My internship this summer at Lawrence Livermore National Lab was nothing if not practical. The exceedingly real objectives of government science gave my first foray into deep learning gravitas and purpose.
The domain was satellite imagery, and the research question was whether computer vision could be trained to identify objects for which we have no training data. This presents a problem for the family of convolutional neural network algorithms (CNNs) which on the contrary require lots examples to learn from. The idea that I implemented to address this conundrum was to “synthetically” manufacture training data with renders from CAD software, and then test its performance on “natural” (i.e.… Read the rest
Today I interview, Nicola Tadini otherwise known as tadoh, Copenhagen-based music-lover and DJ.
His sound varies from slow deep house to dancefloor filling tech-house. Together with Wartemal he started Folkets Haus, a monthly event in Folkets Hus in Nørrebro, as an attempt to bring electronic music and the radical-left closer.
In this interview you’ll learn…
what the slow house genre is
three different ways for music to be politial
and exactly how many stars Italian cookies ought to have.
+ Folkets Haus #12 – 1. maj støtteaften
+ Vadestedsfestival 2016 – Friday closing set
+ Klangkarussell – Sonnentanz ft.… Read the rest
Data from my project the Wikidata Human Gender Indicators has started to be cited in the press (BBC, Bloomberg), which is a large dose of validation. Traffic to the data visualizations increased 500% on the day of the BBC publication to 1,000 views/day, which inspires confidence. Moreover, Wikimedia Foundation’s Grants team—who funded WHGI—praised the project in their year-end report, saying:
Grants for research and tools (such as WHGI) – which minimally contribute to the targets of people or articles – have been extremely valuable in improving our understanding of the gender gap and how or why it manifests.
… Read the rest
So you want to upload an image to the cloud with Node.js?
Maybe you want a small raspberry pi webcam to take timelapse footage and send it to a server every hour because of its small harddrive. Maybe you want to build a social network swapping images of Lizard People, and your sever can t handle all the image traffic. Maybe you want to back-up your irreplaceable collection of dead-sea scroll fragments — it’s irreplaceable. You might want to keep around images or files for many different reasons, and having them publicly accessible in the cloud is better than trying to manage them yourself, for storage and network reasons. … Read the rest
Marriage is part of humanity. As Alain de Botton reflected, “[…] the impulse to cluster into small familial groups within which to safely propagate the next generation, is a project that has been known to the largest share of humanity since our earliest upright days in East Africa’s Rift Valley.” And although today Harry and Carie are engaged in this ancient tradition, they are also alternative people that create their own history. Alternative people who appreciate a form of never-ending play, which was has been so well described for myself and our couple in the book Finite and Infinite Games. I’d like to read to you it’s philosophy on marriage, the family project and their choiceful natures:
Infinite lovers may or may not have a family.
… Read the rest
The Economist has commented on the irony that machine learning helps school teachers relax after work by choosing what movie to watch, but helps none in determining how to assist their students. In my fellowship this summer, I tried to change that. At DSSG, I worked with the Tulsa Public Schools to do identify which students are at risk of being made to repeat 3rd grade. Using machine learning techniques we were able to predict 95% of the second grade students that would require intervention before the Reading Sufficiency Act destined them to do the year over.
At Data Fest 2016 I gave a fuller yet concise explanation, watch the video below.… Read the rest
I have been investigating profiles of users of Airbnb and Couchsurfing this year as research into personality differences between users of market- and socially-based network hospitality websites. Along the way I have uncovered some suggestive data supporting a rumor that Couchsurfing may have been manipulating the size of its user-base through fake profiles.
After I had assembled datasets of these user’s publicly viewable data, I started to take a look at the sign-up dates of each profile to gauge the ages of the user bases. In inspecting the Couchsurfing set, I found an usual spike in sign-ups in 2013.
Conducting a web search for reasons why this would be I queried the web “what happened to Couchsurfing in 2013”.… Read the rest
Note: This post is quite old. In fact Wikidata can now be accessed “properly” via the Wikidata Query Service (WDQS). However the techniques outlined below still have their advantages.
The inaugural Wiki Research Hackathon went very well, and I’m affirmed that I feel best when I’m conducting Wiki Research. I was asked to give one of the tech talks of the day about accessing Wikidata data programmatically. Here is an outline of the talk
We’ll be viewing Wikidata as file in its own right for research, not as it’s canonical use case of being used in various Wikipedias.
Wikidata is a mostly standard Mediawiki instance except that pages don’t store “Wikitext”, they store JSON blobs.… Read the rest
In my early software education, I’d been taught about how untested software could result in deadly radiation-therapy machines. But since I never planned to be in the medical devices industry, these sort of warnings didn’t apply to me – after all I was only writing Wikipedia bots. But this week I was proved wrong when another Wikipedian messaged me with a query unlike any I’d received before (empahsis mine):
Hi Max, I’ve pinged you a couple of times, but in case you’re not getting them, would you mind commenting?
It’s about an edit your bot made to Wikidata that changed the infobox of a featured article about a book about the Holocaust, Night.
… Read the rest
I spent a weekend with my friend riding 30 miles between Minneapolis breweries. We learned some important lessons.
- The modern consumer elects to understand arbitrary differences in item-classes.
- The corporation co-opts leisure time of the individual to construct an aesthetic.
- Even if thebeers are not that different, they will say they are.
- This is similar to the divided political “spectrum”, that is, not a spectrum at all.
- As a test case take the IPA, the least versatile “acquired” taste.
- Once the consumer has developed a false consciousness and accepts the objectionable and anti-rational quality of IPA ethanol, that consumer has joined the in-group.
… Read the rest