Apple’s director of AI research Russ Salakhutdinov has announced at a conference that the company’s machine-learning researchers will be free to publish their findings. This is an apparent reversal of Apple's previous position.
Refusing permission to publish was said to be keeping the company out of the loop and meaning that the best people in the field didn’t want to work for Apple.
We will see whether this move is sufficient to attract the top talent they're looking for.
As someone who has turned down offers in the military, I have often heard that it was childish and inefficient to have ideals when hunting for jobs. Well, here is the proof that it is not.
I really congratulate these researchers. By their perseverance alone they may be helping avoid one of the most worrisome dystopia ever anticipate by SF writers.
It's very much a kick the ladder away type of company.
But you know they'll just spearhead another collusion with other tech company.
For people with top-rated skills in heavy, heavy demand.
If you're the unicorn that everyone's after, you've always been able to dictate your terms.
1. The article is based on a paper submitted to the prestigious CVPR, which is obviously not anonymous. ( https://arxiv.org/abs/1612.07828 ) They mention this at the end of the post.
2. The blog's "journal" name is misleading. It means "journal" in the sense of a record of some of the stuff happening at Apple. My guess is that the blog post does not name authors because it was written by an Apple representative who manages public communications---probably because Apple is very very particular about managing their brand and what they say publicly. I wouldn't put it beyond Apple to hire someone well-versed in ML just for this role.
So, while they are starting to allow researchers to publish, they have quite some distance to go to encourage their researchers to communicate freely. One step at a time, I guess...
PS: Somehow the SNAFU of deliberately calling it a "journal" is very reminiscent of Steve Jobs's chutzpah.
So who wrote this? You say it's "based on a paper" written by known authors, but did they write this publication? Why not put their names not on it? Or did a representative write it, as you suggest? We don't know. It's anonymous.
> The blog's "journal" name is misleading
The usage seems similar to that of "Bell Labs Technical Journal" or "Lincoln Laboratory Journal."
I'm confused - for me the answer is quite obvious. The authors listed on the CVPR paper wrote the published paper or are you suggesting otherwise?
It is unattributed, and while clearly based on the CVPR it is different enough that if it were a traditional publication it would be counted separately. If someone wanted to cite this post, what would they cite?
By comparison, distil.pub is a properly citable journal: https://distill.pub/2017/momentum/#citation
I might phrase it more as "They want researchers who are already motivated by the contribution of knowledge"
I know that if I were an ML researcher I would not be happy with all my findings being horded by a single company when the field overall is making lots of progress.
On other hand, how do you decide if person is worth talking to? worth collaborating? worth giving tenure? The problem exacerbates when supply side dominates many magnitudes over demand side. This is precisely why we as human always keep establishing trust relationships that allows us to filter out signals from noise. You monitor writings of people you know have produced stuff on interests, not every random thing out there.
The intended audience is other researchers in your field, not the general public.
Your reputation as an academic or researcher rest on your publication record (plus your ability to land funding). If you publish highly-cited papers in prestigious journals or conference proceedings, you're considered among the best in your field. This opens the door to promotions, better job offers, etc.
Researchers at Apple have historically forgone the ability to publish. They have no reputation in the field. This significantly harms their ability to get a job elsewhere as a researcher.
You might get a sneak peek at the publish-or-perish dynamic to a lesser degree when you get to high school- sometimes you can get into special programs where you have a chance to help out with research being done by college students. If you get into a really good program and really distinguish yourself, you can even get your name alongside theirs on the paper.
Unfortunately, you will find that believe it or not, those college students are not already working out which color of Ferrari to buy with their sweet advance from SIGGRAPH or wherever. I think they deserve it personally, because I really care really hard about pushing science and engineering forward, but sadly the big bucks are still going to NFL players and pop stars instead.
This is what lead me to get out of research and start my first company.
I was in a research group at PARC doing work on programming language epistemology and semantics. The group papers were typically mostly predicate calculus. At a POPL our group lead presented a paper; I was in the audience. After the paper we got polite and even enthusiastic applause, but two people in front of my in the audience spoke during the applause: Q: "Did you understand that?" A: "Not a single word"
I realized there were perhaps a dozen people in the world who even understood what we were working on, and of those 12 at least 10, if not all 12 of them were smarter/understood the subject much better than I.
It really didn't seem like it was going to make a difference to the universe.
It's pretty obscene that you equate any desire for recognition of your work with being a blowhard.
There is also a security issue as thought that he has a lot of bitcoins hidden away.
And yeah, there've been several theories about who it might be. It's like the Banksy of the cryptocurrency world. Just as cool, but way less street cred :)
How about researchers in other fields?!?
Apple released the iPhone 2 years before the Magic Mouse and that paper was released.
Quite sure that it was also an inspiration.
So you're implying that Apple saw the idea, copied it, and used it to bring a product to market—in months? That's not how any of that works.
To who? When I hear that I just think that means you are a naive fresh graduate doing basic data cleaning tasks.
Isn't that presumptuous?
> For more details on the work we describe in this article, see our CVPR paper “Learning from Simulated and Unsupervised Images through Adversarial Training” .
And the citation is
>  A. Shrivastava, T. Pfister, O. Tuzel, J. Susskind, W. Wang, R. Webb, Learning from Simulated and Unsupervised Images through Adversarial Training. CVPR, 2017.
So it looks like those are the authors.
Edit: oops, turns out I mistakenly responded to the content of the paper instead of the fact that it exists and the form of its existence. Sorry.
If this was to be directly implemented in the real world your arguments would need to be addressed, however I'm certain this research paper wouldn't be abused in that manner.
Disclaimer: I'm a graduate student studying Computer Vision.
Seems like more of a PR stunt than anything useful, but who knows.
So the researchers at Apple are still getting credit for their work in the scientific community, but the PR-facing side of their work is anonymous, probably for some aesthetic reason (this is Apple, of course)
1. a daily record, as of occurrences, experiences, or observations[...]
3. a periodical or magazine, especially one published for a special group, learned society, or profession[...]
4. a record, usually daily, of the proceedings and transactions of a legislative body, an organization, etc.
Although, a company publishing a peer-reviewed scientific journal like Nature would be surprising. So maybe that isn't the common interpretation when they see the title. Maybe it isn't totally misleading. I guess I'm split on it. :)
It isn't 2: This isn't what would be generally understood as a 'periodical' or 'magazine'. It doesn't even resemble the trade publications that are often published by larger businesses.
It certainly isn't 4 - Apple isn't giving away terribly detailed accounts of their research activities.
The word "journal" comes from french "jour" which translates to "day".
The word blog comes from log which original comes from tabular record-keeping of ship speed.
"Blog" is not short for "journal on the Internet", it's short for "web log" and means something far broader than "diary" that you seem to associate it with. It's not just a log/journal on the web, it's a newsletter, a flier, a classified ad, a newspaper, a document repository, a knowledge base, an event calendar, and a ton more use cases. It's all of those rolled into one. And since "journal/newsletter/advertisement/diary/repository online" is too long, we just shorten it to one four letter word: blog.
The weirdest thing to me is when people say they hate specific words when no other commonly-used word exists to describe the same thing. You can't hate a word. It's the most fundamental concept of communication, that we all agree what various scribbles and noises actually mean. "Journal" has a meaning. So does "blog". They don't always overlap.
 A. Shrivastava, T. Pfister, O. Tuzel, J. Susskind, W. Wang, R. Webb, Learning from Simulated and Unsupervised Images through Adversarial Training. CVPR, 2017.
I'm somewhat sceptical that such a policy is better than what's usually practiced, but I can imagine that it may be legitimate under the right circumstances.
"The main reason for anonymity, however, is a belief that what is written is more important than who writes it. In the words of Geoffrey Crowther, our editor from 1938 to 1956, anonymity keeps the editor 'not the master but the servant of something far greater than himself…it gives to the paper an astonishing momentum of thought and principle.'"
Apparently now that they aren't allowed to collude to price-fix salaries with illegal anti-"poaching" agreements, they aren't letting employees have names. Can't "poach" (normal people call it "hire") 'em if you can't name 'em.
> This launch is particularly interesting because this isn't typical for Apple, a fairly secretive and top down company (when it comes to external communications). Timing makes a lot of sense with their upcoming launch of ARkit, Apple Home, and the inevitable "Siri 2.0", among other things.
- The URL structure doesn't seem to be dynamic. For instance, https://machinelearning.apple.com/2017/ doesn't give a list of all articles from 2017, just a response of "Not found" (at least it gives a 404 error, so that's nice).
- The js files make extensive use of `require()` which is often used by Node.js developers http://fredkschott.com/post/2014/06/require-and-the-module-s...
It's "just" not referenced in the source.
I get that social networks are the tool of choice to prioritise articles from the major news outlets–if The Atlantic publishes something spectacular, it will find me.
But how on earth am I supposed to follow something like this, when I have to guess randomly to even find a feed? Are they expecting me to bookmark it and check for news once a week? There's no Twitter account, newsletter signup, Facebook link... nothing.
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Apple Machine Learning Journal" href="/feed.xml" />
Feels like an early post to show they've done some advanced work in making sure you can't trick them.
Wouldn't be surprised to see it more in use, though.
PS I know the desktop font is available for download at the apple developer site ... but I'm talking about the web font