ML and a looming replicability crisis

Elizabeth Gibney’s Nature article, Could machine learning fuel a reproducibility crisis in science?, is an intriguing exploration about reproducibility in disciplines that use Machine Learning with a particular focus on computational reproducibility.

The challenges of training data from the same period or even including data in both training and evaluation data, or data leakage, are challenging ones. I am more of a software than machine learning person but it does suggest that training and critical thinking in this area is required. It does sound as if there is a deeper move to this.

The article gestures to the looming AI winter and the legitimacy of the results. I seem to recall the coming AI winter before. The second part is more problematic. Machine Learning, in many forms, is embedded into creating the epistemic object, which makes the potential crisis more challenging of results cannot be trusted.

Who keeps minimal computing running?

Digital Humanities Quarterly has a special issue on Minimal Computing. Roopika Risam and Alex Gil;s introduction neatly frames the challenges that the subject raises but Quinn Dombrowski’s article, Minimizing Computing Maximizes Labor, excavates what it really means to develop with minimal computing. It is an issue that I have been thinking about recently after various […]

Critical Design and Digital Humanities

Peter Forberg’s paper, Critical Design as Theory, Experiment, and Data: A Sociologically-Informed Approach to Visualizing Networks of Loss, on Digital Humanities Quarterly is an intriguing read that I will come back to in the near future as I do some reading catch up. It develops David Berry and Anders Fagerjord’s call for a Critical Digital […]

Ethics and Experimental Humanities

Just catching up with some reading as a bit of a break from other things and saw this article on Ethical Issues and Experimental Humanities on the Talking Humanities blog. Linking to it as a post it for later but it links to a few things that I have been thinking about.

Memory as Signal

Benjamin N Jacobsen’s article in New Media and Society, When is the right time to remember?: Social media memories, temporality and the kairologic, explores the concerns of memory in socio-technical systems like Twitter and Facebook. The one thing that strikes me is the idea that the window that is used. Maybe it is a result […]

Strava, segments, and tracking

A few years ago, Strava visualised the GPS co-ordinates in their data and displayed the locations of secret bases. A change of privacy settings later and, apparently, all was secret again. The Guardian has just run a story on using segments and GPS locations to show individuals within the bases through re-purposing the segment function. […]

Sonification, Schemas and Microdata

In an ongoing experiment, I am playing around with representing sonification in HTML to enable sharing it within a webpage, focusing on the Event and AudioObject schemas. Following some currently unpublished thesis work, I was curious about trying to model the thing that I was writing about and putting it into the mark-up to allow […]

Notes on recent blogs

A post on Slashdot pointed me towards the post, High-Performance Mobile System-on-Chip Clusters, on the ACM blog. Posting here as a sticky note for a potential project. However I am also aware that this might become part of the notes graveyard, Notes apps are where ideas go to die. And that’s good.

Critical Making and DIY zine

I have just come across Garnet Hertz’s ‘zine, Two Terms: Critical Making + D.I.Y, on his Concept Labs website. Still reading at the moment but the move to making as part of research is a theme that resonates.


Posted as a reference, this Guardian article on the idea of post-theory science based in Anderson’s end of theory in big data but also with machine learning makes some valid points. Bernard Stiegler’s Automated Society (Polity, 2016) covers some of the same area but from a Humanist perspective.