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Evaluating Machine Accuracy on ImageNet
Vaishaal Shankar · Rebecca Roelofs · Horia Mania · Alex Fang · Benjamin Recht · Ludwig Schmidt

Thu Jul 16 09:00 AM -- 09:45 AM & Thu Jul 16 08:00 PM -- 08:45 PM (PDT) @

We evaluate a wide range of ImageNet models with five trained human labelers. In our year-long experiment, trained humans first annotated 40,000 images from the ImageNet and ImageNetV2 test sets with multi-class labels to enable a semantically coherent evaluation. Then we measured the classification accuracy of the five trained humans on the full task with 1,000 classes. Only the latest models from 2020 are on par with our best human labeler, and human accuracy on the 590 object classes is still 4% and 10% higher than the best model on ImageNet and ImageNetV2, respectively. Moreover, humans achieve the same accuracy on ImageNet and ImageNetV2, while all models see a consistent accuracy drop. Overall, our results show that there is still substantial room for improvement on ImageNet and direct accuracy comparisons between humans and machines may overstate machine performance.

Author Information

Vaishaal Shankar (UC Berkeley)
Rebecca Roelofs (Google)
Horia Mania (UC Berkeley)
Alex Fang (UC Berkeley)
Benjamin Recht (Berkeley)

Benjamin Recht is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. Ben's research group studies the theory and practice of optimization algorithms with a focus on applications in machine learning, data analysis, and controls. Ben is the recipient of a Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the 2012 SIAM/MOS Lagrange Prize in Continuous Optimization, the 2014 Jamon Prize, the 2015 William O. Baker Award for Initiatives in Research, and the 2017 NIPS Test of Time Award.

Ludwig Schmidt (University of California, Berkeley)

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