Thursday, April 27, 2017

Readings and Stuff

I read a couple of interesting articles - one about a concept known as Deep Learning, which is the current Big Thing in artificial intelligence research (not that I am current in the least, but this, I do know); specifically, that people are a little concerned because while on the one hand it seems to have some unsuspected abilities -- such as accurately (though not completely) predicting predilection towards schizophrenia - they don't know how it does it (one of the delights of neural nets is that they teach themselves, and sometimes their pathways are convoluted, if not downright spooky).  This is not a problem per se - hey if it works, it works -- but when you get to the point where Deep Learning is driving, say, an autonomous car, you really want to be sure that the decisions it's making are ones that a reasonable person would have made.  People have written science fiction novels about what happens when that assumption turned out to be wrong, with dire consequences.

The other article was about how a number of online sites are removing their comments sections, because they are finding that using  comments as a way of getting feedback from readers isn't working -- they are being taken over by bots, by ideologues, or by conspiracy theorists.  Then the owner of the site has to spend time weeding out the bogus comments from the valuable ones, and what they're finding is that it just isn't worth the effort.  (Ironically, reading that, I wanted to send the author a comment!)

I baked cookies the other day, and I've been thinking for a week or so that I'd like to make some crêpes.  I had a running joke with one conversation partner who told me that she had gone to a crêperie; it took me three tries before I realized that what she was pronouncing as krep ree is what I pronounce as krep er ee.  You would think that a French person would be able to speak the language better!

The hedgehog seems to be doing okay.  After two enucleations, it's now in permanent night - but since it's a nocturnal animal, that may not be a bad thing.  My daughter is almost giddy with delight.  I am being guarded in my optimism, but I try not to let that be obvious.


Tabor said...

"predicting prediliction" Wonder how long I would have to read anywhere else before coming upon that phrase.

Cerulean Bill said...