Brendan O’Connor puts machine learning and statistics in a jar and shakes the jar

Brendan O’Connor puts machine learning and statistics in a jar and shakes the jar:

ML sounds like it’s young, vibrant, interesting to learn, and growing; Stats does not.

Is marketing a problem? Machine learning terms definitely sound pretty cool. Maybe the perspective of computational intelligence lends itself to cool names. Though the Stanford statisticians certainly know how to play this game — for example, they made up their own names for variants of L1 and L2-regularized regression, leaving annoyed people like me forever googling “lasso” and “ridge” trying to remember which is which. (On the other hand, perhaps that’s child’s play compared to the true original sin of ML nomenclature: tossing around the highly deceptive term “neural network” for a stack of linear functions paired with a wonky, overhyped training algorithm; the combination of which, many years later, still causes confusion.)

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One thought on “Brendan O’Connor puts machine learning and statistics in a jar and shakes the jar”

  1. Haha, this made me laugh. We’re actually talking about this very thing over at http://machine-learning.eggsprout.com. Trying to define ML in relation to AI, Data Mining, and Stats. There’s also room to talk about how the media has influenced the definition as well.

    Would love to have you join our conversation over there.

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