ProjectBlog: Selection Reflection

Blog: Selection Reflection

Wesley Muehlhausen


Curated Collection — Computers and AI

This supercomputer will perform 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second

  • Aurora, a mammoth of a machine, is the newest and most powerful supercomputer to date able to compute one Quintilian operations per second.

“If you assume a typical laptop can carry out a billion operations per second, Aurora is the equivalent of a billion laptops all connected together.”

  • We will soon have the ability to accomplish things that require immense computing power such as crash testing, complicated simulations, artificial intelligence, and other data-rich operations.

MIT is teaching a robot to beat you at Jenga

  • MIT is working on a robot that can play Jenga. This robot is capable of learning from its mistakes. It is able play against humans but can be beaten by an expert.

“With a game like chess, you can glean all the information you need to play, and hopefully win, just by looking at the board. No one needs to poke at the knight on a chess board to figure out if it’s capable of moving.”

  • The takeaway from this is that this technology is special because creating robots that play board games has been done before and mastered, for example chess or checkers, but with this technology had to overcome a physical obstacle that hasn’t been done before.

Artificial intelligence made this robot dog a very good boy

  • This article is about the advancements made to testing AI technologies such as ANYmal, a four legged dog-like robot. Computer simulations are making AI even cheaper to test and develop as a opposed to real life testing and programming which are far less efficient and cheap.

“The robot, featured in a new study in the journal Science Robotics, learned not just with AI, but also through computer simulation on a desktop, a much faster approach than teaching a robotic new tricks in the real, physical world. ”

  • Most people would not think that testing through computer simulations would be superior than the classic real life tests. This article reveals how computers have become more accurate and cheaper to do tests with.

Smart foam and artificial intelligence could help robots know if they’re injured

  • This article introduces a new material that can sense when it is being tampered with similar to how living organisms can sense when they are being touched, hurt, etc

“Shepherd’s lab has developed a foam, light, and artificial intelligence system that allows it to sense what’s happening to it — whether the foam is bending up or down, or twisting, or both.”

  • This article proves to be interesting for anyone who is interested in robots becoming more human like. Robots of the future will be able to tell and react to pain and damage similar to how we do.

Google says its search can’t be biased — that’s not how search works

  • There are rumors that Google’s search algorithm is politically biased. Although no one knows for sure, this article explains roughly how the Google search engine works. This article explains how although it uses personal information and history, it is not biased.

“Google search powers trillions of inquiries a year, but for those on the outside of the company, precisely how that engine works is a mystery. Some people, like President Donald Trump, see political bias in this opacity. But while the exact algorithms that power Google search are unknown, the way it generally works — and some of its history — are knowable.”

  • Google is used religiously and oftentimes without a people questioning how the information is found, what personal information is used, and if that affects the results of the search.

Data Visualization

This graph represents my life for 24 hours and how the technology I used overlapped with the actual real life activities I was doing.

Mini Essay

Imagine getting to live in a perfect world, where people are held accountable for their actions, allowing the people who are beneficial to society to grow and flourish. That sounds like a pretty fair and just place but as the Black Mirror episode “Nosedive” revealed, a society where that is the norm may seem like a Utopia from first glimpse, but proves to be a living nightmare.

This episode delves into a world where people give each other ratings based on their personal interactions. These ratings not only affect people’s ego’s but also their socio-economic standings. In the beginning society seems to be perfect but with one wrong slip, main character Lacie Pound’s life begins to fall apart. Because of some bad luck and a few bad interactions, her ratings fell, which lead to her whole life falling apart and her ending up in jail.

There are themes in the episode that can be seen in people’s lives right now; People will try so hard to build their social media presence, either to gain popularity, receive more attention, or portraying themselves in a specific way. The purpose of this episode was to overemphasize how these themes of how social media is affecting us now and what is to come. Before I watched this film, I always had a sense for how social media affected people’s lives, but because I have never been too immersed in social media, I have rarely been affected by the violent mood-swings and other health disorders that can be caused by social media. This episode’s ability to portray the life of someone who is living a media-rich life is especially valuable to me because I know people who are like Lacie, but I never had a look at how their life is behind the social media.

This episode is a wake up call. An important takeaway from this film is that the apps we use and the society that we live in promote the growth of a person’s image rather than the growth of a person as a person. People are too concentrated on perfecting their Instagram profile to the point where their hobbies and interests are cast aside. This is an impending problem all throughout society that needs to be controlled because yes social media in the right context and amount is beneficial, but in a much greater sense social media isn’t really helping society, it is most often a distraction from people’s lives that ends up making people feel shallow and empty.

Image Diary

For this diary, I tried to stay away from a lot of images of what I do on my phone and focus on the subtle technologies that we often overlook:

10:50 pm — Woke up, once I was ready for the day, I vacuumed my dirty floor with the dorm’s vacuum.
11:08 am — This is the ID scanner used to get into my dorm after I left and shortly decided that I didn’t want to eat COG food.
12:49 PM — After taking a short nap, I decided to get Uber Eats instead of the COG. I frequently use this technology during late night study sessions.
3:00 pm — This is my HDMI splitter, which allowed me to press a button and project my laptop onto my TV screen so I could watch Parks and Rec.
3:00 pm — Had some free time so I used my monitor to watch some TV.
7:07 pm — Checking out whats happening in the world on Instagram.
9:33 PM — Time do do my math homework which is due at midnight using WebWorks, the most annoying way to do math.
11:35 pm — Finished my math Homework before the midnight deadline. Time to play relax and play games.
11:40 pm — Had to turn on some beats while I was playing games.
12:09 am — Revisiting the pros and cons list my rooming group made a while ago on the whiteboard, a now ancient technology.
11:39 am — Woke up really thirsty so I had to hit up the vending machine for some Powerade.
12:05 pm — Going to get the chicken I got from Uber Eats yesterday out of the fridge for a quick snack.
1:00 pm — Cleaning my room again since I get it messy all the time. Used my floating speaker to play some music while I did so.
1:01 pm — Also had to turn on the fan to air out the room a little bit.
2:32 pm — Time to leave the dorm so I pulled out the Airpods and headed out.
2:35 pm — Saw my skateboard on the way out and decided it would be way more fun than walking.

Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

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