November 2022 Perhaps November conjures thoughts of holiday feasts and festivities, but for us, it’s the perfect time to chew the fat about machine learning! Make room on your plate for a peek behind the scenes into our current research on harnessing synthetic image generation to improve classification tasks. And, as usual, we reflect on our favorite reads of the month.
New Research! In the first half of this year, we focused on natural language processing with our Text Style Transfer blog series.
Introduction This post documents the first part of a research effort to quantify the impact of synthetic data augmentation in training a deep learning model for detecting manufacturing defects on steel surfaces. We chose to generate synthetic data using CycleGAN,1 an architecture involving several networks that jointly learn a mapping between two image domains from unpaired examples (I’ll elaborate below). Research from recent years has demonstrated improvement on tasks like defect detection2 and image segmentation3 by augmenting real image data sets with synthetic data, since deep learning algorithms require massive amounts of data, and data collection can easily become a bottleneck.
October 2022 We’ve got another action-packed newsletter for October! Highlights this month include the re-release of a classic CFFL research report, an example-heavy tutorial on Dask for distributed ML, and our picks for the best reads of the month.
Open Data Science Conference Cloudera Fast Forward Labs will be at ODSC West near San Fransisco on November 1st-3rd, 2022! If you’ll be in the Bay Area, don’t miss Andrew and Melanie who will be presenting our recent research on Neutralizing Subjectivity Bias with HuggingFace Transformers.
September 2022 Welcome to the September edition of the Cloudera Fast Forward Labs newsletter. This month we’re talking about ethics and we have all kinds of goodies to share including the final installment of our Text Style Transfer series and a couple of offerings from our newest research engineer. Throw in some choice must-reads and an ASR demo, and you’ve got yourself an action-packed newsletter!
New Research! Ethical Considerations When Designing an NLG System In the final post of our blog series on Text Style Transfer, we discuss some ethical considerations when working with natural language generation systems, and describe the design of our prototype application: Exploring Intelligent Writing Assistance.
This post has a companion piece: Ethics Sheet for AI-assisted Comic Book Art Generation I want to make a comic book. Actually, I want to make tools for making comic books. See, the problem is, I can’t draw too good. I mean, I’m working on it. Check out these self portraits drawn 6 months apart:
Left: “Sad Face”. February 2022. Right: “Eyyyy”. August 2022. But I have a long way to go until my illustrations would be considered professional quality, notwithstanding the time it would take me to develop the many other skills needed for making comic books.
August 2022 Welcome to the August edition of the Cloudera Fast Forward Labs newsletter. This month we’re thrilled to introduce a new member of the FFL team, share TWO new applied machine learning prototypes we’ve built, and, as always, offer up some intriguing reads.
New Research Engineer! If you’re a regular reader of our newsletter, you likely noticed that we’ve been searching for new research engineers to join the Cloudera Fast Forward Labs team.
The NLP task of text style transfer (TST) aims to automatically control the style attributes of a piece of text while preserving the content, which is an important consideration for making NLP more user-centric. In this report, we explore text style transfer through an applied use case — neutralizing subjectivity bias in free text. Along the way, we describe our sequence-to-sequence modeling approach leveraging HuggingFace Transformers, and present a set of custom, reference-free evaluation metrics for quantifying model performance. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of ethics centered around our prototype: Exploring Intelligent Writing Assistance.
Concept drift occurs when the statistical properties of a target domain change overtime causing model performance to degrade. Drift detection is generally achieved by monitoring a performance metric of interest and triggering a retraining pipeline when that metric falls below some designated threshold. However, this approach assumes ample labeled data is available at prediction time - an unrealistic constraint for many production systems. In this report, we explore various approaches for dealing with concept drift when labeled data is not readily accessible.
Being able to recommend an item of interest to a user (based on their past preferences) is a highly relevant problem in practice. A key trend over the past few years has been session-based recommendation algorithms that provide recommendations solely based on a user’s interactions in an ongoing session, and which do not require the existence of user profiles or their entire historical preferences. This report explores a simple, yet powerful, NLP-based approach (word2vec) to recommend a next item to a user. While NLP-based approaches are generally employed for linguistic tasks, here we exploit them to learn the structure induced by a user’s behavior or an item’s nature.
Text classification can be used for sentiment analysis, topic assignment, document identification, article recommendation, and more. While dozens of techniques now exist for this fundamental task, many of them require massive amounts of labeled data in order to be useful. Collecting annotations for your use case is typically one of the most costly parts of any machine learning application. In this report, we explore how latent text embeddings can be used with few (or even zero) training examples and provide insights into best practices for implementing this method.
Cloudera Fast Forward Labs is an applied machine learning research group. Our mission is to empower enterprise data science practitioners to apply emergent academic research to production machine learning use cases in practical and socially responsible ways, while also driving innovation through the Cloudera ecosystem. Our team brings thoughtful, creative, and diverse perspectives to deeply researched work. In this way, we strive to help organizations make the most of their ML investment as well as educate and inspire the broader machine learning and data science community.