscrupulous publishers and researchers alike. Now, we will continue the discussion on the undermining of scientific publication using two examples: SCIgen and citation counts. SCIgen In 2005 … Read more

Gaming the System: The Flaws in Peer Review

gaming-the-system:-the-flaws-in-peer-review

Last time, we examined how scientific publication has ceased to be a good measure of scientific accomplishment because it has now become a target, following Goodhart’s Law. In today’s post, we will continue that examination by turning to the peer review system, and how that system is being gamed by unscrupulous publishers and researchers alike. … Read more

Publish or Perish — Another Example of Goodhart’s Law

publish-or-perish-—-another-example-of-goodhart’s-law

The linchpin of scientific advances is that scientists publish their findings so that others can learn from them and expand on their insights. This is why some books are rightly considered among the most influential mathematical and scientific books of all time:  Elements, Euclid, c. 300 B.C.Physics, Aristotle, c. 330 B.C.On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres, Nicolaus … Read more