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Martín Ciganda
Sapere aude
Sapere aude

Martín's posts

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A mashup you probably never expected... very well done!

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"Mientras más conocemos de la realidad, menos opiniones diferentes son posibles."
“El Anti-Intelectualismo ha sido una constante que se ha infiltrado en nuestra vida política y cultural, alimentado por la falsa noción de que la democracia significa que ‘mi ignorancia es tan válida como tu conocimiento’.”

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Who is your favorite to win the Copa América this Saturday?

¿Quién gana la copa el sábado?
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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:

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

I just picked a few of my favorites here.
18 Photos - View album

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Spirituality through science.
People sometimes feel that science takes away some of the magic of life, that a scientific view of life somehow subtracts instead of adds to life.
To me, it's the opposite.

I was standing outside tonight watering some freshly laid turf, the sun was setting in the sky, and I got incredibly emotional.
It's one thing to know some facts about life and the universe, but it's a revelation if you can see the world through a scientific lens.
The light of the sun slowly shifting up the color spectrum towards red, as the longer wavelengths get more chance to refract on the billions of air molecules that make up our atmosphere.

Knowing that the light hitting my face was created by fusing hydrogen into helium, purely by quantum probability, and has traveled for thousands to millions of years from the center of a five billion year old plasma fusion reactor we call the sun, whilst for that light, no time has passed at all.

Being fully aware that as the last scattering rays of light hit my face, the sun had actually already set about eight minutes before.

The insignificance of us humans on our tiny little blue and green planet.
We people, of whom most believe that we are the best thing since sliced bread.
With our average lifespan of 80 or so years, on this 4.45 billion year old rock.

The water I am using, probably brought here by comets that have traveled through the vastness of interstellar space for billions of years and crashed onto our little rock, perhaps even bringing with them, the origin of life on our planet itself.

Knowing that every atom in my body heavier than hydrogen was made in the core of an even bigger star long before our sun was even born.
Stardust, as Carl Sagan called it.

I can't switch it off, seeing the world this way, it's how I look at everything, and sometimes it's just too humbling, too much, and I just cry.
I cry tears of joy, standing in awe at the mercy of the vast unknown.

One doesn't have to be religious to have a spiritual experience, a feeling of being part of something greater.
Knowledge and understanding can also bring you such an experience, with the added bonus of not having to just accept on faith, but actually being able to articulate what brings on such an eye opening revelation.
To quote Sagan once more:

"we are one way that the universe knows itself"

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Some constructive feedback is in order here. 

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