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Make Data Work
March 5–6, 2018: Training
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Sprouted clams and stanky bean: When machine learning makes mistakes

Janelle Shane (
8:50am9:00am Thursday, March 8, 2018
Location: Grand Ballroom 220
Average rating: ****.
(4.89, 9 ratings)

At Janelle Shane posts the results of neural network experiments gone delightfully wrong. But machine learning mistakes can also be very embarrassing, or even dangerous. Using silly datasets as examples, Janelle talks about some ways that algorithms fail.

Photo of Janelle Shane

Janelle Shane

Janelle Shane’s neural network blog,, features computer programs that try to invent human things like recipes and paint colors and Halloween costumes. has been covered in the Guardian, the Atlantic, NBC News, and Slate and was even featured as a recent quiz question on Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me. Janelle also works as a research scientist in Colorado, where she makes computer-controlled holograms for studying the brain. She has only made a neural network recipe once and discovered that horseradish brownies are about as terrible as you might imagine.

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Picture of Janelle Shane
03/04/2018 1:21pm PST

Animal costumes not required, but encouraged.