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## Errata and comments - stray minus sign, Bayes, H&B

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• I d like to begin my comments on Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, 2nd Edition by saying that this is a truly, truly excellent book, which I
Message 1 of 5 , May 26, 2007
I'd like to begin my comments on "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern
Approach, 2nd Edition" by saying that this is a truly, truly excellent
book, which I recommend to all technically minded friends when they
say they want to learn more about AI, and whenever someone takes a
first college course on AI I tell them to make sure it is taught with
this book. There are just a few minor comments and errata...

I've divided this email into two parts, since the comments on page 963
are extensive enough to deserve a separate email.

*

The only actual math error listed in my notes is on page 719. There's
a stray minus sign in the first equation of (20.4), for the
maximum-likelihood estimate of a gaussian's mean. Since the
derivative is subsequently set equal to zero, the error does not
propagate, but the qualitative physics is wrong - if all x_j are
higher than u, increasing u should increase the log-likelihood, not
decrease it.

*

On page 9, it says that "Thomas Bayes (1702-1761) proposed a rule for
updating probabilities in the light of new evidence. Bayes' rule and
the resulting field called Bayesian analysis form the basis of most
modern approaches to uncertain reasoning in AI systems." IANAHOM (I
Am Not A Historian Of Mathematics) but I've read in more than one
source that Bayes did not invent Bayes's Theorem. For example, E. T.
Jaynes's _Probability Theory: The Logic of Science_, section 4.6.1 on
page 112:

"...the kind of calculations we are doing are called 'Bayesian'. We
shall follow this long-established custom, although it is misleading
in several respects. The general result (4.3) is always called
'Bayes' theorem', although Bayes never wrote it; and it is really
nothing but the product rule of probability theory which had been
recognized by others, such as James Bernoulli and A. de Moivre (1718),
long before the work of Bayes. Furthermore, it was not Bayes but
Laplace (1774) who first saw the result in generality and showed how
to use it in real problems of inference. Finally, the calculations we
are doing - the direct application of probability theory as logic -
are more general than mere application of Bayes' theorem; that is only
one of several items in our toolbox."

Bayes actually derived what is now known as Laplace's Rule of
Succession. Laplace, impressed by this use of inverse inference,
decided to call such calculations "Bayesian". Thus, Bayesian
probability theory should really be known as "Laplacian probability
theory", Laplace's Rule of Succession should really be known as
"Bayes's Rule of Succession", and I don't think anyone knows who
invented Bayes's Theorem.

*

My highest-priority want item for a third edition would be at least
one dedicated section, with examples, for the field of heuristics and
biases - the box on p. 592 isn't nearly enough. This is a hugely
important and growing field, critical to anyone interested in taking
apart human cognition to see how it works, and helpful to any human
being who wants an owner's manual for their own reasoning. It would
be a significant service to students to show them enough of the basics
to tantalize them into learning further. I would recommend
introducing at least availability, anchoring and adjustment, and the
conjunction fallacy.

(See e.g. http://singinst.org/Biases.pdf).

--
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://singinst.org/
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
• ... But the content of the book is not free. It would be great if the authors will release at least some parts (e.g. the Summaries and the Bibliographical and
Message 2 of 5 , May 27, 2007
On Sat, May 26, 2007 01:26:22PM -0700, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> I'd like to begin my comments on "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern
> Approach, 2nd Edition" by saying that this is a truly, truly excellent
> book, which I recommend to all technically minded friends

But the content of the book is not free. It would be great if the
authors will release at least some parts (e.g. the Summaries and the
Bibliographical and Historical Notes) in a Creative Commons License.
For instance I would like to incorporate some parts in my open source project,
and others maybe interested in doing the same on Wikipedia articles.

--
Iván F. Villanueva B.
A.I. project http://www.artificialidea.com
• Hey Ivan and Eliezer, BTW, I think you folks may also want to voice these opinion on the other Yahoo Group. -- Take care,
Message 3 of 5 , May 27, 2007
Hey Ivan and Eliezer,

BTW, I think you folks may also want to voice these opinion on the
other Yahoo Group.

<aima-instructors@yahoogroups.com>

--
Take care,

Muaz Niazi
Asst. Prof.,
Foundation University,
FUIMCS, 1 New Lalazar,
Rawalpindi,
Pakistan

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools. "

Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless
English humorist & science fiction novelist (1952 - 2001)

On 5/27/07, Ivan F. Villanueva B. <ivan@... > wrote:
>
> On Sat, May 26, 2007 01:26:22PM -0700, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> > I'd like to begin my comments on "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern
> > Approach, 2nd Edition" by saying that this is a truly, truly excellent
> > book, which I recommend to all technically minded friends
>
> But the content of the book is not free. It would be great if the
> authors will release at least some parts (e.g. the Summaries and the
> Bibliographical and Historical Notes) in a Creative Commons License.
> For instance I would like to incorporate some parts in my open source project,
> and others maybe interested in doing the same on Wikipedia articles.
>
> --
> Iván F. Villanueva B.
> A.I. project http://www.artificialidea.com
>
• That s an interesting idea. Of course the publishers, not the authors, are thee ones with the right to do that. But the authors can encourage the publishers
Message 4 of 5 , May 27, 2007
That's an interesting idea.  Of course the publishers, not the authors, are thee ones with the right to do that.  But the authors can encourage the publishers to do so.

-Peter

On 5/27/07, Ivan F. Villanueva B. <ivan@...> wrote:
On Sat, May 26, 2007 01:26:22PM -0700, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> I'd like to begin my comments on "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern
> Approach, 2nd Edition" by saying that this is a truly, truly excellent
> book, which I recommend to all technically minded friends

But the content of the book is not free. It would be great if the
authors will release at least some parts (e.g. the Summaries and the
Bibliographical and Historical Notes) in a Creative Commons License.
For instance I would like to incorporate some parts in my open source project,
and others maybe interested in doing the same on Wikipedia articles.

--
Iván F. Villanueva B.
A.I. project http://www.artificialidea.com

• ... That s probably because the authors, not the publishers, didn t care enough about the rights of the published work and the specific parts of the contract.
Message 5 of 5 , Jun 28, 2007
> On 5/27/07, Ivan F. Villanueva B. <ivan@...> wrote:
>> But the content of the book is not free. It would be great if the
>> authors will release at least some parts (e.g. the Summaries and the
>> Bibliographical and Historical Notes) in a Creative Commons License.

On Sun, May 27, 2007 10:33:10AM -0700, Peter Norvig wrote:
> That's an interesting idea. Of course the publishers, not the authors, are
> thee ones with the right to do that. But the authors can encourage the
> publishers to do so.

That's probably because the authors, not the publishers, didn't care enough
about the rights of the published work and the specific parts of the contract.

I would suggest a license like that for as many parts of the book as possible:

That would be really great. We are in the 21. century, with amazing new things
like Wikipedia. Help the new generation!

--
Iván F. Villanueva B.
A.I. Open Source project: -- www.artificialidea.com
FFII.org Deutschland -- de.ffii.org
FFII.org España -- es.ffii.org
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