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This Guy Beat Google's Super-Smart AI—But It Wasn't Easy | WIRED


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One reason Karpathy and his colleagues bombed against the Google systems was the way that ImageNet handles things like dogs. When he took that 2011 test, it had just one category for dogs. But in 2014, the test expected you to discern an artificial-mind-blowing 200 breeds.

That meant Karpathy had to know the difference between, say, Rhodesian ridgebacks and Hungarian pointers. “When I saw all these dogs come up, I was like: “Oh no. [The machine is] going to get this image, and I’m just struggling and sweating to label this precise breed of dog.”

So Karpathy entered his own kind of AI boot camp, teaching himself the categories of images that the ImageNet test expected him to know, and becoming a minor authority on dog breeds in the process. Two weeks later, and after about 50 hours of training and testing himself by clicking on random pictures, he bested the machines. He was right 94.9 percent of the time, a 1.7 percent margin over Google’s work. Chalk one up for humanity, but it wasn’t easy.

“It was a bit draining, but I felt that it was very important to get the human accuracy,” he says.

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