Testing for statistical significance is an important aspect of most research concerning data analysis, for instance in the fields of statistics and social science. I discuss here the paper titled above, which gives an introduction to the concept and talks about the importance of such testing.

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

What is significance testing?

At the most basic level, a result is statistically significant if it has a very low probability of occurring if the null hypothesis (i.e. a default hypothesis which assumes that some given condition does not hold) were to be true. An alternative hypothesis, which contradicts the null hypothesis, is stated…


In March this year, the ACM FAccT conference published the paper titled above, authored by Emily Bender, Timnit Gebru, Angelina McMillan-Major and “Shmargaret Shmitchell”. This paper attracted intense controversy, and led to the exit of Gebru and Margaret Mitchell (“Shmargaret Shmitchell” in the paper) from the Google AI Ethics team. I discuss here the ideas espoused in this paper, which are critical today at a time when R&D in AI continues at a skyrocketing pace.

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Stochastic parrots refers to language models (LMs) trained on enormous amounts of data. Language models are, basically, statistical models of language, and help us predict…


So in this article I discuss papers on multi-action dialog policies in task-oriented dialog systems. Task-oriented dialog systems are conversational systems that help you achieve some purpose — like booking flight tickets for instance. Some examples are Alexa, Siri etc.

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These systems have four components, of which the Dialog Policy component is used to determine system action based on the current user dialog and the dialog state.


So here’s the thing about old things, and how they take you for a ride along thrushes you did not see under your feet and which tripped you over nevertheless.

It could be anything — a bill for a decade-old ulcer, a ticket to Connaught Place for confronting your cheating lover in the British Council Library, a worn-out pen from your last semester in a mediocre grad school, a lighter from the first time your friends made you try out a Marlboro (Lite’s fine for you, chum.). It could have appeared quite insignificant in those days, but all of a…

Anjali Bhavan

Part-time graduate student at University of Washington | Software Engineer at Paytm, India | I try not to sweat it. Meanwhile, I write on NLP research!

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