Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Little Machine Learning is a Dangerous Thing

On a recent business trip to San Francisco, I was fortunate to have an afternoon off on a beautiful day that just happened to be the day the San Francisco Exploratorium re-opened in their new digs on Pier 15.  I am aggrieved with the world for not having told me about the Exploratorium before, and grateful to the Evil Mad Scientists for hipping me to it now.  I could happily spend an entire vacation there, except that I'd have to take a day off every couple of days for a nice lie-down, or I'd be a sensorily overloaded hyperstimulated basket case train wreck.

On my inaugural visit, I had this conversation with Daisy the computer (click the image for a larger view).  She is learning to think by written conversation with visitors.  Visitors are given the nom de keyboard of Victor -- no idea why.


I let Daisy have the last word. It was a wee bit ironic to be arguing with a computer just after emerging from a beautiful and heartbreaking exhibit entitled "The Changing Face of What Is Normal: Mental Health."

2 comments:

Emily said...

Are you Vitor because of Victor Frankenstein? Because here you are making a creature?
Just a thought.

sharonmattnadia said...

Emily,
Thank you! I bet that's it. A colleague, who actually works in natural language processing, also gave the highly plausible theory that Daisy is Daisy Bell, of Bicycle Built For Two fame, as quoted in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Which makes Daisy and Victor quite a mash-up for the years.