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  1. Abstract

    Designing effective and inclusive governance and public communication strategies for artificial intelligence (AI) requires understanding how stakeholders reason about its use and governance. We examine underlying factors and mechanisms that drive attitudes toward the use and governance of AI across six policy-relevant applications using structural equation modeling and surveys of both US adults (N = 3,524) and technology workers enrolled in an online computer science master’s degree program (N = 425). We find that the cultural values of individualism, egalitarianism, general risk aversion, and techno-skepticism are important drivers of AI attitudes. Perceived benefit drives attitudes toward AI use but not its governance. Experts hold more nuanced views than the public and are more supportive of AI use but not its regulation. Drawing on these findings, we discuss challenges and opportunities for participatory AI governance, and we recommend that trustworthy AI governance be emphasized as strongly as trustworthy AI.

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  2. Active learning is commonly used to train label-efficient models by adaptively selecting the most informative queries. However, most active learning strategies are designed to either learn a representation of the data (e.g., embedding or metric learning) or perform well on a task (e.g., classification) on the data. However, many machine learning tasks involve a combination of both representation learning and a task-specific goal. Motivated by this, we propose a novel unified query framework that can be applied to any problem in which a key component is learning a representation of the data that reflects similarity. Our approach builds on similarity or nearest neighbor (NN) queries which seek to select samples that result in improved embeddings. The queries consist of a reference and a set of objects, with an oracle selecting the object most similar (i.e., nearest) to the reference. In order to reduce the number of solicited queries, they are chosen adaptively according to an information theoretic criterion. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed strategy on two tasks - active metric learning and active classification - using a variety of synthetic and real world datasets. In particular, we demonstrate that actively selected NN queries outperform recently developed active triplet selection methods in a deep metric learning setting. Further, we show that in classification, actively selecting class labels can be reformulated as a process of selecting the most informative NN query, allowing direct application of our method. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 7, 2024
  4. We consider a symmetric mixture of linear regressions with random samples from the pairwise comparison design, which can be seen as a noisy version of a type of Euclidean distance geometry problem. We analyze the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm locally around the ground truth and establish that the sequence converges linearly, providing an $\ell_\infty$-norm guarantee on the estimation error of the iterates. Furthermore, we show that the limit of the EM sequence achieves the sharp rate of estimation in the $\ell_2$-norm, matching the information-theoretically optimal constant. We also argue through simulation that convergence from a random initialization is much more delicate in this setting, and does not appear to occur in general. Our results show that the EM algorithm can exhibit several unique behaviors when the covariate distribution is suitably structured. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  5. We study stochastic approximation procedures for approximately solving a $d$-dimensional linear fixed point equation based on observing a trajectory of length $n$ from an ergodic Markov chain. We first exhibit a non-asymptotic bound of the order $t_{\mathrm{mix}} \tfrac{d}{n}$ on the squared error of the last iterate of a standard scheme, where $t_{\mathrm{mix}}$ is a mixing time. We then prove a non-asymptotic instance-dependent bound on a suitably averaged sequence of iterates, with a leading term that matches the local asymptotic minimax limit, including sharp dependence on the parameters $(d, t_{\mathrm{mix}})$ in the higher order terms. We complement these upper bounds with a non-asymptotic minimax lower bound that establishes the instance-optimality of the averaged SA estimator. We derive corollaries of these results for policy evaluation with Markov noise—covering the TD($\lambda$) family of algorithms for all $\lambda \in [0, 1)$—and linear autoregressive models. Our instance-dependent characterizations open the door to the design of fine-grained model selection procedures for hyperparameter tuning (e.g., choosing the value of $\lambda$ when running the TD($\lambda$) algorithm). 
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