| John Spacey, September 23, 2017 updated on June 21, 2019
Machine unlearning is an artificial intelligence or algorithm that is able to drop data in a useful way. Humans have an efficient ability to unlearn information. For example, a memory that you often recall is far less likely to be forgotten than a memory you don't use. Machines aren't like this. They consume data efficiently and can use it to construct models of things. They aren't typically good at dropping things from the model. The following are use cases for machine unlearning.
Right to be ForgottenA teenager does something they aren't proud of at a party and it gets posted all over social media. The person would like the item to eventually be forgotten as opposed to being available forever to their children, grandchildren and descendants. Governments or organizations that would like to respect this individual's wishes need a way to drop data that may have been propagated widely through diverse systems.
Machine LearningArtificial intelligence often looks to human cognition for ways to improve machine learning algorithms. Forgetting useless information is a pervasive and potentially useful human cognitive ability.There is always a cost to govern, manage, store and process data. An organization that can achieve the same results with less data is more efficient.
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