Category Archives: Algorithm

Big Data Assumes Past Patterns Apply to the Future

Source: Fast Company, Jan 2017

“What big data is good for,” explains Cathy O’Neil, author of last year’s Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, “is finding patterns of behavior in the past. It will never help us find something that’s completely new.”

Computational Thinking

Source: CMU, date indeterminate

“Computational Thinking is the thought processes involved in formulating problems and their solutions so that the solutions are represented in a form that can be effectively carried out by an information-processing agent.”

Cuny, Snyder, Wing

Computational thinking is a way of solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science. To flourish in today’s world, computational thinking has to be a fundamental part of the way people think and understand the world.

Computational thinking means creating and making use of different levels of abstraction, to understand and solve problems more effectively.

Computational thinking means thinking algorithmically and with the ability to apply mathematical concepts such as induction to develop more efficient, fair, and secure solutions.

Computational thinking means understanding the consequences of scale, not only for reasons of efficiency but also for economic and social reasons.

Seeking Patterns

Source: Digital Tonto, May 2015

Futurist and entrepreneur Ray Kurzweil considers pattern recognition so important that in his recent book, How to Create a Mind, he argued that pattern recognition and intelligence are essentially the same thing.  Expertise, in essence, is the familiarity of patterns of a specific field.

there’s a problem with patterns.  Just as they can uncover hidden meaning, they can also make us see things that aren’t really there.

Just because a pattern exists, doesn’t mean that the cause of that pattern is important or meaningful.

G. H. Hardy once wrote that, “a mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.” Today, as we increasingly live in a world of bits rather than a world of atoms, designing patterns is how we create value.

if you believe that the most important patterns are those we have yet to uncover, then the future has no bounds.

Advancement is the discovery of new patterns.

that’s the problem with patterns.  The human mind is incapable of swallowing them whole, so we curate them instead.  Inevitably, what we recognize is our own image.  If you seek knowledge that you already believe you possess, then that’s often the most you will ever find.

 

Human Four-Dimensional Spatial Intuition in Virtual Reality

Source: Questia, Oct 2009

we show evidence that people with basic geometric knowledge can learn to make spatial judgments on the length of, and angle between, line segments embedded in four-dimensional space viewed in virtual reality with minimal exposure to the task and no feedback to their responses. Their judgments incorporated information from both the three-dimensional (3-D) projection and the fourth dimension, and the underlying representations were not algebraic in nature but based on visual imagery, although primitive and short lived. These results suggest that human spatial representations are not completely constrained by our evolution and development in a 3-D world.

Much effort has been made to challenge this cognitive limitation and to develop human four-dimensional (4-D) intuitions (Davis, Hersh, & Marchisotto, 1995; Gardner, 1969; Rucker, 1984; Seyranian, 2001; Weeks, 1985). Two basic techniques were proposed to help people obtain an intuition of 4-D space.

The first is by analogy to 3-D space. This technique has been widely used. For example, Berger (1965; Abbott, 1991) explained how a 4-D creature can enter a 3-D locked closet from the fourth dimension by describing how a 3-D creature enters a two-dimensional (2-D) enclosure from above without touching its walls.

The second technique is to lift an observer into the higher dimensional space, so that he or she can directly experience it perceptually (Abbott, 1991; Berger, 1965; Rucker, 1984; Seyranian, 2001). For example, Abbott suggested that a 2-D creature can obtain 3-D intuition when it is taken into the 3-D space and views its world from above. Although this approach is hypothesized to be the most powerful means of acquiring 4-D intuition, it was not possible to implement the technique until virtual reality was available (D’Zmura, Colantoni, & Seyranian, 2000; Francis, 2005).

Minecraft as an Test/Play-ground for Human-Machine Collaboration

Source: MIT Technology Review, Jul 2016

An experimental new version of the game, released by Microsoft researchers this month, can be used to train an AI to perform all sorts of tasks, from crossing bridges to building complex objects. The new platform, called Project Malmo, makes it possible for a learning algorithm to control a Minecraft character that’s normally operated by a human player. But it also provides ways for human players and AI agents to work together, and a chat window through which a person can talk with a nascent AI.

“In the long run I want to work toward AI that can be taught by any user to help them achieve their goals,” says Katja Hoffman, a researcher at Microsoft Cambridge in the U.K. who leads the project.

… human-AI collaboration is a key goal for the project: “We’ve built in all the capabilities that a researcher would need in order to work toward collaborative AI.”

Increasingly clever machine-learning algorithms have the potential to make people more productive and efficient, an idea that Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella has emphasized as especially important for his company. However, relatively little research emphasis has been placed on getting humans and AI to team up.

Demis Hassabis @ Center for Brains, Minds & Machines/MIT: General AI

Pattern Recognition:

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Beat a Professional a Decade Earlier than Expected

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Intuition and Creativity

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… need new tools … analysis, statistical, visualization (1:02 onwards)

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Imagination-based planning (1:04 onwards)

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IBM Watson Creates Music

Source:  Business Insider,  Jul 2016

IBM’s Watson will be able to create entirely new music on a convenient app.

Here’s how it will work: Watson will work as a creative assistant with humans to make fun, new tunes from scratch. You can play a few notes on an instrument and it will use it as inspiration to DJ a new song. You can even tell it what type of song you want Watson to produce, like something jazzy or more uplifting.

“It’s technology, machines, and humans working together,” Richard Daskas, a composer working on the Watson Beat project, told Tech Insider. “So if you’re a DJ or composer or producer [and] you get writer’s block or musician block, [you] can use this tool to generate ideas to create something new and different.”

 
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IBM is making a music app that can create entirely new songs just for you
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IBM Watson wants to take your music to another level.

IBM Watson Music Beat 4×3 Tech Insider/Florence Fu

Most people know Watson for its legendary performance on “Jeopardy!” But IBM’s supercomputer has a host of other skills since its 2011 trivia debut. Watson’s artificial intelligence can help doctors diagnose cancer, help teach a graduate level class, and even analyze characters in Harry Potter.

And soon, IBM’s Watson will be able to create entirely new music on a convenient app.

Here’s how it will work: Watson will work as a creative assistant with humans to make fun, new tunes from scratch. You can play a few notes on an instrument and it will use it as inspiration to DJ a new song. You can even tell it what type of song you want Watson to produce, like something jazzy or more uplifting.

“It’s technology, machines, and humans working together,” Richard Daskas, a composer working on the Watson Beat project, told Tech Insider. “So if you’re a DJ or composer or producer [and] you get writer’s block or musician block, [you] can use this tool to generate ideas to create something new and different.”
Daskas is working with Janani Mukundan, an IBM researcher with a pH.D in computer engineering, to create Watson Beat. The two demoed the AI music assistant over Skype, and it was a lot smarter than I would have expected.

Watson only needs about 20 seconds of musical inspiration to create a song. Daskas at one point played a few chords of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and Watson transformed it into an entirely new song featuring a sitar. But in each example, you could still hear the original song Watson drew inspiration from, keeping alive the human contribution.

“We give it a bunch of instruments and let it decide based on tempo and what sounds good for each instrument,” Daskas said.

IBM demoed Watson Beat at Moogfest, a four-day music and technology festival, and music festival South by Southwest. Watson Beat will be available as an app by the end of 2016, Mukundan said.

But IBM isn’t the only tech giant working on making artificial intelligence more create. Google is training its AI to create new music as part of a new division called Magenta.

Mukundan said the interest in AI and music is part of a larger trend.

“For artificial intelligence we are entering into this new realm where we are trying to make computers more creative,” Mukundan told Tech Insider. “Something that can inspire you to write a book or create a new recipe. You want your Watson to be able to help you with that.”