[Cross post from https://medium.com/@southparkcommons]

In 2015, I wanted to help with AI research, but taking the first steps felt daunting. I’d graduated from MIT then spent eight years building web startups. I’d put in my 10,000 hours, gotten funding from Y Combinator and grown a company to thirty people. Moving to research felt like starting over in my career. Was it really a good idea to throw away years of work?

A friend told me about South Park Commons (SPC), a new space for people who were taking the first steps on a new path, and introduced me to Ruchi, the founder. Ruchi is super impressive, she was one of the earliest Facebook engineers, and had founded and sold a successful company. …

For the last year I’ve been in RL world. There we always make sure to set our seeds for determinism, and make sure we get absolutely reproducible results. E.g. we will make sure to run np.random.seed(42), and double check that our algorithm is deterministic end to end.

In RL, we usually run algorithms on the CPU because we’re usually data-starved (limited by the speed at which the environment generates data). In image classification, everything is on the GPU, so I wrote a basic algorithm, then tried to set things up for determinism. …

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.

He started slow, but soon had her trust, and together they began to weave their dreams. Their dreams were of adventures and far off lands. They would be Egyptian lovers in ancient times, or sworn enemies fighting great battles. The girl was a horse and the boy was her keeper. The girl was a bumblebee and the boy was a flower. They were siblings and rivals and predators and prey.

In a night’s sleep together they’d each experience a lifetime. Sometimes the lives were short and vivid, sometimes they were long and sprawling. During their dream, they’d forget that they were dreaming. And sometimes they’d be pulled apart. The boy would die in an accident. The girl would be killed by a jealous lover. But no matter how long each life took, they would always live the whole life, and awaken at the same moment, holding each other in a tight embrace. …


Tom B Brown


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