Tuesday, November 6, 2012

expansion on the "9 things"

By accident we discovered a symposium held at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls, only thirteen miles away, and today we attended the last of six sessions for the fall.  The series is called Morning with the Professor, and today's session was entitled Technology; Cognition, Commerce, and Culture.

It dovetailed nicely with the 9 Things last posted, since it began with an analysis of Artificial Intelligence (AI) including a video of a Wall Street Journal editorial writer who lives in Arizona, but was able to participate in an editorial board meeting in New York by way of a robot with a built-in webcam.  She not only was able to be a part of the session itself, but bumbled her way around the halls of the WSJ by way of the Segway-like robot.

Technically AI incorporates data from the past to predict the future by way of algorithms, the same mathematical formulations that allow political candidates to drill down into the electorate,  Google to observe your habits and offer you products similar to concepts or needs you've written about or researched recently, or Netflix to make suggestions of movies that you may be interested in, and predict how well you will like a movie you've not yet seen.

The Professor threw out recommended reading like Nicholas Carr's What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, or the New York Times series on "Your Brain on Computers."

He mentioned MusicXray, that he says "finds music that will be pleasing to the human ear." and listed mattersight.com that brought me right to the 9 Things when I read this on their websight:

We capture, analyze, and create insight from unstructured conversations, emails, employee desktop activity, and customer data.

Just when you thought it would be safe to come out of the woods.

(A great irony here - as I completed that last sentence Radio Paradise began playing Johnny Cash's "Ghost Riders in the Sky."  I'm back in the old days and I'm safe again!)

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