Get me outta here!

Yann LeCun @deeplearningcdf Collège de France


I am spending this weekend with Yann LeCun (virtually, of course) studying the excellent video Lectures and slides at the College de France. A set of 8 lectures by Yann LeCun (BTW pronounced as LuCaan) and 6 guest lectures. The translator does an excellent job – especially as it involves technical terms and concepts !

(I will post a few essential slides for each video …)

Inaugural Reading – Deep Learning: a Revolution in Artificial Intelligence

LeCunn-01

My favorite slide – of course !!! And the DGX-1 !!

Missing Pieces of AI – interesting …

The reasoning, attention,episodic memory and  a rational behavior based on a value system are my focus for autonomous vehicles (cars & drones!)

Convnets are everywhere !

Probably the most important slides of the entire talk – the future of AI.

Parse it couple of times, it is loaded with things that we should pay attention to …

Can AI beat hardwired bad behaviors ?

LeCunn-06

I agree here, here, here and here – we don’t want AI to imitate us, but take us to higher levels !

Stay tuned for rest of the video summaries …..

@GoldenStateWarriors Basketball IQ & Robotic Sense – Lessons to be learned


Warriors-2016-03

Warriors-2016-01

In the eve of the probable final NBA game of the season, and with the Green suspension, it is interesting to note the skill that the team has. Interestingly the agility, domain IQ and the team spirit are equally applicable in business as well !

I came across 4 insightful blogs that tell the story of a talented, multi-faceted team that can snatch victory from seemingly impossible situations … I had written about the GoldenStateWarriors last year, it time now to write again !!!

[Update after Game 7 – at the end of the blog]

Zach Love has the right insights in “The Warriors are more than a bunch of jump shooters

  • There is a jagged, robotic quality to that brand of defense… there is a liquid quality to their defense.
  • They are like one of those college marching bands whose members combine to form massive images that move so convincingly, you almost forget for a second that the giant video game character on the football field is actually composed of hundreds of people

That is not some random accident of team construction. The Warriors sought smart players who felt the game instinctually, and had a history of playing hard for their teammates … they deserve credit for chasing high-IQ guys who play for the right reasons

  • I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a team communicate and shift around the floor so seamlessly. The Warriors swap assignments on the fly without even a millisecond of finger-pointing confusion that might open scoring windows – An agile team, at it’s best !
  • They quite literally move together, as one entity. On most teams, one guy rotates, everyone pauses to observe the new geometry of the floor, and then one guy realizes, holy crap, it’s my job to move now!

Ben Gollliver at Sports Illustrated “LeBron James, Cavs squander chance to even Finals in late-game collapse

  • In hindsight, Cleveland’s late-game struggles mimicked Oklahoma City’s in Game 6 of the West finals to the point of eeriness. … Both times, the Warriors dug out of fourth-quarter holes, on the road, by stopping superstar scorers in their tracks.

@MikePradaSBN writes “The Warriors are daring LeBron James to beat them, and he can’t

  • LeBron James is still one of the league’s very best players
  • Last year, the Warriors unveiled a unique strategy to defeat James. They correctly identified James’ court vision as his most dominant skill and elected to shut that off while living with the consequences.

@MattMooreCBS writes “NBA Finals: This one Warriors play likely ended the Cavaliers’ season

  • In an NBA game, there’s not always a defining moment. Sometimes it’s just all the possessions together making a mosaic for whatever team winds up with more points. Sometimes, though, there are plays, often subtle ones, that offer a window into so much more — microcosms, really, of a much bigger story, one that under the right circumstances can wind up shifting championship fortunes, and thus, legacies. …

One team was faster, smarter, hungrier, sharper, and in the end, they hit the shot. The other team was hesitant, out of position, and too late to do anything about it

What shall it be, we will see tomorrow ….!

I am a big fan of LeBron James, but I love them Warriors more … ;o) 

[Update 6/19/16 10:00 PM]

Two more good articles – both good read and insightful observations … :

  1. Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports writes “Mission accomplished: LeBron transforms Cleveland into a winner
  2. @rodger_sherman SB Nation “Never doubt LeBron James again

Room With A View to the Thames


Copy of my post in Linkedin

RoomWIthAView

View From My Room

London has changed a lot since I visited last ! Interesting constructions – at least this part of the town.

Am at the Aloft London Excel, ready for our tutorial at the StrataHadoop London “Building machine-learning apps with Spark“. I will be talking aboutApache Spark/GraphX along with my esteemed colleagues Jayant & Vartika.

Got a good room with a view to the Thames !

Took the Norwegian flight OAK-GTW. This is a good alternative to London. Am also flying by Norwegian to Gothenberg.

The OAK-GTW fight was a 787-8 ! Good plane – I really like the window – a lot bigger … and it has the hi-tech ElectroChromatic Dimming System (or Sun Glasses as they are colloquially called ! ) that replaces the window shutter – you can always see the outside.

Judging Lego Robotics @FirstLegoLeague World Competition-2016


P.S : Copy of my blog in Linkedin

As usual, was fortunate enough to be a Robot Design Judge at the FLL Robotics World Festival this year. I have been judging FLL Robotics for more than a decade and plan to do so in the future. Also been building 5000+piece Lego sets !

Here is a summary from ~ 150 pictures, visiting and talking with teams from all around the world – Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, Far East and Of course the Americas.

If you are involved with an FLL team next year (anywhere in the world) and need my help, ping me – would be happy to share insights. Have some thoughts for potential teams at the end of this blog.

 

fll-2016-P6

fll-2016-P1

The FLL events were at the Edward Jones Stadium and the America’s Center

fll-2016-P2

fll-2016-P3

fll-2016-P4

fll-2016-P5

fll-2016-P7

fll-2016-P8

fll-2016-P9

 

 

 

 

 

The Chronicles of Robotics at First Lego League – Day 1


This week am at St.Louis, volunteering at the First lego league World Robotics Competition. Have been involved with First Robotics since 2004. Usually my position is Robotic Design Judge – a front seat view to interesting & innovative ideas on Robots.

For 3 days we have the Edwards Jones Dome & the America Center in St.Louis, MO.

Day 1 : Stardate : 91913.81

Judges’ on-site meeting & briefing, allocations & FLL opening ceremonies.

Some quick pictures … Full day of judging starts tomorrow early morning  … looking forward to it ….

  • View From my Hotel

  • FLL-01 FLL-02 RoomView-01RoomView-02
  • The Trophies

  • awards-01 awards-02
  • The Field 

  • The field occupies the stadium. It consists of six areas – Einstein(FLL), Geleleo, Franklin, Newton, Edison & Curie. I have tried to capture the view of the fields from the ground and from the bleachers.
  • Galeleo

  • Field-01-01 Field-01-02 Field-03 Field-04-01Field-04Field-01 Field-05
  • NASA Truck to beam the competitions live via satellite

  • Field-06 Field-07
  • Franklin & Newton

  • Field-02-01 Field-02 Fig-05-01 Field-08 Field-09
  • Einstein (FLL and the venue of opening ceremonies – below)

  • Field-10 Field-11
  • FLL Opening Ceremonies

  • Open-01 Open-02 Open-03-01 Open-03 Open-04
  • Tomorrow is a busy day – robot judging whole day. Might not get time to take pictures
  • Still have to cover the pits, convention center hall filled with team stalls et al. One has to be there to understand the scale and the energy !

A Glimpse of Google, NASA & Peter Norvig + The Restaurant at the End of the Universe


I came across an interesting talk by Google’s Peter Norvig at NASA.

Of course, you should listen to the talk – let me blog about a couple of points that are of interest to me:

Algorithms that get better with Data

Peter had two good points:

Norvig-01

  • Algorithms behave differently as they churn thru more data. For example in the figure, the Blue algorithm was better with a million training dataset. If one had stopped at that scale, one would be tempted to optimize that algorithm for better performance
  • But as the scale increased, the purple algorithm started showing promise – in fact the blue one starts deteriorating at larger scale. The old adage “don’t do premature optimization” is true here as well. 
  • Norvig-02In general, Google prefers algorithms that get better with data. Not all algorithms are like that, but Google likes to go after the ones with this type of performance characteristic. 

There is no serendipity in Google Search or Google Translate

  • There is no serendipity in search – it is just rehashing. It is good for finding things, but not at all useful for understanding, interpolation & ultimately inference. I think Intelligent Search is an oxymoron ;o)
  • Same with Google Translate. Google Translate takes all it’s cue from the web – it wouldn’t help us communicate with either the non-human inhabitants of this planet or any life form from other planets/milky ways.
    • In that sense, I am a little disappointed with Google’s Translation Engines.  OTOH, I have only a minuscule view of the work at Google.

The future of human-machine & Augmented Cognition

And, don’t belong to the B-Ark !

One Band to Rule them all – Nike FuelBand+ vs. Fitbit Flex


Background:

  • I had the Fitbit Flex for a few months. But am not that satisfied with it. Is Nike FuelBand+ any better ? Plan to find out, by wearing them both for a week or two. Am tracking a few factors, pl suggest more …

IMG_1557

Summary:

  • The Good
    • The style & form factor of Nike FuleBand +
      • I am sorry guys, Fitbit is ugly ;o(
    • Fitbit sends you e-mail when the battery is low ! Good work guys
    • Hours won feature of Nike+
      • Good concept. Basically, it wants to you to move periodically
    • Fitbit is a lot lighter than Nike+
  • The Bad
    • Nike Fuel, while a good concept, is a black box. Couldn’t internalize it
    • Hours won notification of Nike+ is useless. It shows on the band’s display, but I miss it most of the time. Others notice the scrolling display !
  • The Ugly
    • The metrics like steps et al from both bands are so different that they can’t be compared
    • Fitbit is maturing. They add more devices in a short span and there is a fundamental difference between the versions. Would have been good if they have an upgrade plan
    • Tracking sleep on both are not that useful

Band Log:

  • Stardate  91454.39 Day 1 : Both devices fully charged
  • Stardate 91461.40 Day 3 : Have been wearing both devices for 3 days. Updating the comparison.
  • Stardate : Updated Summary above.

Comparison: (I will start filling-in in as I go along):

  • Aesthetics – Fashion vs. Functionality:

    • Of course, Fuelband + is a lot good looking.
    • Fitbit should definitely change it’s looks. 
  • Dashboard:

    • First cut, Fitbit looks better, may be because I am use to it.
    • Day 3: Am used to Nike+ dashboard as well. The Nike+ dashboard on iPhone 5S looks very functional
  • Track:

    • Nike has only one main trackable feature NikeFuel against a goal.
    • Fitbit has multiple features – each one with it’s own goals
    • Two Screens after Day 1 below
    • Day-01-fb Day-01-n
    • Nike
      • Nike Fuel Graph : My Nike Fuel goal is 2500. Haven’t yet figured out how it is calculated
      • Hours Won is interesting. Keeps you moving
      • Steps, Calories – Informational. But they are different for the devices.
    • Fitbit
      • Very Active Minutes – 30 min is my goal. Good metric to track
      • Distance, Steps, Calories – Normal metrics
  • Gamification

    • Both devices have badges, trophies, buddy system (friends, groups). I haven’t explored them yet.
    • May be I will buddy with a turtle and feel good ;o)

  • Inactivity

    • Fitbit does nothing except log it
    • Nike has an alert mechanism. Let us see if it works
  • Accuracy:

    • I will jot down counters from both devices. Let us see how they stack up
    • Here are the screen shots for 2 days. I took the shots at the same time.
    • The devices do not agree at all. I think Fitbit is far off on the plus side while Nike might be more closer.
      • This was my first concern with Fitbit and I had contacted their support. Didn’t get a satisfactory response. The support folks are very good, but I think this i a technical fault.
    • Day-02-fb  Day-02-n
    • Day-03-fb  Day-03-n
  • Sleep

    • Fitbit’s sleep tracking is a little awkward. You need to log time went to bed & time woke up. As far as I can tell, if you miss one day it is gone
    • Nike has the session feature, I haven’t yet tested it
  • Battery Life and ease of charging:

    • Fitbit sends an e-mail when the battery is low. Very cute and useful.
    • Let us see what Nike Fuelband+ has in store for us
  • Conclusions after 3 days

    • I think I will go with Nike+
      • Nike is more mature in many ways
      • Nike Fuel is a better motivation than FitBit
      • Overall Nike has a better form factor & a better app
      • Fitbit has better counters & goals for each metric. But they are not cohesive
      • Tracking sleep, while kludgy, is better with Fitbit ! (I never thought I will say this ;o))
      • Fitbit has the premium subscription ($50/yr) that gives more analytics.
        • But am not sure it is worth the price. I think it is an overkill.
        • And Nike has the analytics feature in the base product. Of course, Nike might add a paid feature set
      • Fitbit Flex lacks the display
        • I bought the Fitbit Flex and they have the Fitbit Force. Came out within 3-4 months after they introduced the Flex. I think they should have provided an upgrade path
        • I think Fitbit need at least couple more product revs to add a better display
  • Not so fast !

    • 11/11/13 : Nike+ FuelBand crashed ! I get an page full of error when I connect it – even the Nike web site is crashing ! Looks like the Fuelband crashes the Nikeplus site !
    • NikeError
    • I couldn’t fond a way to report this to Nike. Finally send them a mail via their site & twitter
    • I also contacted the Fitbit guys to see if I can swap out the flex for their force. They released Flex too soon.
    • Let us see how the response is from both the companies …
    • 11/11/13 : Night
      • Heard from both. So support is good from Nike and Fitbit.
      • Nike’s twitter support came back. Mail via web site is stuck somewhere
      • Fitbit (via e-mail) politely refused to swap my Flex for Force.
        • I understand – I bought the device 5 months ago.
      • Nike Plus web site is up; my FuelBand Plus doesn’t crash the site anymore
      • Fuelband SE got reset & reinitialized. It is up & running (Unfortunately we can’t say the same about me ;o( I am static & typing)
      • One good side effect – In the process I discovered where Nike has the manual for FuelBand SE. The links are not that obvious. 
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