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Follow the information (The real problem with data)

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Get up! All are welcome! This is the most exciting Three Card Monte game the world has ever witnessed.

Deep Learning faces The Data Problem: There is an almost insatiable demand for labeled information and, arguably the biggest bottleneck to success, it is the absence of labeled information within the enterprise.

Let us find the solution.

First we will look at the countless number of methods that have been developed over the years to address the Data Problem at the heart of artificial Intelligence .. All the cards are laid out before us, and we can be sure that under one of them lies the key to unlocking the next wave of decacorns and unicorns.

Unsupervised learning, foundation models, weak supervision, transfer learning, ontologies, representation learning, semi-supervised learning, self-supervised learning, synthetic data, knowledge graphs, physical simulations, symbol manipulation, active learning, zero-shot learning and generative models.

Just to name a few.

The concepts weave, join and split in a variety of bizarre and unexpected ways. It’s impossible to find a single term on this long list with a consistent definition. There are many powerful tools that can be combined with overhyped promises. This is enough to confuse even the most savvy customers and investors.

Which one do you choose?

All data, no information

The problem is that we shouldn’t have been paying attention to the cards at all. It was never a question of which magical buzzword was going to eliminate The Data Problem because the problem was never really about data in the first place. It’s not.

Data by itself is useless. With a few keystrokes, my computer can generate enough random noise for a modern neural network to continue to struggle through instability until the end of time. With a little more effort and a single picture from a 10 megapixel phone, I could black out every combination of three pixels and create more data than exists on the internet today.

Data can be described as a vehicle. Information is what it’s carrying. It is important not to confuse them.

In the above examples, there are lots of data but not much information. The problem can be reversed in highly complex and information-rich systems such as loan approvals, industrial supply chain chains, or even social media analysis. Reductive binaries are created from rivers of thought and galaxies containing human expression. It’s like trying to mine a mountain using a pickaxe.

This is The Data Problem’s heart. It’s an incomprehensible bounty of information, a billion cars on a road, that is both tangible and inaccessible. It is a vast amount of information, involving thousands of people and billions in dollars. They are carrying very little gravel and tailings back and forth through captcha testing and classification datasets.

This is where the tsunami of buzzwords begins. Despite the many papers and complexity of the methods, the motivations behind them and their core principles are clear. The best and simplest explanation is one that I credit to Google’s Underspecification paper.

Molding neural networks

Imagine every neural network as a huge, fuzzy space. It can do almost anything, but it doesn’t know how to do nothing.

We know what we want the neural network to do but aren’t sure what. It’s like unmolded clay that has infinite possibilities. It is a chaotic mess filled with Shannon entropy. This mathematical formalization of possibility refers to the degree of freedom that exists in a system. The equivalent of how much information and work it would take to eliminate these possibilities.

Today we are primarily interested in imitating humans. That information and that work must be derived from humans.

So, to progress, humans have to make decisions. This huge space must be reduced. A reduction in Shannon entropy. It’s like finding the perfect drop in an ocean of possibilities. And it’s just as difficult as you think. It’s more like finding the perfect swath in an ocean. This is the equivalence group – an infinite subset from the infinitely vast ocean in which every option is equally optimal.

As far as you can see.

Supervision is information that is captured in data. This is how we winnow the ocean. It is how we say: “out of everything that you could do, this is what you should do.” That is the key and clarity to cutting through the noise. There is no free lunch in this world, and the information flows are what you should be focusing on, despite the flood of mathematics and techniques flowing at you.

Where is the new information?

Nvidia’s Omniverse Replicator is a wonderful example. It’s a data platform. It tells you very little. It describes the data, but the information is the physics simulations. It’s completely different from other synthetic data platforms like statice.ai that focus on using generative models to convert information trapped in personally-identifiable data into non-identifiable synthetic data that contains the same information.

Another case study is Tesla’s unique active learning method. The data scientist is the main source of information in traditional active learning. New training examples can help you reduce your equivalence by defining an active learning strategy that is appropriate to the task. In one of Andrej Karpathy’s recent talks on the subject, he explains how Tesla improves significantly on this technique. Instead of having data scientists create the optimal active learning strategy, they combine several noise strategies and then use human selection to find the most effective.

Unintuitive. They improve system performance by adding human intervention. This would have been seen as a negative. In the traditional view, more intervention equals less automation, which is less beneficial. This approach is logical when viewed through the lense of information. The system has dramatically increased its information bandwidth, which means that the pace of improvement is increasing.

This is the name of the game. It is frustrating to see the explosion of buzzwords. The buzzwords do indicate real progress. We know there are no miracle cures for these areas, and have been studying them for a long time. However, each of these fields has led to benefits in its own right, and research continues to show that there are still significant gains to be made by combining and unifying these supervision paradigms.

It’s a time of amazing possibility. The speed at which we can access information from previously unknown sources is increasing. We are now facing two major problems: an embarrassment in riches and a bewilderment in noise. It all seems overwhelming and it is hard to distinguish fact from fiction.

Follow the information.

Slater Victoroff is founder and CTO of Indico Data.

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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