What is machine learning? A psychedelic graphical journey

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You must always treat the reader’s time as more valuable than your own. That’s the Iron Imperative, and it’s just as valid for graphics as it is for text. If you find yourself endlessly fiddling with with an elaborate diagram, ask yourself, “Is this really helping?” Then get help from a decent graphic artist. When … Continued

Some questions about the President’s American Artificial Intelligence Initiative

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President Trump announced the “American AI initiative” with an executive order. Like many such presidential pronouncements (and not just from Trump), it’s somehow both blustery and mushy. Let’s take it apart and see if it makes sense. In what follows, commentary is mine. Passages in bold italic are passive voice, weasel words, or other notably … Continued

A Knewton critique: Why computers shouldn’t teach calculus (or anything else)

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Isi, my teenager, is a college student taking calculus. The teacher is assigning homework from Knewton, an online learning system. I’ve been helping with the homework. Now I can see why computers can’t teach college courses — and why tools like Knewton are not just destructive, they’re evil. The old way of teaching calculus worked … Continued

The Trump Administration’s take on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

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Over 100 government, academic, business, and technology leaders gathered at the White House recently to discuss Artificial Intelligence (AI). While there may have been intelligence in the room, very little was visible in the resulting document. The summary of the meeting is here. What is the government’s role in AI? While the government can help fund … Continued

The Fourth Transformation is your VR wake-up call

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Robert Scoble and Shel Israel just published The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence Change Everything. It’s an indispensable guide to the future, and a gripping read. Get yourself a copy. This is not an unbiased review. While Scoble and Israel wrote this book and are responsible for the content, I edited it. … Continued