The good news is, that Stackoverflow makes its simple to follow a certain topic. The AI topic has it’s own tag and the search engine can give back the latest postings: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/artificial-intelligence So nice so good. The problem is that the AI topic is special inside Stackoverflow, it seems that nobody is really interested in it. The users are asking only a few questions, and the admins are putting question very fast “on hold”. Let us monitoring the questions of the last week a bit in detail. Today is February 11, 2018:
The average number of postings per day is around 4. No that is not a joke. The stackoverflow website with around 10 million visits per day is not very often used for discussion problems in AI. Today we have for example 3 questions: two about Tensorflow and one about a cost-function in machine learning. The first of the Tensorflow questions was put on hold by the admin, because the user wrotes only 3 sentences in which he announced, that he wants to train a neural network. Which may be legitimate but the stackoverflow community needs a bit more information.
If we are scrolling through the other day, we say that every day around 3-5 questions are asked. The equal pattern is, that very often the question gets downvoted. Sometimes the question gets a -1, but sometimes a -3 and even a -7. In general it seems, that the AI topic is not very welcome at Stackoverflow. Either the users are downvoting the questions, or the admin put the post on hold for “further investigation” which is equal that the question will not get any further attention.
I do not see any kind of wrong behavior by the users or the admins. It seems to be a general pheromone, that AI related problems are not welcome in the programming community. Here https://stackoverflow.com/questions/48683891/how-to-improve-tensorflow-model-accuracy I found a typical example. The question starts with a short posting of a user. He is not motivated to write a longer text, or to explain in detail what he wants to do. Perhaps he knows, that asking a question about AI is in general a wrong behavior. And he is right, his question is not welcome. The Stackoverflow users are downvoted the post with -8. As a consequence, the SO admin sees the downgrade, looks at the question and reinforce his community with setting the hole question “on hold”. From a content level, the OP wants to know something about tensorflow and recognizing images.
I want to give some further bad examples of the last month:
– Tensorflow classify anything -> -1 downvote
– check heuristics compatibility -> -3 downvote
– Tensorflow accuracy -> -8 + “put on hold”
– Training ANN -> -1 + “put on hold”
– discover frequent text -> -4 downvote
– Situation Calculus -> -3 + “put on hold”
– Amazon AI -> -4 + “put on hold”
The list goes on with that pattern. It is every day the same game. Around 3-5 questions are posted, most of them get downvotes, sometimes the admin comes with further “on hold” flags and the users are frustrated. Over the complete lifespan from the beginning of stackoverflow, not more than 4611 questions are posted about “Artificial Intelligence”. It seems, that the topic is the most hated and most downvoted topic ever. The funny thing is, that SO in general is a very good programming forum. For example the tag c# has over 1M questions, #PHP too, and the subject “Android” was discussed in the same scope. So what is wrong with AI? I have absolutely no idea, but it seems, that programmers are not very familiar with the topic. At first they are asking beginner question, and then they are downvoting the stupid questions asked by others, or simply they are ignoring them.
The pattern for reproducing this behavior is simple. Somebody must ask a normal AI -related question. Perhaps 2 paragraphs with a slightly interesting topic and it is very likely the question gets at least a -2 downvote and perhaps even an “on hold” flag from the admin.
Not only questions about AI seems complicated, but the answers are missing also in quality. Let us scroll through the questions of the last month and check for the number of answers:
Question 1: 0 answers
Question 2: 0 answers
Question 3-6: 0 answers
Question 7: 2 answers
Question 8-11: 0 answers
The normal pattern is, that 3 question get 0 answers, than a question get an answer, and so forth. So in general 75% of the question get no answer. The good news at stackoverflow is, that they have an elaborated search-feature which gives detailed statistics about the number of answered questions:
– All questions with tag [artificial-intelligence]: 4611
– Questions with tag [artificial-intelligence] and at least 1 answer: 3,972
– Questions with tag [artificial-intelligence] and 0 answer: 639
So the answer probability is with 86% higher, than expected. But it seems that it takes more time than normal, until a question gets answered.