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  1. Ranzato, M. ; Beygelzimer, A. ; Liang, P.S. ; Vaughan, J.W. ; Dauphin, Y. (Ed.)
    Federated Learning (FL) is a distributed learning framework, in which the local data never leaves clients’ devices to preserve privacy, and the server trains models on the data via accessing only the gradients of those local data. Without further privacy mechanisms such as differential privacy, this leaves the system vulnerable against an attacker who inverts those gradients to reveal clients’ sensitive data. However, a gradient is often insufficient to reconstruct the user data without any prior knowledge. By exploiting a generative model pretrained on the data distribution, we demonstrate that data privacy can be easily breached. Further, when such prior knowledge is unavailable, we investigate the possibility of learning the prior from a sequence of gradients seen in the process of FL training. We experimentally show that the prior in a form of generative model is learnable from iterative interactions in FL. Our findings demonstrate that additional mechanisms are necessary to prevent privacy leakage in FL.
  2. Crowdsourcing platforms emerged as popular venues for purchasing human intelligence at low cost for large volume of tasks. As many low-paid workers are prone to give noisy answers, a common practice is to add redundancy by assigning multiple workers to each task and then simply average out these answers. However, to fully harness the wisdom of the crowd, one needs to learn the heterogeneous quality of each worker. We resolve this fundamental challenge in crowdsourced regression tasks, i.e., the answer takes continuous labels, where identifying good or bad workers becomes much more non-trivial compared to a classification setting of discrete labels. In particular, we introduce a Bayesian iterative scheme and show that it provably achieves the optimal mean squared error. Our evaluations on synthetic and real-world datasets support our theoretical results and show the superiority of the proposed scheme.