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William Uther
Works at Google
Attended Carnegie Mellon University
Lives in Sydney
385 followers|206,617 views


William Uther

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Go Phil!
A new public transport solution combining taxis and buses could provide quicker and cheaper off-peak transport options for Canberrans.
Thermal Touch: an augmented reality interface via body heat

Computer vision and augmented reality has the potential to change the way in which we interact with digital information. +metaio - Augmented Reality Solutions  is experimenting with Thermal Touch, a prototype that explores ways to interact with smartphones and laptops using the residual heat from a finger when a surface is touched.

Utilizing a thermal camera to detect the heat from a touch, along with a standard camera to determine the location of the object being touched, Thermal Touch could enable the use of a wide variety of surfaces as an interactive touch interface.

What potential applications do you see for this technology? 
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With the Google Video Quality Report, you can better understand how YouTube videos make it from our servers to your computer. 

William Uther

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Contrary to the advice of “Lean In,” for women, asserting a strong position in negotiations can backfire.

William Uther

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Anyone know the Australian figures?
This is why I emphasize TWODA - Things We Ought to be Doing Anyway. It's fine to ask questions - yes, skeptical ones(!) - about climate change consensus.  But only a fool would refuse to do basic, prudent and sensible precautionary measures, just in case scientists and experts turn out to be right.   

And no, the agenda of (nearly all ) science-friendly folk is NOT to "ruin the economy" or to "shiver and starve in the dark."  TWODA is about investing prudently in energy efficiency -- and after 25 years of delay, the new car mileage standards are working brilliantly.  Efficiency that would save us all money, create energy independence and have scores of other benefits...

...hence the acronym TWODA... Things We Ought to be Doing Anyway... even if climate change were completely wrong!

It is the utter refusal to negotiate even mild versions of TWODA that belies every denialist claim of reasonableness, and exposes it as a raving, anti-science cult.
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Hrm.  I think per kWh possibly skews things the other way - it doesn't take into account startup costs.  But I can see the issue.  Maybe per kWh after R & D subsidies are removed from each?
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William Uther

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This post is to remind me to come back in a while and see where the debate is. I don't agree with everything in this article, but it raises some questions that it would be great for someone else to answer and present to me in an easily digestible form.

William Uther

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We're thrilled to let you know that we're now supporting +Fishburners, one of Australia's top startup spaces! In addition to financially supporting this amazing non-profit organization, we will be bring Aussie Googlers to mentor startups in the space and help entrepreneurs get the most out of Google products. 

Australia has immense potential to flourish as a strong startup ecosystem. In 2013, Google commissioned a study to learn more about the landscape Down Under and learned by 2033,  the country can add $109 Billion directly from the high growth technology sector alone! If citizens and government are in alignment to support entrepreneurs Australia has a great future ahead. Read more about the report here:

Learn more about our partnership:

William Uther

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This sort of argument is one of the reasons why I prefer Australia over the US.  That Regan line of "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." is terribly sad.  The government should be 'us'.  If, either as an individual or a society, you can't make decisions then, again as an individual or society, you're not in a good place.
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It has been pointed out that the blog post linked to has inaccuracies.  I agree.  And this type of loose speaking is problematic when having a detailed discussion.

Perhaps I would have been better not linking to that article, and just saying that I think it sad that there is so little trust in the US.

William Uther

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Where are the easy answers....?

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The honourable mention is a nice paper too:

2014 Honorable Mention:

Joel Veness, Kee Siong Ng, Marcus Hutter, William Uther and David Silver (2011) "A Monte-Carlo AIXI Approximation", Volume 40, pages 95-142.

The 2014 Prize Committee provided the following citation: "This paper investigates the possibility of designing reinforcement learning agents based on a direct approximation of AIXI, a Bayesian notion of optimality in uncertain sequential decision making environments. Although it had been unclear whether AIXI could provide a practical foundation for designing learning agents, this paper demonstrates the first plausible realization of an AIXI agent by exploiting Monte Carlo tree search and context tree weighting algorithms. The paper presents a bold and original perspective on the difficult problem of partially observable reinforcement learning, while demonstrating impressive results on a range of applications."
2014 IJCAI-JAIR Best Paper Prize Announced

The International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the Journal of Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-JAIR) have announced their annual Best Paper Prize, awarded to Google Senior Staff Research Scientist +Evgeniy Gabrilovich and Technion - Israel Institute of Technology faculty member +Shaul Markovitch for their 2009 paper Wikipedia-based Semantic Interpretation for Natural Language Processing.

Awarded to papers published in JAIR from the preceding five calendar years, this publication represents an early and influential investigation of how knowledge derived from publicly available text resources, such as Wikipedia, can allow high dimensional representations of contextual word meaning. In the paper, the authors outline Explicit Semantic Analysis (ESA), a semantic interpretation of unrestricted natural language texts, explicitly representing the meaning of any text in terms of Wikipedia-based concepts.

To learn more about the research that now lies at the heart of current work in natural language processing and information retrieval, read the full paper at
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William Uther

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If you're interested in microkernels, you should know about seL4.  And it's now going open source. :)
Open source seL4: there is now a date, a website, and the countdown has started. Looking forward to July 29, 2014.
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Software Engineer
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2013 - present
  • University of New South Wales
    Adjunct Senior Lecturer, 2013 - present
  • University of New South Wales
    Conjoint Senior Lecturer, 2003 - 2012
    Senior Researcher, 2003 - 2012
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Contact Information
+61 2 9374 4000
Google Australia Pty Ltd. Level 2, Fairfax Building, 1 Darling Island Road, Pyrmont, NSW 2009 Australia
You're best off going to my uni web page for this info.
  • Carnegie Mellon University
    PhD (Comp. Sci.), 1995 - 2002
    Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning / Robotics
  • University of New South Wales
    Graduate Diploma of Applied Intellectual Property, 2010 - 2013
  • University of Sydney
    BSc. (Comp. Sci.), 1991 - 1994
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Other names
William Uther's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Want to be anonymous? Now you have a right to be

Australian citizens now have the right to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym when interacting with government agencies, private health serv

Programming Laws and Reality: Do We Know What We Think We Know?

How well do programming maxims stand up when compared with hard data?

Mosquitoes can smell your ankles

Studying the mosquito's sensory pathways helps scientists find new repellents.

Germany may invite Edward Snowden as witness in NSA inquiry

Green politician meets US whistleblower in Moscow to discuss possibility of helping parliamentary investigation into US spying

Backgrounds HD (30M Downloads)

## Unique & Superb quality Wallpapers Hand Picked by OGQ ### The OGQ Backgrounds HD has huge selections of unique and high quality images wi

Pax Dickinson: Thought Crime, Public Shaming and Thick Liberty in the In...

Intro The topic du jour is Pax Dickinson. For those just now joining the internet circus, Pax is an opinionated, semi- neo-reactionary, freq

How Intellectual Property Reinforces Inequality -

In the war against inequality, we've become so used to bad news that we're almost taken aback when something positive happens. And with the

Building a Fibre NBN on a Copper budget

On 17th July 2013 I delivered a talk at the CommsDay Wholesale and Data Centre Summit in Sydney about the NBN called "The Ideal Wholesale NB

Snowden's Constitution vs Obama's Constitution | Techdirt

Edward Snowden is not a constitutional lawyer. But his public statement explaining his decision to blow the whistle on what he and Congress

ATO's clunky E-tax for Mac highlights cultural problems | ZDNet

Can risk-averse government agencies and a tendency to fall for the sunk cost fallacy ever deliver forward-looking applications?

Beyond Conroy: Australia's future internet politics | ZDNet

Whether it's the Coalition's Malcolm Turnbull or Labor's candidate, any future communications minister faces the same long-term issues — and

What It's Like to Get a National-Security Letter

Brewster Kahle is one of very few people in the U.S. who can talk about receiving a national-security letter.

Want To Lose More Weight With Less Effort? Epigenetics Can Help. - EpiBeat

Genetic and lifestyle factors both play important roles in controlling our weight, and epigenetics has recently emerged as a powerful new to

Profits Without Production

So what’s really different about American economy in the 21st century?

the filter, reloaded

Another chapter has opened on the internet filtering debate in Australia. You might recall a scrappy and quite effective campaign that raged

Skype with care – Microsoft is reading everything you write - The H Secu...

If you thought Skype messaging was private, think again. The H's associates at heise Security have discovered that Skype/Microsoft analyses

This Is What Happens When Publishers Invest In Long Stories

We decided to experiment with a new superlong article format akin to slow live blogging. When we looked at the traffic charts below our jaws

Why You Should Always Confront Prejudice

You should always confront prejudice because you will find a way to justify not doing.

Exploiting children's social instincts to boost their learning

Young children's instinct for group membership can be exploited to boost their learning performance. That's according to a new study that re

Best Indian food I've had in Sydney. Generous servings and attentive service. Not too expensive, but not cheap. I do wish they'd turn off the Bollywood video though...
Public - in the last week
reviewed in the last week
Great hotel. Would stay again.
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
Clean, good food, roti pisang for dessert. What more do you need?
Food: Very goodDecor: Very goodService: Good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Relatively simple food for 'fine dining', but amazingly well done. Outstanding!
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
7 reviews
Loved the chicken burrito with the red sauce!
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very goodService: Very good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Great coffee shop at The Spot in Randwick. While their eponymous 'kurtosh' are nice, I like their cakes. They sell their cakes by weight so you can taste a few without being a pig.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago