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Jon Orwant
Works at Google
Attended MIT
Lives in Brookline, MA
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Jon Orwant

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Let's dispel with this fiction that AlphaGo doesn't know what it's doing. AlphaGo knows exactly what it's doing.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/12/11210650/alphago-deepmind-go-match-3-result
Virtuoso Go-playing AI AlphaGo has secured victory against 18-time world champion Lee Se-dol by winning the third straight game of a five-game match in Seoul. AlphaGo is now 3-0 up in the series,...
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Jon Orwant

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I find Susan Crawford’s arguments in Getting Over Uber puzzling and unconvincing on a number of fronts.
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Well said +Tim O'Reilly​. I understand why the old school Taxi crowd is up in arms. But for the life of me I don't get anyone else that makes these tortured arguments against progress. I love Uber. It's better than owning a car. Taxis, not even close. End of argument.
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Best lede ever: "A former meerkat expert at London Zoo has been ordered to pay compensation to a monkey handler she attacked with a wine glass in a love spat over a llama-keeper."
A former meerkat expert at London Zoo has been ordered to pay compensation to a monkey handler she attacked with a wine glass in a love spat over a llama-keeper.
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What is this I don't even...
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All of these images were computer generated!

For the last few weeks, Googlers have been obsessed with an internal visualization tool that Alexander Mordvintsev in our Zurich office created to help us visually understand some of the things happening inside our deep neural networks for computer vision.  The tool essentially starts with an image, runs the model forwards and backwards, and then makes adjustments to the starting image in weird and magnificent ways.  

In the same way that when you are staring at clouds, and you can convince yourself that some part of the cloud looks like a head, maybe with some ears, and then your mind starts to reinforce that opinion, by seeing even more parts that fit that story ("wow, now I even see arms and a leg!"), the optimization process works in a similar manner, reinforcing what it thinks it is seeing.  Since the model is very deep, we can tap into it at various levels and get all kinds of remarkable effects.

Alexander, +Christopher Olah, and Mike Tyka wrote up a very nice blog post describing how this works:

http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2015/06/inceptionism-going-deeper-into-neural.html

There's also a bigger album of more of these pictures linked from the blog post:

https://goo.gl/photos/fFcivHZ2CDhqCkZdA

I just picked a few of my favorites here.
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Jon Orwant

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"And so a trend for the worse is grimly established."

"The suggestion becomes dark fact with one step farther into the past."

This is writing that leaps off the page and into seventh grade English class. Not to worry, though, there's a cheery cartoon on the next page.
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"A trend for the worse is grimly established." - gonna save that for performance reviews.
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Enclosed please find a still frame from the prequel "Fast and the Furious: Rise of the Jalopy."

The omnipresent red hue camouflages the spilled blood.
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The book begins with the cheery statistic that 37,100 people died in vehicle accidents. But if you're reading this, you're not one of them, unless you're undead. Either way, "Lucky You!"

(Curiously, the number of fatalities has remained roughly constant over the decades, presumably because better safety standards balance out the higher number of people on the roads.)
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Increased safety is offset somewhat by the Peltzmann Effect: riskier behavior in response to that perception.
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Jon Orwant

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An amazing achievement. Congrats to the Deep Mind team!
 
Can a computer master the ancient game of Go? With more possible board configurations than the number of atoms in the universe, experts have long thought it to be impossible. But a system developed by researchers at Google DeepMind, called AlphaGo, has done it.

Combining a state-of-the-art Monte-Carlo tree search with two deep neural networks, AlphaGo not only has defeated the top existing Go programs at the forefront of A.I. research, but also has defeated reigning 3-time European Go champion Fan Hui. 

The next challenge will be to play the top Go player in the world over the last decade, Lee Sedol, this March in Seoul, South Korea. To learn more, visit the Google Research blog, linked below.
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GOOD NEWS: Appeals court rules unanimously that Google book scanning is legal, rebuffs Authors Guild. This case goes back a full decade!
A group of authors had sued over Google's effort to compile a digital library, claiming that it's costing them a lot of money in lost revenue. The court found the program complies with copyright law.
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My 12 year old daughter starts 7th grade today, in a new school. It begins with the principal greeting all students in the auditorium. 

I've encouraged my daughter to sit in the back. When the principal begins speaking, she is to stand up and yell "I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!"

Junior high and Hunger Games have a lot in common.
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Cue the Bad Idea Bears...
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Looks like the same artist as Curious George.
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In 1951 there were still enough horse-drawn vehicles on the road for that to be a thing.
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Beware the collision with non-collision!
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  • Google
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  • O'Reilly, France Telecom
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Engineering Manager, Google Research
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