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Comment DeepWetDream anyone? (Score 3, Insightful) 119

You can feed an image to this network and use backpropagation to compute the gradient of the NSFW score with respect to the pixel values in the input. A few steps of gradient ascent/descent and you'll get a spiced up/down version of the original image. I believe this is roughly what DeepDream does. The results could be hilarious. It is very possible that Yahoo has inadvertently created an open-source porn generator.

Any takers?

Comment Re:Impending Doom (Score 1) 149

Using well known and solid techniques along with vast computing power, Google has finally broken into the majors of Go. The next question is whether a home computer can run the neural network now that it's been trained;.. or do the CPU and RAM requirements still place this level of play into the corporate-only bracket.

You can easily run the neural network and the other parts of AlphaGo in a home computer, but you'll get worse performance than they do in one of their beefy machines (48 CPUs, 8 GPUs). They also have a cluster version (1202 CPUs, 176 GPUs), which is much stronger.

Comment Re:Hasn't been true of chess for a long time (Score 1) 174

There is no cheating involved. The human is free to memorize as big an opening book as he wants. Besides, you can turn off the opening book and the endgame tablebases of a chess program now and the human still wouldn't stand a chance.

It is true that introspection has very little to do with how chess engines have been developed since around 2000, when it basically became a matter of being disciplined, testing every change very carefully and understanding enough statistics to know what changes to accept and which ones to reject.

The many people who have contributed to making chess engines as strong as they are are not receiving enough credit for their spectacular achievements.

Comment Correlated by construction? (Score 1) 345

The AQ test has questions about social interaction and obsessiveness, but you are also asked to what extent you agree with "I am fascinated by numbers". Of course you are going to find more people fascinated by numbers in STEM fields. I wonder what results you get if you weed out the questions that guarantee correlation.

Comment Re:I've been waiting for this! (Score 2) 257

This is easier for me to grasp in the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. There is a universe in which Alice is holding "0" and Bob is holding "1", and another universe in which Alice is holding "1" and Bob is holding "0". Those two universes separate the moment Alice (for example) looks at her bit. At that point she is certain that Bob got the opposite bit.

Comment Really using a computer requires coding (Score 1) 300

If you see coding as something you use to build GUIs, sure his fuel injection analogy might more or less apply. But you can also use coding to automate everyday tasks in almost any job, dramatically increasing your productivity. Depending on your working environment you can do this using bash, Python or even Excel macros. But you do need to unlock a certain way of thinking of what you are doing that is what these coding classes should aim for, in my opinion.

Comment Re:When Helping Hurts (Score 1) 268

What terrible advice. I found a summary of that book online (http://southwood.org/files/pdf/WhenHelpingHurtsSummary.pdf) and it looks like a bunch of christian crap. A quick sample:

"Bryant Myers, a leading Christian development thinker, argues that in order
to diagnose the disease of poverty correctly, we must consider the fundamental
nature of reality, starting with the Creator of that reality. Myers notes that the
Triune God is inherently a relational being, existing as three-in-one from
eternity. Being made in God’s image, human beings are inherently relational as
well. Note that human life is not all up for grabs! God designed humans to be a
certain thing and to operate in a certain way in all of these relationships."

Then it goes on to analyze poverty as the failure of relationships, starting with the relationship to god. I stopped reading after that.

Comment Positive or negative infinity? (Score 4, Informative) 157

For most complex numbers the sequence will most certainly not converge to positive or negative infinity, whatever those mean. When dealing with complex numbers it only makes sense to talk about a single infinity, which is the point at infinity of the projective complex line (a.k.a. "Riemann sphere").

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The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.