This article is about making machine learning tools more accessible.

But, it is not about dumbing them down for lay audiences or about creating toy interfaces for toy problems.

Though there are many differences between human and machine learners, every human being has ample experience in the most crucial aspect of machine learning — we know what it means to learn from experience.

In fact, we are so immersed in this process that the greatest challenge in teaching others is remembering how we came to learn something ourselves.

This metacognitive ability is a precious and hard-won skill that is especially…


The creative reach of the individual is expanding.

The assortment of available tools, platforms and devices for design is growing while their costs are diminishing. You can make a film, record an album, design a city or print your own flower pot. You can do all of this on a home computer or even on your phone.


The following post is a redux of my part of a recent panel I did with the physicist Stephon Alexander and the sculptor Saint Clair Cemin. Thanks to Stephon and Saint Clair for their brilliant ideas and guidance.

“No leaf ever wholly equals another, and the concept “leaf” is formed through an arbitrary abstraction from these individual differences, through forgetting the distinctions…”
-
Frederich Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense”

This quote raises the question:
When information is lost, what is gained?

To answer this question, let’s look at how an Artificial Neural Network (a kind of…


Life After Cell Death

Here’s my idea for a TV show…

Its characters are among the first generation of people after a technique for deprogramming cell death has been discovered. They saw the previous generation die of old age, but will not themselves. This change provides some of the emotional drama. Dealing with over-population is also a central issue. In order to stave off catastrophic resource strain, each person must decide whether they wish to have a child or drink the elixir. Given the much-elevated stakes of a fatal accident, all forms of physical violence and carelessness are punishable by death. Safety-related technology is the economy’s main driver.


A tool should be easy to use, meeting the user at his or her point-of-view rather than requiring the user to gain expertise about the tool itself.

A tool should be open-ended, allowing any possible output.

A tool should make the user’s iterative process visible and navigable.

A tool should expand rather than limit or corral the user’s thinking.

A tool should help the user to develop an intuition for the problem space, its inherent constraints and the relationships between properties.

A tool should help the user to break the problem down and work through its components while keeping the whole in mind.

A tool should be adaptable to the user, capable of being transformed by its own design process.

Patrick Hebron

Founder of Machine Intelligence Design at Adobe. AI/ML, creative tools, programming languages & OSs of the future. O’Reilly Design author.

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