AI ai ai

I recently commented on the fact that machine learning with neural networks now regularly gets called “AI”. I find the locution perplexing, because these machine learning problems have success conditions set up by engineers who defined the inputs and outputs.

Here is another headline which doubles down on the locution, discussing AIs creating AIs. Yet having a neural network solve an optimization problem is still machine learning in a constrained and specified problem space, even if it’s optimizing the structure of other neural networks.

Brave new age of robot overlords this ain’t.

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Bunflow is more tan than Caring Tan is

Swatches
Algorithmically-generated designer colours (from post by Janelle Shane)

There is a lot of buzz about AI and the prospect that computers will soon be doing something hugely different than what they’re doing now. It’s apprehension of what Ray Kurzweil calls the singularity, except that people don’t call it that much anymore.[1]

Under the headline An AI invented a bunch of new paint colors that are hilariously wrong, Annalee Newtiz discusses the result of training neural networks on Sherwin-Williams decorator colour names. The original work was done by Janelle Shane, who recounted it in a Tumblr post.

Some whinging below the fold.

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Words plotted thusly

Via Daily Nous, I came across a free set of text analysis tools by Voyant. You can paste in a passage or point it at some URLs, and it will chop it into words and phrases.

I let it chew on my book, and one of the products was this graph of word density:

word density

It looks all sciencey, like the kind of think that prop people might put on a screen in the background of a lab scene. It isn’t very informative, though. The curve has “species” dipping below zero, even though it occurs at least once in every segment.

I learned that “natural”, “kind”, and “kinds” make up about three percent of the words in the book. That three percent was, I suppose, the easiest part to write.

 

At the Palais Royale

This is a poem written several years ago, back in May 2011. I came across it while looking through some old files. It resonates just at the moment, when my Facebook feed is flooded with paeans for Prince.

At the Palais Royale

Anyone can use these words in any situation.
These words are in no way special.

You kind of have already been there.
Say yes or no, uninterrupted.
This guy is, but that is not.

Prince is destroying
the minds of our Christian children,
because he was sexually deviant.
You know Superman.
Scooby doo.
That was racy.

My background was askew.
There were always fights,
but the bus driver didn’t care.
One of my first memories.
The craziest shit —
it was stamps, too.
We’d alternate mornings.

I can tell you every top ten soul song from that year.
It’s really not about making the music.

Sade disappoints me
White enough.
Beautiful, it reminded me of a concentration camp.
It reminded me of the moon.