January 2012

6 posts

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Rise of Big Data, Machine Learning and Data Mining

Rise of Big Data, Machine Learning and Data Mining My approach in artificial intelligence have primarily been symbolic, and, in prior posts on AI, I indicated my skepticism on machine learning and other statistical techniques as a valid long-term approach to solving problems. With supervised learning techniques, it was possible to construct a function from inputs to output by learning from data. However, in many cases, particularly neural networks, the function remains a black box in which no model can be extracted out from which one can perform more complicated types of reasoning. This is not entirely true. In reality, neural networks involve a set of matrix calculations, which...

Microsoft AI Initiatives

Microsoft AI Initiatives Several computer science classes focus on algorithms. These include classes in data structures, artificial intelligence, computer graphics and numerical computing. Some of these data structures are quite involved and I have felt that they should be incorporated inside system libraries. Many of the classical data structures have in the 1990s become a staple of standard libraries such as the Standard Template Library of C++ and with the frameworks included with the Java and .NET runtimes. However, libraries for numerical computing (manipulating matrices and performing statistics), handling artificial intelligence, or doing computationally geometry have still not found themselves as full-class citizens...

C# Everywhere

Miguel de Icaza, founder of Xamarin, describes his C# Everywhere strategy for Mono. Earlier this year, there was a question of Mono’s survival, when the project was canceled after the Attachmate acquisition. However, the Mono team reconstituted itself under the umbrella of Xamarin, and have regained the rights to sell MonoTouch and MonoDroid. I have standardized on C# years ago because it offers a cleaner and highly productive cross-platform solution than other languages that I have considered. C# is available for all Windows-based platforms. Mono fills in the gap for the other platforms with MonoMac for Mac OS, MonoTouch for...

Conversational Interfaces Redux

Conversational Interfaces Redux In the past, I have talked about conversational interfaces with posts like the “Turing Test and the Loebner Prize Competition.” My interests are not purely theoretical, as I have actively explored integrating natural language deeply into applications in such ways as interpreting all text inside documents and code files and presenting a conversation stream. The company I founded, SoftPerson, LLC, develops “smart software,” which are desktop applications that utilize mostly symbolic artificial intelligence including natural language processing. The overarching design criteria for my software is the capture of human thought process—human-like reasoning—into the codebase, so that software ultimately acts as...

Online Courses

There have been video-taped lectures on the web for the past decade since the arrival of video-sharing sites. Early on, I watched a number of them. Some were computer science lectures from the University of Washington Professional Master Program, sponsored by Microsoft, like Data Mining. However, for the most part, I avoided these video-based lectures or simply played them in the background (learning via osmosis). My issues with video lectures were manifold: Time. Video lectures consume a considerable amount of time, one to three hours. Not designed for online consumption. The video is a taping of an in-person lecture. Often...

The Computers and Internet of Yesteryear

The underlying experiences that we obtain from using computers and the Internet may not be as alien to prior generations as we may think. Things are faster and smaller, but not fundamentally different. Many complex systems have been with us around for millennia albeit in somewhat different forms: the rule of law, sophisticated government systems, commerce and engineering. A complex system of check processing was possible from distances of 500 miles during the Middle Ages. Our forebears were just as smart as us. For instance, the ancient Latin language is more advanced and refined than modern English in its grammar...

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