Book post

Dec. 3rd, 2012 04:39 pm
vamysteryfan: (books)
I read "Final Jeopardy: Man vs Machine and the Quest to Know Everything" by Stephen Baker. Researchers at IBM spent years and over a billion dollars developing a machine that could compete on Jeopardy!. It was interesting reading how they analyzed the questions so they could teach the machine to recognize puns and irony and even how to use the buzzer. Ultimately it was pointless. They had to find ways to repurpose the machine after the contest was over. I hope all the algorithms were useful in writing other software. Otherwise it was one of the most expensive PR stunts in history.

The book was good though. There are a lot of scientific studies out there based on Jeopardy!. Gaming theory, sex discrimination, all sorts. If you go on Google Scholar, they are easy to find. Our brains automatically make connections that the machine has to be taught to make. I learned a lot about how I process information.

And how could I resist the title? I do need to know everything :)
vamysteryfan: (Default)
Part of the getting clever project is learning about memory to see if I can remember more for longer periods of time. For me, purely memorizing lists isn't a helpful technique. Using stories seems to work much better for me. For example, the stories of the walking tours helps me remember details about architecture and history. In a way, Washington DC is my memory palace, with stories and information encoded into different locales.

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