“Notwithstanding Anything Contained Herein”

A blog about financial agreements and language.

The Real Dunning-Kruger Fools

Dec. 17, 2021, 10:53 a.m.

The Dunning-Kruger effect isn’t real. We should all be more skeptical of social science, especially pop psychology favorites. The real fools of Dunning-Kruger are those who have uncritically trusted social science, or lacked the curiosity to investigate and think critically about the actual research.

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On Chinese Rooms, Roman Numerals, and Neural Networks

Dec. 9, 2021, 10:46 a.m.

As an acquaintance of mine used to say: “all models are wrong.” All models, among them neural networks, are also just tools, albeit very useful, very powerful tools. They do not necessarily come to learn or say anything of significance about whatever question they are put to. We should resist the temptation to imbue them with significance or to misunderstand their utility.

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When Everything Looks Like a Nail

Nov. 11, 2021, noon

Problems that should be approached with machine learning can look extremely similar to problems that should be approached in a different way. There’s often no theoretical reason you cannot approach a problem with machine learning if it can be expressed that way, but we should always be asking ourselves what we actually should be doing instead of just what we can do.

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Language Technology Needs Linguists, But Companies Need Convincing

June 8, 2021, 7:42 a.m.

As linguists, we have the distinct intuition that we have something to add to the growing number of applications in language technology, but just having an advanced degree is not enough. First learn something about language technology, and be prepared to convince others of what you have to add.

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Financial Contracts Are More Fintech than LegalTech

May 26, 2021, 11:49 a.m.

Legaltech (drafting, the workflow tooling, the review and negotiation), is important for what it is. But most of what is interesting in a contract isn’t the legal scaffolding, but instead the crucial terms and definitions. Analysis of the contract terms of importance to financial institutions is carried out within the fintech sphere.

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