Techerous

My name is Bill, I am a recent graduate in Information Sciences and Technology from Penn State University and this is a place for me to post or give my 2 cents on the fascinating world of technology. I am now working for a pretty big technology related company whose name I will leave out just to avoid any possible complications, however far-fetched them happening may be. Music gets included from time to time as well.

January 8, 2014 10:37 pm January 5, 2014 10:44 pm

Film Recommendation: Her (2013)

While this is a technology blog, I just wanted to take some time to recommend a movie that I feel those who think like me would enjoy.  I saw “Her” about a week ago at one of the few theater’s it has been released in and was absolutely floored.  I don’t believe I have seen a film so well thought out and human in years.  Like all great science fiction stories, it is more about ourselves than the advanced technology it is predicting.  That is not to say it doesn’t do a brilliant job visualizing where we are going with information technology.  There are more than a handful of moments that I chuckled at how easily I could see a machine being used like the movie does in the future or at how the characters reacted to what they had.  The performances are excellent, both the ones we can see in the perfectly awkward Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams as well as just the voice of Scarlett Johansson.  This is a concept that could have fallen apart with any single misstep but all of the actors keep it perfectly believable.  Not to downplay the excellence of Spike Jonze’s writing and direction which as I said earlier display some of the best thought out work I’ve seen in years.  Ultimately, it is a brilliant statement to what we are looking for in terms of love and satisfaction in the information age, something that has been discussed and pondered often today and all of time before it.  In a season of many excellent looking movies, I implore you to please not pass this movie up and check it out as I have never been so sure a movie has something that everyone can relate to.

5/5 stars (for those that prefer numerical rating systems)

January 4, 2014 12:04 am
"If you use Netflix, you’ve probably wondered about the specific genres that it suggests to you. Some of them just seem so specific that it’s absurd. Emotional Fight-the-System Documentaries? Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life? Foreign Satanic Stories from the 1980s?

If Netflix can show such tiny slices of cinema to any given user, and they have 40 million users, how vast did their set of “personalized genres” need to be to describe the entire Hollywood universe?

This idle wonder turned to rabid fascination when I realized that I could capture each and every microgenre that Netflix’s algorithm has ever created.

Through a combination of elbow grease and spam-level repetition, we discovered that Netflix possesses not several hundred genres, or even several thousand, but 76,897 unique ways to describe types of movies…

…What emerged from the work is this conclusion: Netflix has meticulously analyzed and tagged every movie and TV show imaginable. They possess a stockpile of data about Hollywood entertainment that is absolutely unprecedented. The genres that I scraped and that we caricature above are just the surface manifestation of this deeper database."

Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic. How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood. (via futurejournalismproject)

The tools Netflix is building to analyze data are great.  I also love their attitude, they will create something revolutionary and give it to the world rather than automatically monetizing it.  I think this is a common link amongst the more innovative companies today.

March 13, 2013 11:12 pm

the-netocrat:

Show this to everyone who doesn’t care about virtual reality.

The six year old in me has been waiting for this since my parents made the mistake of allowing me to watch The Lawnmower Man on TV about 19 years ago.

June 28, 2012 9:05 pm
thedailywhat:

Even Computers Love Cats of the Day: 16,000 linked Google computers, 10 million random YouTube thumbnail images, and over a billion connections in between led to one result: the computers, without human guidance, learned what a cat is.
Google’s attempt of simulating the human brain, with thousands of processors in conjunction with thinking software, discovered the house cat. It’s a huge step forward in computing, and the best part is…it’s learning.
[smithsonian]

Same story I posted a couple of days ago, but this one has a picture of a cat, let’s see how it does now!

thedailywhat:

Even Computers Love Cats of the Day: 16,000 linked Google computers, 10 million random YouTube thumbnail images, and over a billion connections in between led to one result: the computers, without human guidance, learned what a cat is.

Google’s attempt of simulating the human brain, with thousands of processors in conjunction with thinking software, discovered the house cat. It’s a huge step forward in computing, and the best part is…it’s learning.

[smithsonian]

Same story I posted a couple of days ago, but this one has a picture of a cat, let’s see how it does now!

June 27, 2012 6:57 pm
"Presented with 10 million digital images found in YouTube videos, what did Google’s brain do? What millions of humans do with YouTube: looked for cats."

In a Big Network of Computers, Evidence of Machine Learning - NYTimes.com

Even artificial intelligence loves looking up cats

(via infoneer-pulse)

June 22, 2012 2:01 am
theatlantic:

What Happens When We Turn the World’s Most Famous Robot Test on Ourselves?

This weekend marks the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth. Turing was one of the greatest computer scientist of all time. In a 1950 paper that outlined what has come to be known as the Turing Test he offered a way out of endless philosophical speculation about whether computers could ever be classed as ‘intelligent.’ He said that if human judges ask interview questions of a hidden computer and a hidden person and cannot tell the difference after five minutes, the computer should be considered intelligent. Nowadays, programmers compete yearly for the Loebner Prize, which is won by the computer that is most often mistaken for a human. 
But the Turing Test’s application is no longer limited to questions of artificial intelligence: Social scientists too are getting in on the action and using the test in a completely new way — to compare different human subjects and their ability to pass as members of groups to which they do not belong, such as religious and ethnic minorities or particular professional classes. With the Turing Test, sociologists can compare the extent to which subjects can understand people who are different from them in some way.
Read more. [Image: Anton Zabielskyi/Shutterstock/Rebecca J. Rosen]

theatlantic:

What Happens When We Turn the World’s Most Famous Robot Test on Ourselves?

This weekend marks the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth. Turing was one of the greatest computer scientist of all time. In a 1950 paper that outlined what has come to be known as the Turing Test he offered a way out of endless philosophical speculation about whether computers could ever be classed as ‘intelligent.’ He said that if human judges ask interview questions of a hidden computer and a hidden person and cannot tell the difference after five minutes, the computer should be considered intelligent. Nowadays, programmers compete yearly for the Loebner Prize, which is won by the computer that is most often mistaken for a human. 

But the Turing Test’s application is no longer limited to questions of artificial intelligence: Social scientists too are getting in on the action and using the test in a completely new way — to compare different human subjects and their ability to pass as members of groups to which they do not belong, such as religious and ethnic minorities or particular professional classes. With the Turing Test, sociologists can compare the extent to which subjects can understand people who are different from them in some way.

Read more. [Image: Anton Zabielskyi/Shutterstock/Rebecca J. Rosen]

(via michpalmer)

December 28, 2010 4:12 am
The AI Revolution

Never thought of some of the things mentioned as AI but they certainly are a step to artificial reasoning.