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raindropper

pouring…

Category Archives: Technology

To gain insight into the development of musical instruments, I’ve been studying their history. The image below is based on a passage by the ancient Greek poet Hermesianax (active ca. 330 BC).

1024px-sir_lawrence_alma-tadema2c_ra2c_om_-_sappho_and_alcaeus_-_walters_37159

On the island of Lesbos (Mytilene), in the late 7th century BC, Sappho and her companions listen rapturously as the poet Alcaeus plays a “kithara”.

A painting (1881) by the Dutch-born, Belgian-trained artist Alma-Tadema.

iPhone

If the rumours circling around the net are true, mini iPhone will see the light of the day in March.

Underestimated

When we consider the world around us, with all its images, sounds and concepts, traditional programming languages seem terribly limited. Look around you, and see how far from reality manipulating information like this is:

a = a + 1;

if (a > 23) then a = 0;

Of course, the programming languages reflect the architecture of the machine they are executed on.

What I’m looking is for a way of programming which enables systems have characteristics like these:

– Creativity. Show the system a chair and a human being sitting on it. The system generates and presents thousands of alternative versions of a chair. All in 3D, of course. Real world is 3D so no reason to aim any lower than that.

– Curiosity. The system wants to learn more.

– Photographic memory. WYSIWYP, what you see is what you process. Visual information provided to the system stays in its memory and it can manipulate it at will.

– Shades of gray. Things are not only black or white, true or false, 1 or 0, they can be something in between.

Actually, this seems not to be so about programming languages. This is about artificial intelligence.

[ to be continued & revised ]

 

 

 

 

 

Lady Gaga producer/songwriter RedOne:

The Beatles:

Ok, Wolfram|Alpha – the computational knowledge engine – is up and running. Granted, I’ve seen three different versions of “site is currently under heavy load”. Do remember that there’s a large amount of on the fly computation and algorithm crunching behind each result. 

These are the queries I tested it with:

Where are you? gives a good result.

Where am I? gives the correct answer.

Who am I? gives the same answer.

sin(n/10) * 100 draws a nice chart.

What are you doing? is the first computed tweet. 🙂

What time is it? surprisingly gives nothing.

green, redminimum result.

BMW presents stock information.

Weather in Lahti Wow!

Weather in Lahti June 2003 Double-Wow!

Neuron is not that interesting for Wolfram to have knowledge about.

Are you OK? opens a “Human Discourse” functionality which is under development. What will it be?

All in all, Wolfram|Alpha provides an interesting approach and implementation. It’s certainly one to follow and use.

However, I do get “everything is a number or a taxonomy” feel from the data it contains. It mostly answers with numbers; even Madonna boils down to a straight line between two dates.

So, Wolfram|Alpha is the engine Douglas Adams wrote about

Google left, Wolfram|Alpha right.

Google left, Wolfram|Alpha right.

I do not know why, but the system creates an impression of an autistic Rain Man recalling phone book numbers and curated minutia with precision. Whereas Google is the outgoing guy with all the fun; its bots gathering data from the web carelessly, and giving noisy, vague answers at times.