Artificial Inteligence, Opinion

On the relation between artificial and human intelligence.

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Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash

This is how we, as humans, think.

I wonder sometimes whether someone who defends their own brand of AI with that argument actually gets what they are really saying. What does that mean?

It is especially irritating considering that:

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Competing with thousands of developers to make a game in 48 hours

Being able to develop your own games might feel like a dream. Games are complex things mixing technical prowess with a lot of imagination. There are not many other activities that mix so many different forms of creativity: Coding, graphics, storytelling, music…

But where to start? Tutorials are great, but you really want to get your hands dirty.

Game jams seem a good way to get ideas for short and challenging projects, get feedback, and see what others can do. But let’s be clear: Game development requires skills and as with anything that does, there is no shortcut.

What’s a Game Jam Anyway?

A game jam is a game development marathon. There are lots of possible formats, but mostly, it is about developing a game in a short amount of time (a few days) on a theme that is often communicated right before you get started. The game should be playable since, in most cases, the winner is decided based on scores from people (public, other participants, judges) who are playing the game. …

Trends and waves in cognitive and bio-inspired AI.

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Winter (image by the author).

When I was at university, many years ago, I took a course on neural networks as part of a Masters degree in artificial intelligence. The course was fascinating. The lecturer delivering it was really passionate about it, showing us live demos of self-organising maps adapting their topology in response to a given input, and discussing the biomedical studies that had inspired some of the networks that we were studying. He was also clearly frustrated about the lack of interest and credit those methods were getting. …

They both use physics, it should be easy

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Word adjacency graph of common adjectives and nouns in “David Copperfield” (image by the author).

Displaying a graph or a network in a way that is not a complete mess can be hard. You want the most connected nodes to be close to each other, and to avoid edges crossing unnecessarily. The idea of the force-directed approach is that, instead of using a set of rules or a complex algorithm, a good layout for the graph is achieved by making every node act as if it was an object in an environment where simple physical properties apply: 1- Things that are connected attract each other, and 2- things that are close to each other push each other away. In that sense, the force-directed layout modules of popular graph visualisation frameworks such as D3.js

Finding structures and rules in complex data.

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Photo by Omar Flores on Unsplash

How often does this happen? A new data repository comes up or someone points you to a nice new dataset from which you could see that there might be something interesting to do. Then you look at it, and well… it is a bunch of numbers. You can run some stats, and poke around, but what does it really mean?

Maybe formal concept analysis (FCA) can help. It might look complicated, but it is based on one rather simple idea: The one of the concept. A concept (kind of like a class in object-oriented programming) represents a set of objects that share a set of attributes. …

An analysis of hundreds of sets of numbers from Wikidata.

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Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

Like many others, the first time I heard about Benford’s law, I thought: “What? That’s weird! What’s the trick?” And then, there is no trick. It is just there. It is a law that applies for no apparent good reason.

If you have never heard of it, let’s look at what it is: Imagine a set of numbers from some real-life phenomenon. Say, for example, the populations of all inhabited places on Earth. There would be thousands of numbers, some very big, some very small. Those numbers exist not because of some systematic process but somehow emerged out of the thousands of years of the lives of billions of people. You would therefore expect them to be almost completely random. Thinking about those numbers, if I asked you: “How many of them start with the digit 1, compared to 2, 3, 4, etc.”, intuitively you would probably say: “more or less just as many”. You would be wrong. …

How we developed a genetic algorithm for our puzzle game

A couple of months ago, my son Hugo (12) and I decided to learn to develop games with Unity. We would do that by actually making one. We thought up a puzzle game called Elemaze, were little guys representing the four elements have to collaborate to figure out a path to a chest in a maze. We learned a lot about coding, graphics, game mechanics, etc. Hugo went on to create his own game, “A.I. Will survive”, as a challenge to himself (see it on and on Google Play) and we participated in 2 game jams (we didn’t do great really, but it is all about the experience and the fun). …


Mathieu d'Aquin

I’m a developper and a researcher in data science, knowledge engineering and artificial intelligence. I’m a (some would say grumpy) frenchman living in Ireland.

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