Saturday, April 19, 2008

On campus

This weekend, I went to some brilliant on campus events. The first one was a play called 'UrineTown' at the Georgia Tech Dramatech theatre. This play was a satirical musical comedy that addressed some profound issues in real life. This was about private control on the city's water resources due to scarce availability of water. The private company 'Urine Good Company (UGC)' charged the poor people to use the restrooms and those who did not were sent to an undisclosed place called Urinetown (they were executed)! The company was corrupt and connived with the government to regularly hike the prices and keep a control! There was a rebellion led by the beautiful daughter of the company's head along with her lover who was a poor victim of the circumstances. The public under these leaders took over control on the usage of these restrooms and a 'free for all' policy for everyone. For a brief time, people were all very happy at this justified rebellion! Then suddenly, all the water got used and the poor and happy people started dying! This was the irony! The story was very nicely built up and was a comedy throughout! It left the audience who got the inherent satire everywhere wondering what could be the solution!

The second event was this Holi Show organized by the GT India Club. It was a great show put up by a few students - an audience of 1700 attended this event and it was a mega success! They got famous artists to perform from different places and also a DJ from London for the club party!

One should try to attend the activities happening on campus and appreciate the tremendous creativity that happens as a result of a small dedicated extracurricular group effort! This also reminds me of the amazing Delhi university activities that used to happen all the time when I was an undergrad there (though Delhi University is 15 times the size of GaTech)!

Overall, a very enjoyable weekend! Now back to my creative computing, hopefully ;)! Between, enjoy this amazing satirical blog here :) !

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

People Power

With the recent surge in interactive social applications on an internet-wide scale, the role of gofai machine learning techniques for solving knowledge-rich applications seems to be on a sinking boat. The phenomenon of Swarm Intelligence where actual intelligent people are helping each other solve problems is starting to manifest in neat ways! Thanks to folksonomy services and the web 2.0 infrastructure! For example, I have a feeling that people will stop using the current look and feel search engines like Google to find good and reliable information.

People are better today at most common real world tasks compared to the machines. Actually, people have just been using these machines to facilitate them concentrate on the harder problems and let these machines take care of the easier tasks. With interactive workbench systems coming up that allow people to empower these systems, people productivity is improving tremendously! I have a feeling that the mature web will be an intelligent network with personal people portals that will satisfy all his/her content based needs.

The need for machines helping us manage our content based needs are emerging in a different fashion - the object of these systems are changing from the content to the actual people behind it. Where is machine learning headed to in such a case - an interesting technical insight comes from John Langford's post.

Welcome to the new world of Human Computing!