The Singularity movie is near

IMDB says The Singularity Is Near, Ray Kurzweil's film adaptation of his 2005 book, is opening in the US this Friday. I don't know where they got this date from (all the other sources I can find just say "Summer"), but let's spread the word anyway. After all, the more people are expecting it to open on Friday, the more incentive there'll be for it to actually open on Friday. (And if the movie's release can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, then maybe its subject matter can as well, but that's another story.)

TSIN is part documentary and part science fiction, and you probably don't have to agree with many of Kurzweil's predictions to appreciate both parts. In the documentary scenes, Kurzweil interviews dozens of experts, gathers opposing viewpoints about the history and future of technology like any good documentarian, and presents his own conclusions.


Computer literacy: the importance of reading for young artificial neural networks

Photo from New York Times
Recently, a Stanford researcher and a Google X team made headlines with their study on unsupervised learning. Starting with one of the biggest neural networks ever built (1 billion connections and 16,000 CPU cores), they fed in a still frame from each of 10 million YouTube videos and watched it learn to identify human faces and cats.

But why aren't experiments on a similar scale being done with text data? I can think of three reasons why they should be.


Boson-ward and upward

Talk about too much excitement before bed! CERN confirmed tonight (both links still updating live) that they've found a particle of the right mass to be the long-awaited Higgs boson.

BBC News explains, though, that to confirm that the newly-discovered particle is the Higgs, scientists will need to know more properties than its mass, and that this'll take a few more years.

Higgs or not, it'll be exciting to see what other results --- and, I'm betting, practical applications --- the discovery leads to in that time.