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George Hosu
You can find my more recent thoughts at https://cerebralab.com | I cross-post some of the articles to medium.

Original article can be found here: https://cerebralab.com/Replacing_statistics_with_modern_predictive_models

Photo by Andy Hall on Unsplash

Most fields of scientific inquiry rely on classical statistics to make inferences about the world based on experimental data.

What I mean by “classical statistics” differs from modern machine learning methods (modern predictive models) in the following ways:


If you enjoy my articles, consider consuming them through my blog instead, unlike medium it’s add-free, requires no payment, contains no politics and has a working subscription system.

Photo by Alexis Fauvet on Unsplash

I’m going to consider a fairly unpopular idea: most efforts towards “explainable AI” are essentially pointless. Useful as an academic pursuit and topic for philosophical debate, but not much else.

Consider this article a generator of interesting intuitions and viewpoints, rather than an authoritative take-down of explainability techniques.

That disclaimer aside:

What if almost every problem for which it is desirable to use machine learning is unexplainable?

At least unexplainable in an…


Two years ago I wrote some pragmatic arguments that “human-like AI” is hard to develop and would be fairly useless. My focus was on the difficulty of defining a metric for evaluation and the cost-effectiveness of human brains.

But I think I failed to stress another fundamental point, which is that “intelligence” as commonly thought of may not be critical to acquiring knowledge about or power to change the reality external to our own body.

I — Conceptually intelligent

If I’m allowed to psychoanalyse just a tiny bit, the kind of people that think a lot about “AI” are the kind of people that…


If you enjoy my articles, consider consuming them through my blog instead, unlike medium it’s add-free, requires no payment, contains no politics and has a working subscription system.

Photo by Amanda Lins on Unsplash

I often encounter a seemingly implicit belief that listening to someone’s opinion or idea is something that can be done in exchange for merely the time spent doing so. This idea seemed so obviously true when I glanced upon it in my mind, I was almost certain it was wrong.

I — We don’t learn basic things rationally

We sometimes model ourselves as rational actors, disseminating information to form beliefs and ideas. Under this model, we might think of ourselves…


If you enjoy my articles, consider consuming them through my blog instead, unlike medium it’s add-free, requires no payment, contains no politics and has a working subscription system.

Many works try to take a weirdly shaped lens through which to rechart a small portion of our map of the world. Power, Sex, Suicide does that through the lens of, ahem, mitochondria. The weirdest thing about it is how splendidly it succeeds.

I — What is this book about?

Almost 2 years after originally reading it, this beautiful aberration has remained ingrained in my brain in ways that surprise me.

This book is many things, among them, it’s…


Note: This article assumes that you are somewhat familiar with Dungeons and Dragon as well as with the hero’s journey monomyth.

Today I wish to ramble against the corruption of the greatest masterpiece of French absurdist philosophy created in the 20th century. Oddly enough, this masterpiece was not the work of WW2 era french philosophers, but of a middle-aged nerd from Illinois by the name of Gary Gygax.

I — Character creation

The one thing that puts “old school” DnD most at odds with modern variants, I think, is character creation.

Characters were created by rolling 3d6, 6 times, in a row, then they…


I suggest you read this article on my blog instead, I will probably update this a lot and it’s too much working doing that on Medium since I don’t get many raeders here.

I should start this post by saying that I am a layman when it comes to everything I’m going to be discussing here.

However, I am left in an unfortunate position where all of the focus for applying healthspan-extending interventions in humans is focused on older individuals. …


This story was originally published on my blog.

Let’s start by talking about scientific literacy. I’m going to use a weak definition of scientific literacy, one that simply requires familiarity with the Baconian method of inquiry.

I don’t want to place an exact number on this issue, but I’d wager the vast majority of the population of “educated” countries scientifically illiterate.

I — The gravity of the issue

I first got a hint that this could be a real issue when I randomly started asking people about the theory of gravity. I find gravity to be interesting because it’s not at all obvious. I don’t think any…


I’ll assume that you do not hold fast to a rigorous system of metaphysics, in which case I think you can fancy me and accept that, if I so desire to struggle, I could reduce the concept of causality to one (or a chain of) probabilistic relationships between events.

Here’s a naive definition of causality:

P(E) ~= 1 | C (where "|" stands for "given"). If I can say this, I can most certainly say that C causes E, at least in a system where a thing such as "time" exists and where C happens before E.

It should be…


Training our humans on the wrong dataset

I really don’t want to say that I’ve figured out the majority of what’s wrong with modern education and how to fix it, BUT

1. We train ML models on the tasks they are meant to solve

When we train (fit) any given ML model for a specific problem, on which we have a training dataset, there are several ways we go about it, but all of them involve using that dataset.

Say we’re training a model that takes a 2d image of some glassware and turn it into a 3d rendering. We have images of 2000 glasses from different angles and in different lighting conditions and an associated 3d model.

How do…

George Hosu

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