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I wonder if this applies to climate science?

"AAAS: Machine learning 'causing science crisis'
By Pallab Ghosh
Science correspondent, BBC News, Washington"

Machine-learning techniques used by thousands of scientists to analyse data are producing results that are misleading and often completely wrong.

Dr Genevera Allen from Rice University in Houston said that the increased use of such systems was contributing to a “crisis in science”.

She warned scientists that if they didn’t improve their techniques they would be wasting both time and money. Her research was presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.

A growing amount of scientific research involves using machine learning software to analyse data that has already been collected. This happens across many subject areas ranging from biomedical research to astronomy. The data sets are very large and expensive.

But, according to Dr Allen, the answers they come up with are likely to be inaccurate or wrong because the software is identifying patterns that exist only in that data set and not the real world.

“Often these studies are not found out to be inaccurate until there's another real big dataset that someone applies these techniques to and says ‘oh my goodness, the results of these two studies don't overlap‘," she said.

“There is general recognition of a reproducibility crisis in science right now. I would venture to argue that a huge part of that does come from the use of machine learning techniques in science.”

The “reproducibility crisis” in science refers to the alarming number of research results that are not repeated when another group of scientists tries the same experiment. It means that the initial results were wrong. One analysis suggested that up to 85% of all biomedical research carried out in the world is wasted effort.

It is a crisis that has been growing for two decades and has come about because experiments are not designed well enough to ensure that the scientists don’t fool themselves and see what they want to see in the results.

Machine learning systems and the use of big data sets has accelerated the crisis, according to Dr Allen. That is because machine learning algorithms have been developed specifically to find interesting things in datasets and so when they search through huge amounts of data they will inevitably find a pattern.

“The challenge is can we really trust those findings?” she told BBC News.

“Are those really true discoveries that really represent science? Are they reproducible? If we had an additional dataset would we see the same scientific discovery or principle on the same dataset? And unfortunately the answer is often probably not.”

Dr Allen is working with a group of biomedical researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to improve the reliability of their results. She is developing the next generation of machine learning and statistical techniques that can not only sift through large amounts of data to make discoveries, but also report how uncertain their results are and their likely reproducibility.

“Collecting these huge data sets is incredibly expensive. And I tell the scientists that I work with that it might take you longer to get published, but in the end your results are going to stand the test of time.

“It will save scientists money and it's also important to advance science by not going down all of these wrong possible directions.”

Feb 18, 2019 at 7:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I'm left wondering if the BBC are doing this Begum boosting of their own accord or if some ME or other money is paying some high priced Soho / Mayfair "PR magicians" - I did see somebody say that there is a team in London and that they were "in Mayfair" several days ago - when it looked like a 24 hour thing.

I reckon that's more important actually than a single dim and deluded schoolgirl - as in who's pushing this and why? The BBC3 crowd are toxic and gormless - but this is more than that.

Feb 18, 2019 at 1:13 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Feb 17, 2019 at 9:23 PM | It doesn't add up...

So many fled Syria to escape the violence, and claimed asylum within the EU.
Many UK and EU Citizens ran away from safety and security, to Syria, seeking violence.

The UK should place the safety and security of the UK first. The EU can deal with its own problems without UK help.

BBC Radio 2 10pm News. It was being suggested that the feckless idiot should be allowed to travel to a UK Embassy and throw herself on the mercy of the UK Government.

No mention of the other 800(?) violence seekers from the UK stuck in Syria. It does raise the possibility of UK Passport Holders trying to smuggle themselves back into the UK without detection.

Feb 17, 2019 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

A small bit of research reveals that Begum has Bangladeshi citizenship by virtue of her parents, whilst her new son has Dutch citizenship under both Dutch and Syrian law, and Bangladeshi citizenship by virtue of his mother. Potentially, the son could have British citizenship, but that would require a period of residence in the UK and formal application. It therefore appears there is no impediment of statelessness in withdrawing her British citizenship.

Feb 17, 2019 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Feb 17, 2019 at 8:48 PM | M Courtney

Is it because Cameron wanted to contribute towards a US Offensive against someone ( in Syria) that the House of Commons and media were hostile? Did the French have a vote on bombing Chad or Libya?

Hopefully, your typo will not lead to an outbreak of military clashes between left and right.

Feb 17, 2019 at 9:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Wikipedia states that Shamina Begum and her two fellow idiots, were questioned about their school friend with the name Sharmeena/Shamina Begum, from the same school,_Shamima_Begum_and_Kadiza_Sultana

Claims that Shamina Begum was an innocent victim, seem incorrect if she had already participated in cruel deception to ruin lives in the UK, before embarking on the same path herself, under the same leadership.

If they had suspected what their daughter was about to do, what could the parents have done, that was UK legal to stop her?

Feb 17, 2019 at 8:59 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Golf Charlie. Libya and Chad are not in Syria. What France is doing is something completely different.

Apologies for the embarrassing typo in my last post.

Feb 17, 2019 at 8:48 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Wow I had realized that Shackleton expedition had failed in just 3 days
11th Feb BBC news announce : Search for Shackleton’s lost ship Endurance begins.

14th Feb BBC news announces : Search for Shackleton’s lost Endurance ship called off

\\ , the communication link to the Agulhas failed.
It is not clear if this was the result of just the difficult sea-ice conditions, or component failure on the sub, or even the robot colliding with an obstruction. //

Feb 17, 2019 at 7:48 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Why is it always soft old Britain that has to carry the can?
Feb 17, 2019 at 6:52 PM | Mark Hodgson

Is there a league table of EU Countries that have fallen foul of the EU Courts?

Is it easier in the UK to get taxpayer funding to take the UK to EU Courts?

I agreed with your post, but you did ask!

Amazing how quick Sky News won the race and found one person. I wonder if they will find the father alive.

Feb 17, 2019 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

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