Recent advances in automatic machine learning (aML) allow solving problems without any human intervention, which is excellent in certain domains, e.g. in autonomous cars, where we want to exclude the human from the loop and want fully automatic learning. However, sometimes a human-in-the-loop can be beneficial – particularly in solving computationally hard problems. We provide new experimental insights  on how we can improve computational intelligence by complementing it with human intelligence in an interactive machine learning approach (iML). For this purpose, an Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) framework was used, because this fosters multi-agent approaches with human agents in the loop. We propose unification between the human intelligence and interaction skills and the computational power of an artificial system. The ACO framework is used on a case study solving the Traveling Salesman Problem, because of its many practical implications, e.g. in the medical domain. We used ACO due to the fact that it is one of the best algorithms used in many applied intelligence problems. For the evaluation we used gamification, i.e. we implemented a snake-like game called Traveling Snakesman with the MAX–MIN Ant System (MMAS) in the background. We extended the MMAS–Algorithm in a way, that the human can directly interact and influence the ants. This is done by “traveling” with the snake across the graph. Each time the human travels over an ant, the current pheromone value of the edge is multiplied by 5. This manipulation has an impact on the ant’s behavior (the probability that this edge is taken by the ant increases). The results show that the humans performing one tour through the graphs have a significant impact on the shortest path found by the MMAS. Consequently, our experiment demonstrates that in our case human intelligence can positively influence machine intelligence. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study of this kind and it is a wonderful experimental platform for explainable AI.
 Holzinger, A. et al. (2018). Interactive machine learning: experimental evidence for the human in the algorithmic loop. Springer/Nature: Applied Intelligence, doi:10.1007/s10489-018-1361-5.
Read the full article here:
The group around Tom GRIFFITHS *) from the Cognitive Science Lab at Berkeley recently asked in their paper by Rachit Dubey, Pulkit Agrawal, Deepak Pathak, Thomas L. Griffiths & Alexei A. Efros 2018. Investigating Human Priors for Playing Video Games. arXiv:1802.10217: “What makes humans so good at solving seemingly complex video games?”.
(Spoiler short answer in advance: we don’t know – but we can gradually improve our understanding on this topic).
The authors did cool work on investigating the role of human priors for solving video games. On the basis of a specific game, they conducted a series of ablation-studies to quantify the importance of various priors on human performance. For this purpose they modifyied the video game environment to systematically mask different types of visual information that could be used by humans as prior data. The authors found that removal of some prior knowledge causes a drastic degradation in the speed with which human players solve the game, e.g. from 2 minutes to over 20 minutes. Their results indicate that general priors, such as the importance of objects and visual consistency, are critical for efficient game-play.
Read the original paper here:
Or at least glance it over via the ArxiV sanity preserver by Andrew KARPATHY:
Videos and the game manipulations are available here:
*) Tom Griffiths is Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science and is interested in developing mathematical models of higher level cognition, and understanding the formal principles that underlie human ability to solve the computational problems we face in everyday life. His current focus is on inductive problems, such as probabilistic reasoning, learning causal relationships, acquiring and using language, and inferring the structure of categories. He tries to analyze these aspects of human cognition by comparing human behavior to optimal or “rational” solutions to the underlying computational problems. For inductive problems, this usually means exploring how ideas from artificial intelligence, machine learning, and statistics (particularly Bayesian statistics) connect to human cognition.
See the homepage of Tom here:
Enjoy the new version of our travelling snakesman game:
Please follow the instructions given. By playing this game you help to proof the following hypothesis:
“A human-in-the-loop enhances the performance of an automatic algorithm”
This is really very interesting. In the recent April, 5, 2018, TWiML & AI (This Week in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence) podcast, Robert MUNRO (a graduate from Stanford University, who is an recognized expert in combining human and machine intelligence) reports on the newly branded Figure Eight  company, formerly known as CrowdFlower. Their Human-in-the-Loop AI platform supports data science & machine learning teams working on various topics, including autonomous vehicles, consumer product identification, natural language processing, search relevance, intelligent chatbots, and more. Most recently on disaster response and epidemiology. This is a further proof on the enormous importance and potential usefulness of the human-in-the-loop interactive machine Leanring (iML) approach! Listen to this awesome discussion led excellently by Sam CHARRINGTON:
This discussion fits well to the previous discussion with Jeff DEAN (head of the Google Brain team) – who emphasized the importance of health and the limits of automatic approaches including deep learning. Enjoy to listen directly at:
Within the “Two Minute Papers” series, Karol Károly Zsolnai-Fehér from the Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms at the Vienna University of Technology mentions among “10 even cooler Deep Learning Applications” our human-in-the-loop paper:
Seid Muhie Yimam, Chris Biemann, Ljiljana Majnaric, Šefket Šabanović & Andreas Holzinger 2016. An adaptive annotation approach for biomedical entity and relation recognition. Springer/Nature: Brain Informatics, 3, (3), 157-168, doi:10.1007/s40708-016-0036-4
Watch the video here (iML is mentinoned from approx. 1:20):
Here the list of all 10 papers discussed within this 2-minutes-video
1. Geolocation – https://arxiv.org/abs/1602.05314
2. Super-resolution – https://arxiv.org/pdf/1511.04491v1.pdf
3. Neural Network visualizer – https://experiments.mostafa.io/public/…
4. Recurrent neural network for sentence completion:
5. Human-in-the-loop and Doctor-in-the-loop: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40708-016-0036-4
6. Emoji suggestions for images – https://emojini.curalate.com/
7. MNIST handwritten numbers in HD – https://blog.otoro.net/2016/04/01/generating-large-images-from-latent-vectors
8. Deep Learning solution to the Netflix prize – https://karthkk.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/deep-learning-solution-for-netflix-prize/
9. Curating works of art –
10. More robust neural networks against adversarial examples – https://cs231n.stanford.edu/reports201…
The Keras library: https://keras.io/
A) The basic principle of the iML human-in-the-loop approach:
Andreas Holzinger 2016. Interactive Machine Learning for Health Informatics: When do we need the human-in-the-loop? Brain Informatics, 3, (2), 119-131, doi:10.1007/s40708-016-0042-6
B) The entry in the GI Lexikon:
C) The experimental proof-of-concept:
Andreas Holzinger, Markus Plass, Katharina Holzinger, Gloria Cerasela Crisan, Camelia-M. Pintea & Vasile Palade 2017. A glass-box interactive machine learning approach for solving NP-hard problems with the human-in-the-loop. arXiv:1708.01104.
D) Outline and Survey of application possibilities:
Andreas Holzinger, Chris Biemann, Constantinos S. Pattichis & Douglas B. Kell 2017. What do we need to build explainable AI systems for the medical domain? arXiv:1712.09923.
Andreas Holzinger, Bernd Malle, Peter Kieseberg, Peter M. Roth, Heimo Müller, Robert Reihs & Kurt Zatloukal 2017. Towards the Augmented Pathologist: Challenges of Explainable-AI in Digital Pathology. arXiv:1712.06657.
How artificial intelligence will affect jobs
In an discussion with Barack OBAMA  on how artificial intelligence will affect jobs, he emphasized how important human-in-the-loop machine learning will become in the future. Trust, transparency and explainabiltity will be THE driving factors of future AI solutions! The discussion interview was led by the Wired  Editor Scott DADICH, and MIT Media Lab  Director Joi ITO. I recommend my students to watch the full video. Barack Obama demonstrates a good understanding of the field and indicates indirectly the importance of our research in the the human-in-the-loop approach , despite all progress towards fully automatic approaches and autonomous systems.
More information see:
 Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States of America and was in office from January, 20, 2009 to January, 20, 2017. He was born August, 4, 1961 in Honolulu (Hawaii)
 Wired is a monthly tech magazine which reports since 1993 on how emerging technologies may affect culture, politics, economics. Very interesting to note is that Wired is known for coning the popular terms “long tail” and “crowdsourcing”. https://www.wired.com
 The MIT Media Lab is an interdisciplinary research lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge (MA), which is part of the Boston metropolitan area in the north, just across the Charles River – not far way from the Harvard Campus.
 Holzinger, A., Plass, M., Holzinger, K., Crisan, G.C., Pintea, C.-M. & Palade, V. 2017. A glass-box interactive machine learning approach for solving NP-hard problems with the human-in-the-loop. arXiv:1708.01104