Google Principle Scientist explains a Creative Perspective with Computers

Ted has a talk by Blaise Aguera Y Arcas.

We're on the edge of a new frontier in art and creativity — and it's not human. Blaise Agüera y Arcas, principal scientist at Google, works with deep neural networks for machine perception and distributed learning. In this captivating demo, he shows how neural nets trained to recognize images can be run in reverse, to generate them. The results: spectacular, hallucinatory collages (and poems!) that defy categorization. "Perception and creativity are very intimately connected," Agüera y Arcas says. "Any creature, any being that is able to do perceptual acts is also able to create."

one of the best parts in the closing which Blaise has gotten good at given this is his 3rd TED talk.


16:00
In closing, I think that per Michelangelo, I think he was right; perception and creativity are very intimately connected. What we've just seen are neural networks that are entirely trained to discriminate, or to recognize different things in the world, able to be run in reverse, to generate. One of the things that suggests to me is not only that Michelangelo really did see the sculpture in the blocks of stone, but that any creature, any being, any alien that is able to do perceptual acts of that sort is also able to create because it's exactly the same machinery that's used in both cases.
16:37
Also, I think that perception and creativity are by no means uniquely human. We start to have computer models that can do exactly these sorts of things. And that ought to be unsurprising; the brain is computational.
16:50
And finally, computing began as an exercise in designing intelligent machinery. It was very much modeled after the idea of how could we make machines intelligent. And we finally are starting to fulfill now some of the promises of those early pioneers, of Turing and von Neumann and McCulloch and Pitts. And I think that computing is not just about accounting or playing Candy Crush or something. From the beginning, we modeled them after our minds. And they give us both the ability to understand our own minds better and to extend them.

Akamai plans on going Green investing in local renewable projects

When you build your own data centers going green is pretty straight forward to source renewable energy. When you live other data centers you can take the position that you can't do anything unless your landlord provides green energy. You can request, but that is about it.

Akamai posts on its initiative to invest in local renewable energy projects directly.

Green is the Warmest Color

Rob Morton By Rob Morton June 28, 2016 10:30 AM
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Recently, Akamai announced the company's plans to expand its sustainability initiatives through an innovative renewable energy procurement strategy. Unlike many of its peers in the tech industry, Akamai does not operate its own data centers. That means, for example, we don't have roofs on which to install solar panels, which is one key way of generating your own renewable power.

So, what does the company that operates the world's largest distributed computing platform do? Akamai plans to initiate long term investment in renewable energy projects, geographically aligned with network operations and commensurate with aggregate network energy usage that includes third-party, co-location data centers. Simple, right?

To learn more about Akamai's green initiatives, please visit:

http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/power-cooling/akamai-plans-to-go-50-percent-renewable/96180.article

https://www.greenbiz.com/article/akamai-will-power-internet-sun-and-wind

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/05/11/akamai-pledges-to-source-renewable-energy-for-data-centers/

Best Impact of Brexit Win could be a focus on accountability of campaign promises

Any one knows that campaign promises are not kept, but that didn't stop the UK voters from supporting Brexit. With history being set as possibly one of the biggest worldwide economic impacts of one countries election results, there is a huge focus on what was promised and what will be delivered creating new ideas like Regrexit.

Brexit’s broken promises: Health care, immigration and the economy

So much for all those promises. Leading politicians in the campaign to pull the U.K. out of the European Union are back-pedaling fast on a number of pledges, particularly over extra money for health care.

The retreat has prompted howls of outrage, from politicians who wanted Britain to stay in the EU as well as some Leave voters who say they feel “cheated.”
— http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/27/news/economy/brexit-broken-promises/index.html

In the past politicians could count on human short term memory to throw out campaign promises that would were never intended to actually be promises. With the web and video recording it is easy for the media and public to search for past statements made that were campaign promises.

With the US election coming up with between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, this may be the one where the presidential candidates are faced with a public that can force an accountability of campaign promises.

Brexit is helping to change this.

How bad are things? CNN and others write on how the UK government is now in a damage control mode.

Brexit: UK government shifts to damage control

London (CNN)Not since World War II has Britain faced such an uncertain future.

A vote last week to pull out of the European Union has sent the country’s currency spiraling, dampened markets, created a leadership vacuum and triggered talks of Scottish secession from Britain, forcing the government into damage control.
Like the markets Brits are now jittery, not knowing who will lead their country when Prime Minister David Cameron steps down in October or what their economy will look like after a divorce from the 28-country EU.

The opposition Labour Party is not doing much better at giving the British people something certain to hold on to. Leader Jeremy Corbyn is dealing with his own Brexit crisis, announcing 10 new shadow cabinet positions Monday after a flurry of resignations over the weekend. The exodus came after he sacked a key shadow minister accused of plotting a coup.
Leaders are now trying to allay fears that Britain may be heading for recession and trying to boost confidence in its markets and currency to avoid a complete economic meltdown.
— http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/27/europe/uk-brexit-jeremy-corbyn-boris-johnson/

Three Choices for the future Smart Phone for Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer is famous for his statements against the iPhone. Here is his Youtube video.

Saw Steve yesterday morning and I was thinking what is his next smart phone?

Would Steve get one of the market dominating phones from Apple or Google? Those two choices are obviously no.

Then I thought the 3rd choice. What is his other option? Given the low price and abundance of inventory of Windows Phones Steve could have hundreds, thousands of Windows phones in his garage replacing it every year.  Every year, heck every month, week. Maybe more often and he would always have a new Windows Phone.

Windows 3.1 is still running. 24 years after it was released in 1992. Hey, 1992, that is when I joined Microsoft. :-) Do I still run Windows 3.1? No. I think I fire up Windows now maybe 2-4 times a year.  I run Mac OS. Which may seem like a sacreligious act given I spent 14 years at Microsoft. But, I spend 7 years at Apple. I have Google devices and Kindle. I have an Amazon Echo. Don't really care.  :-) Just things to play with.

Are you Blind? I am, can't see everything

Blindness is typically referred to as a visual impairment associated with vision loss. Seeing is believing. I saw it with my own two eyes. She was an eye witness.  There are so many examples of how seeing things is considered proof of the truth. Is your vision perfect? Is your memory of visual events perfect? Do you know about the things that you can't see?

This last point of not knowing about the things that you can't see is why I say I am blind. I am blind to the things that I did not see and may not remember accurately. Vision is not a perfect recording of events stored in memory and you can recall with perfection.

Part of what got me started thinking about this is conversations I have had with Microsoft's John Jendrezak regarding accessibility. John has a blog post on the latest features in Office 365 for accessibility.

To mark the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), I encourage Office 365 users to do a few simple things to make the digital world more accessible—including making a habit of running the Accessibility Checker on your documents (currently available in Office for PCs and coming by the end of the year to Office for Mac and Office Online). In addition, to help advance accessibility awareness, I’m pleased to share more about some of the enhancements we’re bringing to Office 365 that ensure people with vision impairments can work seamlessly with built-in accessibility settings on every device.

What I have started to realizeis how many times that systems aren't designed for when people are blind. I don't mean visually blind, but they have limited ability to see things beyond what they have seen. Part of what makes your eye sight special is you trust it. You can see the cup of steaming hot coffee. Your mind can gauge how hot it is and whether you should take a small sip or you can take a big drink.

I have been using the perspective of thinking what are we blind to.

Are you blind? I am. Because I can't see everything.

 

 

Tips for spotting the foolish leader

We have all seen the leaders who act like fools. But it can be hard to be specific.  I found this post while sitting watching a presentation that was particularly foolish.  The post is good here is a snippet.

How do we know if a potential leader is foolish? The principle is in this statement that Jesus made: “Every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:17). We must examine the fruit. And the Bible is quite clear on what the diseased fruit of foolishness looks like:

The foolish look with haughty eyes (Proverbs 6:17).
The foolish engage in slander (Proverbs 10:18).
The foolish joke about their wrongdoing (Proverbs 10:23).
The foolish make great boasts (Psalm 12:3).
The foolish are stubbornly right in their own eyes (Proverbs 12:15).
The foolish are quickly annoyed by insults (Proverbs 12:16).

Words of wisdom on the application of Computer Technology to Process from 50 years ago, Pete Dawkins

At the 7x24 Exchange Keynote Alison Levine mentions General Pete Dawkins and his great words on the "Freedom to Fail." His document is here. And the 1st paragraph is so good I had to share.

"it was a genius who developed a machine which could calculate every day the total amount of toilet paper used by the entire United States Army; but was a damn fool who ordered us to keep track.

"it was a genius who developed a machine which could calculate every day the total amount of toilet paper used by the entire United States Army; but was a damn fool who ordered us to keep track.

Bet you have all experienced something similar to this.

I think one of the top things artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks could do that would make all of our lives so much better is to find the processes created by the damn fools who made our lives worse tracking stupid things.