Why Machines Should Learn From Failures

ENLARGE Insights often come from failures. Photo: David Mülheims/Wikimedia Commons By Daniela Hernandez Daniela Hernandez The Wall Street Journal CANCEL Biography @danielas_bot daniela.hernandez@wsj.com May 6, 2016 8:33 a.m. ET 0 COMMENTS It’s often said that some of life’s most valuable insights stem from failures. The same might hold true for machines. Scientists at Purdue University and Haverford College devised an algorithm that can learn to predict new crystal recipes based on its analyses of not just chemical reactions that yielded other crystals, but also chemical reactions gone wrong. They reported their findings in a study published in the journal Nature this week. Although the study focuses on chemical applications, Alex Norquist, the study’s lead researcher, said in an interview the approach has the potential to liberate large amounts of potentially…

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