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Comment Re:"developed an artificial intelligence(AI) progr (Score 1) 153

In addition, it's such an ignorant devaluation of AI's incredible achievements. The field of AI, a term everyone except Slashdot naysayers have agreed upon, has performed incredible feats of image and language analysis (among other things) that the average software engineer stringing together API calls could never have come up with.

Honestly, if you told someone to just "write a program" to recognize whether an image has a cat in it or not, what do you think they would come up with? Probably 20,000 lines of messy code that only handles a handful of cases. The insights of learning parameters from data, optimization techniques, and convolutional neural networks were found by groping in the dark for 50 years. For 50 years people couldn't just "write a program" to do that simple task. For a long time people couldn't even write programs that recognized the 10 handwritten numerical digits with competitive accuracy to a human.

Oh my gosh, why does everyone make a big deal about "making cars?" It's called "engineering a solution," and we've been doing it for millenia! Can we just call "cars" what they really are, "engineered solutions?"

Comment Re:Defies the purpose of competition (Score 1) 127

When people refer to "democratizing AI," they probably mean:
  • 1. That the software tools (like Tensorflow or Microsoft's own CNTK http://blogs.microsoft.com/nex...) are free and open source
  • 2. That it can be used on commodity PCs (with GPUs)
  • 3. That the education is free (there are many, many free online resources like MOOCs that teach machine learning principles)
  • 4. Even datasets used to train deep neural networks are free (Imagenet, Pascal VOC 2012, MS COCO, Youtube 8M).
  • 5. Even the latest academic scholarship is quickly published publically to ArXiV while sitting in the traditional academic publishing pipeline.

Machine learning is still heavily an academic discipline, but it's never been easier for a layman or business to use and benefit from the technologies.

Comment Re:But the median college-educated.... (Score 1) 495

Umm, or GP is exactly correct. When I was in middle school there was a poster outside the guidance office at school that specifically says that high cost is not a reason not to attend a college. What's important is that I choose the college "right for me." Cost doesn't matter because the average college graduate makes more than the average high school graduate. That statistic, while true, has been tortured to death to justify any college expense.

Fortunately my parents and I were a bit more practical when I went to college, but I know friends who got "the right degree" (i.e. engineering) who have good jobs who will be paying off their debt for 15-20 years.

Comment Re:Automated Post (Score 1) 409

I'm guessing that the "half" of work they quote are tasks that are basically pattern recognition exercises or are straightforward application of rules. It's work that at some point someone will find it economically feasible to automate (or economically feasible to sell an automation solution).

Even work that isn't "practical" to automate now is being picked at by AI and robotics research wherever it can be. For example, robots that can learn by example and can work in close proximity to people: https://www.technologyreview.c... This would find a nice savings in between 100% trainable human labor (expensive) vs 100% inflexible automated robot process (also expensive).

Comment Medical University (Score 1) 483

So, while I don't agree with this offshoring plan, people should keep in mind UCSF only offers degrees in various medical fields. They don't have an Engineering, CS, or IT college. So while this might screw over other IT workers out of jobs, it doesn't screw over UCSF alumni and students specifically.

Comment Embedded Systems (Score 1) 261

Consider looking into embedded software positions. In these kind of industries you're focused on programming a processor to control something physical: a radio, an elevator, a microwave, car subsystems, robots. This industry doesn't always use the sexiest of programming languages and tools (you'll likely be doing some flavor of assembly, C, or C++ on crappy vendor-specific compilers and IDEs), but you it's very rewarding to see your code have physical effect. I definitely preferred that over writing websites and sysadmin work.

That said, college is much more intellectually intense than industry often is. You'll start your career learning a bunch of industry-specific technical stuff, but very quickly a vast majority of your learning is soft skills like communication, project management, business sense, navigating a team environment, and so on. This may be "unsatisfying."

Another thing to consider is that wherever you work for a few years might yield a few intellectual interests that you didn't know about. For example, I worked in embedded for a few years and fell in love with digital signal processing. I ended up going for an MS in the subject and started a PhD. Don't be afraid to learn things outside of "pure CS." There's a lot of engineering (in all fields) that's heavy on analysis, math, and programming.

Comment A few annoying bugs (Score 4, Interesting) 376

I'm still a sucker for OS upgrades, especially free ones, so I upgraded both Windows machines in my home (one laptop, one PC) to Windows 10 soon after it was released. I just recently upgraded the laptop to Anniversary edition. Overall the OS seems functional, and loses the annoying Windows 8/8.1 start screen, but I'm probably not taking full advantage of the features. I was interested in using Cortana, but not so interested that I would tie my local logins to a Windows Live account. Why not let me use the Cortana features with a local login? It's not like I'm lugging my PC everywhere or replacing it like a tablet.

Also one minor comment about the Windows 10-specific options dialogs is that they seem to have a lot fewer options, so 99% of the time I just use the search bar to get to the Windows 7-style options dialog.

Now the main reason I wanted to post was three pretty annoying bugs. One was with vanilla Windows 10 (haven't seen it yet in Anniversary, but the upgrade is young). That is that the start button and widgets on the start bar would sometimes stop working. This ranged from mildly annoying (I can't set the system volume!) to basically dealbreaking (I can't do any work with NO start bar!) Sometimes a reboot would fix this, but sometimes it wouldn't. In the worst case, after trying a bunch of online remedies, I basically had to do an in-place reinstall. That worked, but that shouldn't have to happen for such a basic piece of functionality. Perhaps a more effective repair install that fixes the start bar?

The second annoying bug (again, in vanilla Windows 10, don't know if this was fixed in Anniversary), but my laptop tends to wake up from sleep in tablet mode. It's a Lenovo Yoga, so it can theoretically be used as a tablet. However, I practically never use it as such and never put it in the tablet "position," and yet I have to keep dealing with the initial disorientation of the UI not being what I expect when I open it.

The last annoying bug just started happening with Windows 10 Anniversary on my laptop. It seems like the pointer keeps jiggling nonstop. Now, I don't visually see the cursor move, but if, say, I'm watching Netflix in full screen, the player UI keeps popping up every second as if I'm continuing to move the mouse. Moreover, the screen never sleeps (I assume for the same reason).

I'm willing to put up with this nonsense (and foist it upon my poor wife), because I still have some fun fixing up OS issues (see many hours of toying around with Linux). But for my mother, I made sure that her system did not get the free update, because I thought there was very little gain for her in exchange for a lot of new issues.

Comment Re:Punishment almost fits the crime (Score 1) 705

I've taken my girlfriend to see both Twilight movies so far. It was a really rowdy crowd, with everybody cracking jokes and MST3King the movie and throwing popcorn at the screen. I'm not a huge fan of the Twilight series, but both times I saw the movie it was a lot of fun. I don't know who would sit silently through these films when there's so much to make fun of.

Comment Re:Higher taxes needed (Score 1) 590

It's not always a problem with not enough money in the budget. Some schools manage budgets horribly. The high school I went to purchases all kinds of Smartboards and projectors and regularly-upgraded computers. Somehow, after buying all these expensive toys, they found themselves broke and had to cut wages, buses for high-school students, after-school activities such as drama club. Yet the tax levies they always try (and fail) to pass are never for what the community wants (wages, busing, drama club), they are for building new schools to replace the old ones!

It's not always so cut and dry as "why won't the community accept new taxes for the poor schools?"

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