I just quickly tried the new Gmail Labs feature “Got the wrong Bob”? and it actually works quite nicely! I put some email addresses of family members, followed by the address of an old professor, who has the same first name of one of my cousins, and… Gmail found it! It suggested right way to change to the correct person, based on context!
Since I installed Snow Leopard on my macbook I started having compilation problems. The reason is that my code depends on a couple of external libraries, namely OpenCV and Boost serialization, and these were broken.
Each individual is respected as such and has the freedom and the means to pursue its own interests without having to harm the others.
Don’t know how it looks like. It’s a pretty simple (non-constructive) definition, however.
I’m sure mathematicians like it! LOL
I spend lots of time wondering about the best ways to be both more productive and happy. Curiously, I’m coming to the conclusion that this is exactly what I should not do.
Being productive, like being happy, requires living the present moment, not thinking about it.
If you want to complete a task, the best strategy is just doing it! You might start by setting up a plan, a sequence of smaller actions that lead you to your goal, but once you have this, just do it. Spending too much energy re-planning and judging yourself along the way is just counter-productive.
Curiously, this is not easy! Our brain seems to have some bad habits hard-wired. Want it or not, we start thinking about the past or making predictions about the future. Worse, we start multi-tasking (as you read this blog, you might also be listening to music, doing some work, or chatting with your friends in facebook)
Perhaps the only solution is to re-train our neuron connections. One way to do it would be meditating or repeatedly performing a task that requires one to be focused on the present. Feeling, not thinking. After enough practicing, the brain should start rewiring.
I recently came across this famous Hemingway sentence:
“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
Perhaps intelligent people have the tendency to plan too much? Planning involves predicting the reward associated with a set of possible actions and choosing the best ones. What if the reward function is not easily predictable? Perhaps the best optimization algorithm in this case is a greedy one. Don’t plan to be happy only next year or next month or even tomorrow. You are dealing with a real-time multi-agent system, you have only partial and noisy data about the world, the system is recursive, and finding the optimal reward is probably NP-hard-as-it-can-be!
In the past it happened that I didn’t publish some potentially interesting thoughts in this blog, just because they didn’t exactly fit the “about intelligence” topic.
I’m fed up of this self-imposed censorship. In the future the scope will be broader.
John Langford wrote a very interesting post on the failures of Artificial Intelligence research and why Machine Learning has been a safer bet. Read it here.
The results were pretty cool and I guess one could print awesome t-shirts with them. What do you say?
Update  : due to an issue migrating images from blogspot, I kept only two images here.
The 2008 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award was awarded to Corinna Cortes and Vladimir Vapnik “for the development of Support Vector Machines, a highly effective algorithm for classification and related machine learning problems“.
It’s not the first time this award is given to Machine Learning people. In 2004 it was awarded to Yoav Freund and Robert Schapire “for the development of the theory and practice of boosting and its applications to machine learning.”
I found a bit weird that they left Bernhard Boser and Isabelle Guyon out of the prize, because they were Vapnik’s co-authors in the 1992 paper “A training algorithm for optimal margin classifiers“, which I guess is considered to be the first paper on Support Vector Machines…
Anyway, congratulation to the winners. These are indeed elegant algorithms with sound theoretical foundations and numerous sucessful applications to vision, speech, natural language and robotics, to name just a few.
Thanks to my cousin Rui for the link to this news.