Practice Makes Perfect: How Billions of Examples Lead to Better Models

Peter Norvig (Google, Inc.)
General
Location: Marina Ballroom D

The Internet gives us access to billions of pages of information, along with billions of pictures and hundreds of millions of videos. Of course, a person could never look at all of them, but computers are faster than humans—what can a computer learn from all this information?

In this talk we will see that a computer might not learn in the same way that a person does, but it can use massive amounts of data to perform selected tasks very well. We will see that a computer can correct spelling mistakes, translate from Arabic to English, and recognize celebrity faces about as well as an average human—and can do it all by learning from examples rather than by relying on programming.

Photo of Peter Norvig

Peter Norvig

Google, Inc.

Peter Norvig is the Director of Research at Google Inc, where he has been since 2001. From 2002-2005 he was Director of Search Quality, which means he was the manager of record responsible for answering more queries than anyone else in the history of the world. He is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and the Association for Computing Machinery and co-author of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, the leading textbook in the field (with 94% market share).

Previously he was the head of the Computational Sciences Division at NASA Ames Research Center, making him NASA’s senior computer scientist. He received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Award in 2001. He has served as an assistant professor at the University of Southern California and a research faculty member at the University of California at Berkeley Computer Science Department, from which he received a Ph.D. in 1986 and the distinguished alumni award in 2006. He has over fifty publications in Computer Science, concentrating on Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Software Engineering, including the books Paradigms of AI Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp, Verbmobil: A Translation System for Face-to-Face Dialog, and Intelligent Help Systems for UNIX. He is also the author of the Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation and the world’s longest palindromic sentence.

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