PAIR Symposium 2017

The first People + AI Research Symposium brings together academics, researchers and artists to discuss such topics as augmented intelligence, model interpretability, and human–AI collaboration.

PAIR Symposium

The Symposium is part of PAIR initiative, a Google Artificial Intelligence project, and is scheduled to go on livestream on September 26, 2017, at 9 am (GMT-4).

The livestream content will be available on this link.

Morning Program:
1) Welcome: John Giannandrea (4:55); Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas (20:06)
2) Jess Holbrook, PAIR Google
(UX lead for the AI project. Talks about the concept of Human-centered Machine Learning)
3) Karrie …, University of Illinois
4)  Hae Won Park, MIT
5) Maya Gupla, Google
6) Antonio Torralba, MIT
7) John Zimmerman, Carnegie Melon University

Webinar: ImageNet – Where have we been? Where are we going?

ACM Learning Webinar
ImageNet: Where have we been? Where are we going?
Speaker: Fei-Fei Li
Chief Scientist of AI/ML at Google Cloud; Associate Professor at Stanford, Director of Stanford A.I. Lab


Webinar abstract: It took nature and evolution more than 500 million years to develop a powerful visual system in humans. The journey for AI and computer vision is about half of a century. In this talk, Dr. Li will briefly discuss the key ideas and the cutting-edge advances in the quest for visual intelligence in computers, focusing on work done to develop ImageNet over the years.


Some highlights of this webinar:

1) The impact of ImageNet on AI/ ML research:
  • First. What’s ImageNet? It’s an image database, a “… largescale ontology of images built upon the backbone of the WordNet structure”;
  • The article “ImageNet: A Large-Scale Hierarchical Image Database” (1) has ~4,386 citations by the time on Google Scholar;
  • The dataset gave origin to The ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge (ILSVRC) (2), a benchmark in image classification and object detection in images running annually from 2010 up to now;
  • Many ImageNet Challenge Contestants became Startups (e.g. Clarifai; VizSense);
  • ImageNet became a key driven-force for deep learning implementation and helped to spread the culture of building structured datasets for specific domains:
Annotated datasets for specific domains.
  • Kaggle: a platform for predictive modeling and analytics competitions in which companies and researchers post data and statisticians and data miners compete to produce the best models for predicting and describing the data

Datasets – not algorithms – might be the key limiting factor to develpment of human-level artificial inteligence.” (Alexander Wissner-Gross, 2016)

2) The background of ImageNet
  • The beginning: Publication about ImageNet in CVPR (2009);
  • There are a lot of previous datasets that should be acknowledged:
Previous image datasets.
  • The reason why ImageNet became so popular is that this dataset has the rights characteristics to implement Computer Vision (CV) tasks from a Machine Learning (ML) approach.;
  • By 2005, the marriage of ML and CV became a trend in the scientific community;
  • There was a shift in the way ML was applied for visual recognition tasks: from a modeling-oriented approach to having lots of data.
  • This shift was partly enabled by the rapid internet data growth, that meant the opportunity to collect a large-scale visual data.
    3) From Wordnet to ImageNet
  • ImageNet was built upon the backbone of the WordNet, a tremendous dataset that enabled work in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and related tasks.
  • What’s WordNet? It’s a large lexical database of English. The original paper (3) by George Miller et al is cited over 5k. The database organizers over 150k words into 117k categories. It establishes ontological and lexical relationships in NLP and related tasks.
  • The idea to move from language to image:
From WordNet to ImageNet.
  • Three steps shift:
    • Step 1: ontological structures based on wordnet;
    • Step 2: populate categories with thousands of images from the internet;
    • Step3: clean bad results manually. By cleaning the errors you ensure your dataset is accurate.
From WordNet to ImageNet: three steps.
  • Three attempts to populate, train and test the dataset. The first two failed. The third was successful due to a new technology that became available by that time:  Amazon Mechanical Turk, a kind of crowdsourced engineer. Imagenet had the help of 49k workers from 167 countries (2007-2010).
  • After three years, ImageNet goes live in 2009 (50M images organized by 10K concept categories)
4) What they did right?
  • Based on ML needs, ImageNet targeted scale:
ImageNet: large-scale visual data
  • Besides, the database cared about:
    • image quality (high resolution to better replicate human visual acuity);
    • accurate annotations (to create a benchmarking dataset and advance the state of machine perception);
    • free of Charge (to ensure immediate application and a sense of community -> democratization)
  • Emphasis on Community: ILSVRC challenge is launched in 2009;
  • ILSVRC was inspired in PASCAL by VOC (Pattern Analysis, Statistical Modelling, and Computational Learning). From 2005-2012.
  • Participation and performance: the number of entries increased; classification errors (top-5) went down; the average precision for object detection went up:
Participation and performance at ILSVRC (2010-2017)
5) In what ImageNet invested and still investing efforts?
  • Lack of details: just one category annotated per image. Object detection enabled to recognize more than one class per image (through bounding boxs);
  • Hierarchical annotation:
Confusion matrix and sub-matrices of classifying the 7404 leaf categories in ImageNet7K, ordered by a depth-first traversal of the WordNet hierarchy (J. Deng, A. Berg & L. Fei-Fei, ECCV, 2010) (4)
  • Fine-grained recognition: recognize similar objects (class of cars, for example):
Fine-Grained Recognition (Gebru, Krause, Deng, Fei-Fei, CHI 2017)
6) Expected outcomes
  • ImageNet became a benchmark
  • It meant a breakthrough in object recognition
  • Machine learning advanced and changed dramatically
7) Unexpected outcomes
  • Neural Nets became popular in academical research again
  • Together, with the increase of accurate and available datasets and high-performance GPUs they promoted a Deep Learning revolution:
  • Maximize specificity in ontological structures:
Maximizing specificity (Deng, Krause, Berg & Fei-Fei, CVPR 2012)
  • Still, relatively few works uses ontological structures;
  • Human comparing versus machine comparing:
How humans and machines compare (Andrej Karpathy, 2014)
7) What lies ahead
  • moving from object recognition to human-level understanding (from perception to cognition):
It means more than recognizing objects AI will allow scene understanding, that is, the relations between people, actions and artifacts in an image.
  • That’s the concept behind Microsoft COCO (Common Objects in Context) (5), a “dataset with the goal of advancing the state-of-the-art in object recognition by placing the question of object recognition in the context of the broader question of scene understanding”;
  • More recently there is the Visual Genome (6), a dataset, a knowledge base, an ongoing effort to connect structural image concepts to language:
    • Specs • 108,249 images (COCO images) • 4.2M image descriptions • 1.8M Visual QA (7W) • 1.4M objects, 75.7K obj. classes • 1.5M relationships, 40.5K rel. classes • 1.7M attributes, 40.5K attr. classes • Vision and language correspondences • Everything mapped to WordNet Synset
    • Exploratory interface:
The interface allows to search fore image and select different image attributes.
  • Visual Genome dataset was further used to advance the state-of-art in CV:
    • Paragraph generation;
    • Relationship prediction;
    • Image retrieval with scene graph;
    • visual questioning and answering
  • The future of vision intelligence relies upon the integration of perception, understanding, and action;
  • From now on, ImageNet ILSVRC challenge will be organized by Kaggle, a data science community that organizes competitions and makes datasets available.

(1) J. Deng, W. Dong, R. Socher, L.-J. Li, K. Li and L. Fei-Fei, ImageNet: A Large-Scale Hierarchical Image Database. IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2009. 

(2) Russakovsky, Olga, Jia Deng, Hao Su, Jonathan Krause, Sanjeev Satheesh, Sean Ma, Zhiheng Huang, et al. “ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge.” International Journal of Computer Vision 115, no. 3 (December 2015): 211–52. doi:10.1007/s11263-015-0816-y.

(3) Miller, George A. “WordNet: A Lexical Database for English.” Communications of the ACM 38, no. 11 (1995): 39–41.

(4) Deng, Jia, Alexander C. Berg, Kai Li, and Li Fei-Fei. “What Does Classifying More than 10,000 Image Categories Tell Us?” In European Conference on Computer Vision, 71–84. Springer, 2010.

(5) Lin, Tsung-Yi, Michael Maire, Serge Belongie, Lubomir Bourdev, Ross Girshick, James Hays, Pietro Perona, Deva Ramanan, C. Lawrence Zitnick, and Piotr Dollár. “Microsoft COCO: Common Objects in Context.” arXiv:1405.0312 [Cs], May 1, 2014.

(6) Krishna, Ranjay, Yuke Zhu, Oliver Groth, Justin Johnson, Kenji Hata, Joshua Kravitz, Stephanie Chen, et al. “Visual Genome.” Accessed September 27, 2017.

Your face in 3D

Reconstructing a 3-D model of a face is a fundamental Computer Vision problem that usually requires multiple images. But a recent publication presents an artificial intelligence approach to tackle this problem. And it does an impressive job!

In this work, the authors train a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) on an appropriate dataset consisting of 2D images and 3D facial models or scans. See more information at their project website.

Try their online demo!
Reference: Jackson, Aaron S., Adrian Bulat, Vasileios Argyriou, and Georgios Tzimiropoulos. “Large Pose 3D Face Reconstruction from a Single Image via Direct Volumetric CNN Regression.” arXiv:1703.07834 [Cs], March 22, 2017.

Machine Learning and Logo Design

The rise of neural networks and generative design are impacting the creative industry. One recent example of this repercussion is Adobe using AI to automate some designer’s tasks.

This Fast Company article approaches the application of Machine Learning to Logo Design and touches the issue of whether or not robots and automation are coming to take designer’s jobs.

More specifically, the article describes Mark Maker, a web-based platform that generates logo designs.

In Mark Maker, you start typing in a word.
The system then generates logos for the given word.

But how does it work? I’ll quote Fast Company’s explanation: “In Mark Maker, you type in a word. The system then uses a genetic algorithm–a kind of program that mimics natural selection–to generate an endless succession of logos. When you like a logo, you click a heart, which tells the system to generate more logos like it. By liking enough logos, the idea is that Mark Maker can eventually generate one that suits your needs, without ever employing a human designer”.

I’m not sure if we can say this tool is actually applying design to create logos. Either way, it still a fun web toy. Give it a try!

How bias happens in Machine Learning

Interaction bias? Latent bias? Selection bias?

An insightful video by Google Creative Lab explaining how intelligent machines perpetuates humans bias.

Just because something is based on data, doesn’t automatically make it neutral. Even with good intention, it’s impossible to separate ourselves from our own human biases. So our human biases become part of the technology we create in many differente ways.

“Human-augmented” design: how Adobe is using AI to automate designer’s tasks

According to a Fast Company article, Adobe is applying machine learning and image recognition to graphic and web design. Using Sensei, the company has created tools that automate designers’ tasks, like cropping photos and designing web pages.

Instead of a designer deciding on layout, colors, photos, and photo sizes, the software platform automatically analyzes all the input and recommends design elements to the user. Using image recognition techniques, basic photo editing like cropping is automated, and an AI makes design recommendations for the pages. Using photos already in the client’s database (and the metadata attached to those photos), the AI–which, again, is layered into Adobe’s CMS–makes recommendations on elements to include and customizations for the designer to make.

Should designers be worried? I guess not. Machine learning helps automate tedious and boring tasks. The vast majority of graphic designers don’t have to worry about algorithms stealing their jobs.

While machine learning is great for understanding large data sets and making recommendations, it’s awful at analyzing subjective things such as taste.