Friday, January 14, 2011

Ladies, gentlemen and robots - This is Jeopardy

And shortly, humans will be taken down another peg, and like chess, Jeopardy will be a game dominated by machines.

Watson is IBM's latest AI computer, which thanks to advances in natural language processing and parallel architecture/algorithms is able to parse and comprehend the riddle-like jeopardy questions.

On Feb 14th 2011, Watson will play 74-time Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings and Jeopardy all-time biggest money earner Brad Rutter.

And Watson is going to slaughter them. You can watch a short test-match they played here. Final Score: Watson - $4,400, Jennings - $3,400 and Rutter $1,200.

Notice how Watson consistently beats Jennings ringing in if they both know the answer. The humans wont even get a chance to buzz in if Watson wants to answer. Also notice how Watson was playing conservatively, not ringing in on answers where it was only ~60% confident. I wonder what the reason for that is? Wouldn't the rational thing be to answer the question as long as your at least 51% confident?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Top 10 MATLAB code practices that make me cry

Read the article here.

I'm guilty of #7, but that's because 'i' should be a for-loop counter dammit! Not sqrt(-1).

The 12 Commandments of Jiu Jitsu by Carlos Gracie Sr.

1. Be so strong that nothing can disturb the peace of your mind.
2. Talk to all people about happiness, health, and prosperity.
3. Give to all your friends the feeling of being valued.
4. Look at things with an enlightened point of view and update your optimism on reality.
5. Think only about the best, work only for the best, and always expect the best.
6. Be just as enthusiastic about others' victories as you are with yours.
7. Forget about past mistakes and focus your energy on the victories of tomorrow.
8. Always make those around you happy and keep a smile for all people who talk to you.
9. Apply the largest amount of your time on self-improvement and no time in criticizing others.
10. Be big enough so you can feel unsatisfied, be noble enough so you can feel anger, be strong enough so you can feel fear, and be happy enough so you can feel frustrations.
11. Hold a good opinion about your self and communicate that to the world, but not through dissonant words but through good works.
12. Believe strongly that the world is on your side, as long as you stay loyal to the best of yourself.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Very Good Sentences: Why seasteading matters

While central governments were destined to search for efficiency with only the very unreliable compass of public opinion, the relationship between individuals and local government was very different. Rather than adapting policy to voter preferences, local governments can keep policy constant and allow consumer-citizens to adopt whichever bundle of services best matches their preferences. If consumers can vote with their feet, local government planners do not face the same information deficit as central government planners. In the limiting case with an infinite number of jurisdictions and completely costless movement among them, everyone would get exactly the bundle of policies and public services they most preferred.
Patri Friedman and Brad Taylor, Seasteading: Institutional Innovation on the Open Ocean