Grace Hopper, Ph.D. (Vassar Archives)

Doing a small part to help close a gender gap

Few, if any, of my classmates shared my fascination with the Mark I Computer that was on display in our university’s Science Center. It is hard to blame them. Towering at 8 feet and filled with rotary switches, crystal diodes, and tangled wires, the Mark I resembles a prop from a science fiction movie rather than a computer the U.S. Navy once used. In its prime in the 1940s, the Mark I was one of the most powerful supercomputers on Earth; today, the smartphone we carry in our pockets would put it to shame. Yet, neither the smartphone nor the…

Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence complicate the belief that our intellect—even our creativity—will remain unrivaled

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo (c. 1512); modified by the author.

The belief in our distinctiveness is central to human self-understanding; however, time and again, what was seen as our distinguishing attribute has proven to be a mirage.

For millennia, humans have asserted themselves as superior to other living forms. From Mesopotamia to China, the mythologies of ancient civilizations traced humankind’s origin to divine creation. Religious doctrines have echoed and solidified this sentiment. In the Bible and the Qur’an, humans are portrayed as divinely ordained to have dominion over all creation. …

Introduction to Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and their potential

Illustration from Fencing (Pollock et al., 1890); modified by the author. Image retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.

Teaching Computers Creativity

It started in a pub. Ian Goodfellow and his fellow doctoral students at the University of Montreal met to celebrate the completion of the 2014 academic year. Their conversation focused on the frontier of AI research: synthetic data generation; specifically, approaches that would allow a computer to produce realistic-looking images. Compared to everything machines have mastered, this problem may not seem worthy of the attention of some of the finest minds in AI research. However, they recognized the profound implications of computer’s shortcomings that lay hidden beneath the mountain of all it could accomplish.

Machine learning algorithms are effective at…

Vladimir Bok

Author, GANs in Action @ManningBooks 📖 • CompSci @Harvard • Data/ML Product Manager •

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