Thursday, February 17, 2011

Can a stroke lead to Nirvana?

On the morning of December 10 a blood vessel exploded in the left half of Harvard neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor's brain. She describes feeling as though she was observing herself in motion, as in the playback of a memory. Sounds as quiet and unobtrusive as the flowing bath water became deafening. Her hemorrhaging accelerated and she lost coordination as well as the ability to speak and understand language. As her sensory perception began to fade Jill recalls peaceful silence and enlightenment.

"I was aware that I could no longer clearly discern the physical boundaries of where I began and where I ended. I sensed the composition of my being as that of a fluid rather than that of a solid. I no longer perceived myself as a whole object separate from everything. Instead, I now blended in with the space and flow around me."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jeopardy: Human vs Computer Day1

Watson is an IBM supercomputer designed to compete against Jeopardy's most formidable human opponents. Although off online, a few of Watson's resources include the entire World Book Encyclopedia and all of Wikipedia.  Equipped with all the information it could ever need it would appear that Watson's success is solely hinged on his reaction time.  Ken Jennings noted that "if you're trying to win on the show, the buzzer is all," and that Watson "can knock out a microsecond-precise buzz every single time with little or no variation.  Human reflexes can't compete with computer circuits in this regard."  With perfect reaction time and boundless info to draw from Watson is simply as good as his IBM programmers allow him to be, making the competition no competition at all.

Check out the log after round one below. Watson crushed up until the first commercial break where it seems the IBMers dumbed him down a bit.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Underwater Sculpture

Beautiful underwater scene.  Although fitting the music makes me feel like I'm watching the closing scene to A.I.