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Tag: code

Machine learning on smartphones

Tuesday, 7 February, 2017 0 Comments

The language used by the acolytes of the high priests of the Information Age is richly encoded. Example: “TensorFlow is now available in a Docker image that’s compatible with Python 3, and for all Python users, TensorFlow can now be installed by pip, Python’s native package manager.”

That’s from an InfoWorld story by Serdar Yegulalp in which he says machine learning will one day run on a smartphone, without cloud support. At the heart of this development is TensorFlow the open-source, deep-learning framework developed by Google. Here’s how the engineers, using human language, decode it:


Simone Giertz: robot Queen

Thursday, 9 June, 2016 0 Comments

The first thing you need is imagination. Then, you’ll need to buy a uArm robot arm. To make it move, Simone Giertz says you have to tell it which position the servo motors need to take up. This code sets the upper joint to 180°, the lower joint to 150° and the arm’s and suction cup’s rotation to 0: uarm.setPosition(180, 150, 0, 0); To pick something up with the suction cup, you code: uarm.gripperCatch();

Giertz, a natural comedian and a self-taught robbot-maker, has become famous for creating a crazy hair-washing bot, a terrifying chopping bot and this brilliant one:


Learning about machine learning

Tuesday, 15 March, 2016 0 Comments

On Friday, here, we watched Stephen Wolfram speak about the next language. What it’s going to be is undefined, but if we want computers to do increasingly complex things, a shared language will be required. This “code” will express our needs, our wishes, in a way machines can understand. Wolfram’s profound belief is that coding for this future has a philosophical, humanistic, perhaps, divine, purpose. Most people, however, see it in a more prosaic light: learning about the “soul of the machine” is about getting a job.

Enrollment in machine learning classes is soaring in the US, and universities are scrambling to add classes to meet an unprecedented demand writes Jamie Beckett in an NVIDIA blog post. At Carnegie Mellon University’s Machine Learning Department, enrollment in ‘Introduction to Machine Learning’ has jumped nearly 600 percent in the past five years. Applicants to its machine learning Ph.D. program have doubled in six years and the university has added its first undergraduate course on the topic. At the University of California, Berkeley, enrollment in ‘Introduction to Machine Learning,’ has nearly tripled in less than two years says Beckett.

Quote: “In the old days, you had to take an introductory computer class so you’d know how to use a computer at work,” said Lynne E. Parker, division director for the Information and Intelligent Systems Division at the National Science Foundation. “Today, students are recognizing that whatever their chosen field, there’s going to be some automation of the knowledge work — and that’s machine learning.”

Note: Coursera is offering Machine Learning Foundations: A Case Study Approach.

machine learning


Stephen Wolfram speaks about the next language

Friday, 11 March, 2016 1 Comment

“From the point of view of the thousand years ago, some of the purposes that people have today, some of the things people do today would seem utterly bizarre, like a walking on the treadmill. Imagine 1000 years ago saying somebody’s going to spend an hour walking on a treadmill. What a crazy thing to do. Why would one ever do that?”

Stephen Wolfram, scientist, inventor, author and entrepreneur talks to Edge about artificial intelligence, language, code and the future of civilization.

Quote: “When it comes to describing more sophisticated things, the kinds of things that people build big programs to do, we don’t have a good way to describe those things with human natural language. But we can build languages that do describe that.”


What’s the Matter with Owen? With GE?

Thursday, 14 January, 2016 0 Comments

Scene: Two geeky couples are chilling, and one guy (Owen) announces that he’s just got a job coding at General Electric. The other guy responds that he’s working on the app that lets you put fruit hats on animals. Forget about the life-changing projects Owen will be working on at GE. The really cool thing today is putting melon hats on cats.

Industry 4.0: The idea behind the clip is that GE is re-branding itself from old to new, from Industry 1.0 to Industry 4.0. Household appliances are in the product portfolio, but GE is also involved in renewable energy and healthcare. “The Digital Company. That’s Also an Industrial Company” is the new mantra.

Boston: Yesterday, GE announced that it will relocate its headquarters from Connecticut to Boston’s hip waterfront. The move signals that it’s serious about the new industrial era that will revolve around software innovation. GE is also saying that its priority now is to attract the kind of workers who prefer to live in cities instead of the suburbs.

Quote: “We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations,” GE Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt said in a statement, quoted by Bloomberg. “Greater Boston is home to 55 colleges and universities. Massachusetts spends more on research and development than any other region in the world, and Boston attracts a diverse, technologically-fluent workforce focused on solving challenges for the world.”

Slogan: That’s good news for Owen. One can imagine him in a meeting discussing how to update the company slogan. “‘The Digital Company. That’s Also an Industrial Company'”? “It’s, like, so 2016. How about this, guys?” ‘The Digital Company. That’s Still an Industrial Company'”! Cool. Then, when Owen is the CEO, it won’t take him long to transform the slogan and GE to a three-word sentence: “The Digital Company.”


The magical words of Mary Meeker

Thursday, 28 May, 2015 0 Comments

The famous Mary Meeker, formerly an internet stock analyst at Morgan Stanley and now a partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, yesterday delivered her 20th annual “State of the Internet” presentation. The venue was the Code Conference in California. Seven highlights:

  • Population usage of mobile phones grew from 1 percent globally in 1995 to 73 percent in 2014.
  • Consumer drone shipments jumped 167 percent in 2014, to 4.3 million units.
  • Smartphone adoption is slowing: 23 percent growth in 2014 compared to 27 percent in 2013.
  • Twitch has 100 million monthly active users for its live streaming, up 122 percent.
  • Video constituted 64 percent of internet traffic and 55 percent of mobile traffic in 2014.
  • India was the top country in internet user additions last year: up 63 million.
  • WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Kakao and Snapchat will evolve into multipurpose content hubs.

Approaching the end of her presentation, Meeker said that the most magical words you can hear are: “That’s really interesting, I had never thought of it that way before.”