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V.D. Veksler
Attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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engineering the mind
Introduction
I am a scientist doing research on Computational Cognitive Modeling. My work falls under Artificial Intelligence and Psychology domains. I study human/animal learning and decision mechanisms, and develop computational agents based on these mechanisms (links: 1 2 3). 

I also spend a good deal of time on cognitive robotics (interfacing robots with cognitive systems link), on virtual world simulations (interfacing Second Life with cognitive systems link), on semantic models (getting computers to learn word meaning by reading link), and cognitive engineering (a sub-field of human-computer interaction), and I have taught courses on all of these topics at Rensselaer (i♥rpi).

Education
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Cognitive Science, 2009
  • Rutgers University
    Computer Science; Psychology, 1999

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V.D. Veksler

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Google and Delphi Robocars Meet on the Road - Here is what happens when rival self-driving cars want to move into the same lane. http://ow.ly/30BRtX
Here is what happens when rival self-driving cars want to move into the same lane.
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Warning: Some minor spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie yet Summary: Inside Out is Disney Pixar’s latest film and is already making headlines, with a nearly perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. Watching the film through the l...
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"you lose fear... you're not pretending to be fearless"- #44  1:04:26
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today  #amazon  personal assistant  #AI  Echo went on sale for general public for $180.
user reviews seem really positive so far, both on Amazon and on Engadget. 
i get that folks can just use their smartphones and/or smartwatches with [better AI assistants like] Google Now, Apple Siri, and MS Cortana, but having a device like Echo in the living space seems really useful.

plus, i like the price point. the bluetooth speaker technology on its own may be worth that much, merely for playing your news podcasts and music.
with the addition of the AI personal assistant, Echo is a step toward the long-promised sci-fi home. 

Amazon did a lot of things right with this product in making it standalone (no need to have your tv or xbox on, no need for external speakers), always on, and sub-$200. 
my bet would be that Apple, Samsung/Sony/Moto, and MS will be trying to copy-cat and evolve on Echo in the coming decade.
it will be easiest for Apple, since they will be working on hw and sw together, and i doubt Google will be getting into hw, but if Samsung/Sony/HTC teams up with google to make a nexus-home or something, they could compete in this space quite nicely.
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I bought one early on for my parents. They love it and use it all the time. Now my mom has a Kindle Fire that is linked to the Echo and likes the functionality that it adds. My parents are not real technology savvy, not that they are novices, and they like being able to talk to the Echo and get responses without a lot of typing or fiddling with buttons. As the technology matures, I expect that it will get better. Being able to control devices (lights currently) from the Echo is also something that will add to its usefulness.
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#robots  replacing #nfl  players? no.
just in terms of engineering challenges, we're a good 50yrs away.
in terms of entertainment, there's no guarantee that it'd be nearly as appealing to watch.
in terms of economics, it'd be much cheaper for owners to use virtual players instead of robots -- which already exists (madden tournaments). 
it may be entertaining in its own right, but it's just not the same thing.
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Now THAT I would watch! 
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A revolution in artificial intelligence is currently sweeping through computer science! ... http://ow.ly/OyysP
The best way for AI machines to learn is by feeding them huge data sets of annotated examples, and the Daily Mail has unwittingly created one.
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Of course not. Too much weight, too much power draw from low quality motors. Fan blades have too much surface area for their diameter... There is a myriad of common sense reasons it doesn't work.
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Is the brain a computer, after all? My latest in the NYTimes.
For most neuroscientists, this is just a bad metaphor. But it’s still the most useful analogy that we have.
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#WSJ says #Amazon killed #science. Half of science. Half of scientific studies that they made possible to begin with. Amazon now enables slightly smaller studies per dollar than it used to. I can't tell if WSJ is making stuff up, or if they really found scientists that were "irked" by this gift horse's mouth.
A tweak to the fee structure for Amazon.com’s mass online labor service Mechanical Turk is raising hackles from university researchers who say they’ll have to scale back their projects.
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALAN TURING!

Alan Mathison Turing is broadly acknowledged as the father of artificial intelligence – the human-like intelligence exhibited by machines and software. He was born 103 years ago, on 23rd of June. To celebrate his anniversary, here are some essential bits of information on artificial intelligence. Enjoy reading!

What do Alan Turing think about the Artificial Intelligence?

According to Turing, a computer can be considered to “think” if, in a conversation between a human and a machine, the human could not tell if he’s talking to a human or a computer. An intelligent machine is also able to perceive its environment and take actions to maximize its success.

#turing #ai
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thanks, genius of geniuses, we see your vision now, you'd be amazed.
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Facebook Uses Artificial Intelligence to Generate Realistic Virtual Imagery 

This has been a big few weeks for machine learning and imagery.(See links below). Now Facebook just published new research outlining a novel approach for generating realistic, artificial images of scenery and things like dogs, planes, deer, ships, trucks, horses, and, of course, cats.

I've tried parsing through the research, but the details are beyond me. What is interesting, however is their use of an approach called "Generative Adversarial Networks" (GAN). Essentially, what they've done is create a kind of feedback loop between two networks, where the first, the "generative network" generates an image from noise. Then the other, "discriminative network," takes that resulting image, and essentially compares it to training data that is based on real images (note: this is a slight simplification). The result is that with each iteration, the generative network is 'tricked' into generating increasingly realistic looking imagery. 

The researchers then testing the resulting images with a group of volunteers and found that 40% of the images were realistic enough to fool a human into thinking they are real images.

What is Facebook likely to do with the results of this research? That's unclear, but with their Oculus Virtual Reality acquisition, it seems reasonable to assume that they are going to need cost-effective methods for generating a massive scale of virtual scenery and objects. Could this research represent early forays into that work?  

Deep Generative Image Models using a Laplacian Pyramid of Adversarial Networks
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1506.05751v1.pdf

* More:

Looking Inside the Image Recognition of Artificial Intelligence:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GideonRosenblatt/posts/gQw9kP8CKzY

Is This the First Computational Imagination?
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GideonRosenblatt/posts/8V82FxXKxXD

#artificialintelligence   #machinelearning   #virtualreality   #facebook  
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Pixar film based on real #brain #science. can't wait
Pixar's animated fantasy takes viewers inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. Psychologists say the film offers an accurate picture of how emotions and memories help make us who we are.
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