In DepthCriminal Justice

Are algorithms good judges?

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Science  19 Jan 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6373, pp. 263
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6373.263

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  • RE: Good judges come from good models, good controls and good information quality
    • Cedric Fan, Professor, MIT Information Quality Program- Data Quality & Info Security Lab, Nanjing Tech University

    Catherine Matacic wrote an IN DEPTH entitled "Are algorithms good judges?"(Science, 19 Jan 2018: Vol. 359, Issue 6373, pp. 263) (1). Our answer is also "yes", however, it depends on whether the whole system is “good” or not.

    First of all, models should be “good”, which basically means appropriate models and correct parameters. “Good” models can also have the ability to adopt technologies such as reinforcement learning to solve those fuzzy and time-varying problems for judges. Secondly, controls should be “good” to have enough system supports and correct system controls. Finally, the information should be “good” to have both enough information quantity and satisfied information quality, which can have the largest influence on the result.

    For more flexibility, some human judges can also be included in the whole system to give out the good judges.

    1 Catherine Matacic, Science, 359, 6373 (2018)
    2 National Natural Science Foundation of China (71671089)

    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • Reinforcement learning is better than human judges

    Catherine Matacic wrote an article entitled "Are algorithms good judges?" (1). Answer is "yes". Reinforcement learning without human knowledge which is one of machine learning algorithms is better than any human champions in the game of Go (2). In other words, reinforcement learning system can learning by itself using data where better algorithms are automatically created and competitions among them can further improve their qualities. Since our lifetime is limited, we have a limited time for exercises in order to improve our skills. Reinforcement learning can be trained within a short time with massive computer resources which may be equivalent to more than 1000 years' human training. Reinforcement learning "elmo" is a champion algorithm in the game of Shogi in 2017 (3). Machine learning algorithms have been evolving from human-teaching with supervised learning to training-by-itself with reinforcement learning without human knowledge.

    1. Catherine Matacic, "Are algorithms good judges?" Science, 19 Jan 2018: Vol. 359, Issue 6373, pp. 263
    2. David Silver et al., " Mastering the game of Go without human knowledge," Nature 550, 354–359 (19 October 2017)

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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