Category Archives: seminar

Stanley Greenstein defends his Ph D dissertation on predictive modelling

Today I had the pleasure to witness the public defense of Stanley Greenstein’s Ph D dissertation on legal implications of predictive modelling: “Our humanity exposed — Predictive modelling in a legal context” for which I was a co-supervisor on technical matters.

In his dissertation, Stanley gives an inventory of several legal frameworks which might be relevant for the effects predictive modelling might have on an individual. He discusses the risk of “potential harm” — harms which an individual might not even be aware have occurred, such as a somewhat higher interest rate or insurance payment, or not being selected for a job. He examines how European regulations on data protection and human rights are applicable to understanding such harms, and focusses on the target notion of “empowerment” as a legal concept to address the information imbalance between large organisations and individuals.

Stiftelsen för rättsinformation

Jag talade på Stiftelsens för rättsinformation årsmöte på Riksarkivet. Jag fortsatte på samma tema som i föredraget för Föreningen för ADB och juridik häromveckan och beställde mer insikter från jurister om ägande till data. Det finns gott hopp om att detta ska bli av, eftersom Stanley Greenstein från Institutet för rättsinformatik som bäst tar sig an utmaningen i sitt avhandlingsarbete! Ljusbilder här.

Aron Henriksson: Semantic Space of Clinical Text

I had the honour to officiate as an opponent at the public defense of Aron Henriksson’s licentiate thesis Semantic Space of Clinical Text. The very ambitious and well-written thesis reported on a series of very well-wrought and well executed experiments on using semantic spaces implemented through random indexing to process electronic patient records for a set of clearly defined text-oriented tasks: finding synonyms, identifying and explaining abbreviations, detecting adverse reactions to medication, and assigning clinical codes to texts. There were a number of methodological and formal questions to discuss.

  • What does it mean to explore window length in aggregating distributional data, and should aggressive distance weighting be employed?
  • Should different semantic spaces be combined in an ensemble? What semantic relations are we targeting and what do we expect the various spaces to provide?
  • What are appropriate evaluation gold standards, and what would a perfect system do? (My sense is that Aron did his evaluation a disservice by aiming to emulate a very specific standard which does not necessarily actually provide a valid task model.)

Aron and myself, and hopefully (part of) the auditorium, left the seminar with a long list of new ideas on applying our favourite techniques to our favourite text collections.

aron

Föredrag för Teliaseniorer

På inbjudan av Till Mayer, f d SICS styrelsemedlem, talade jag förra veckan om sökmotorer, om tekniken bakom och kommande trender för Senitel — Telias seniorförening — på deras regelbundna torsdagsträffar på Tekniska museet. Det var mycket trevligt: publiken var både nyfiken och tekniskt kunnig och det konsumerbara honoraret åtföljdes av ett noga beskrivet recept på hälleflundra som kommer detaljutprovas i en snar framtid. Ljusbilder här!

Juliagruppen

Igår deltog jag i Juliagruppens första seminarium på temat “Nät och samtal” på Tekniska museet. Perspektivet för Juliagruppens aktiviteter är medborgaraktivism på internet; seminariets två paneler och gästpresentation behandlade möjligheter och hot för detsamma ur flera perspektiv.