Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Underwater astonishments - Camouflaging Octopus Footage

I have always felt proud of my inquisitiveness and investigative approach to dig deeper into almost anything that amazes me (yeh anyhting!). I have been following very aggressively things people share on Digg, Dzone, and Youtube; and, I usually get to know more about them, beyond the content that's shared..

But, something, I don't know how, but I missed it. It was shared by a very good brother, and literally, this was beyond most of the great thing I have ever seen or heard about. For me, as being a computer freak, this was beyond calculations, or algorithms.. and I am sure it's a jaw-dropping footage of the beauty of nature, mashallah for everyone out there associated with any sort of engineering and non-engineering field of study. The only comment I can bring to words is that it's not out there without a purpose, it's not a coincidence, and it's not a yet-another illusion; but, it's a real-world miracle of Allah, a fascination that carries numerous signs with it (atleast for me).

Anyways, so it's an Octopus (Vulgaris) that for various reasons use its ability to match its pattern, color, brightness, and texture of apparently anyhting that it's resting upon. Above all, this is the first time it's caught on camera.
See the following video:

Following is the complete talk given by David Gallo. "David Gallo works to push the bounds of oceanic discovery. Active in undersea exploration (sometimes in partnership with legendary Titanic-hunter Robert Ballard), he was one of the first oceanographers to use a combination of manned submersibles and robots to map the ocean world with unprecedented clarity and detail.
He was a co-expedition leader during an exploration of the RMS Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck, using Russian Mir subs. On behalf of the Woods Hole labs, he appears around the country speaking on ocean and water issues, and leading tours of the deep-ocean submersible Alvin."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hurricane IKA

This link has the best pictorial depiction of the devastation caused by hurricane IKA! do check them out. Let's wish the best for the affected people..

Monday, September 01, 2008

What is AI Winter?

An AI Winter is a collapse in the perception of artificial intelligence research. The term was coined by analogy with the relentless spiral of a nuclear winter: a chain reaction of pessimism in the AI community, followed by pessimism in the press, followed by a severe cutback in funding, followed by the end of serious research.

It first appeared in 1984 as the topic of a public debate at the annual meeting of AAAI (then called the "American Association of Artificial Intelligence"). Two leading AI researchers, Roger Schank and Marvin Minsky, warned the business community that enthusiasm for AI had spiraled out of control and that disappointment would certainly follow. They were right. Just three years later, the billion-dollar AI industry began to collapse.

The process of hype, disappointment and funding cuts are common in many emerging technologies (consider the railway mania or the dot-com bubble), but the problem has been particularly acute for AI. The pattern has occurred many times:

1966: the failure of machine translation,
1970: the abandonment of connectionism,
1971−75: DARPA's frustration with the Speech Understanding Research program at Carnegie Mellon University,
1973: the large decrease in AI research in the United Kingdom in response to the Lighthill Report,
1973−74: DARPA's cutbacks to academic AI research in general,
1987: the collapse of the Lisp machine market,
1993: expert systems slowly reaching the bottom,
1990 or so: the quiet disappearance of the fifth-generation computer project's original goals
and the generally bad reputation AI has had since.
The worst times for AI have been 1974−80 and 1987 to the present. Sometimes one or the other of these periods (or some part of them) is referred to as the AI winter.

The historical episodes known as AI winters are collapses only in the perception of AI by government bureacrats and venture capitalists. Despite the rise and fall of AI's reputation, it has continued to develop new and successful technologies. AI researcher Rodney Brooks would complain in 2002 that "there's this stupid myth out there that AI has failed, but AI is around you every second of the day." Ray Kurzweil agrees: "Many observers still think that the AI winter was the end of the story and that nothing since come of the AI field. Yet today many thousands of AI applications are deeply embedded in the infrastructure of every industry." He adds unequivocally: "the AI winter is long since over."

[source: wikipedia]

back to school

Hi, I was doing good, but the school started last week :I
So, I got myself registered for 2 classes:

justification - Expert Systems:

  • Attending explanatory and detailed lectures about disciple architecture,
  • To work towards certificate in Intelligent Agents,
  • To listen to the critical questions posed by students at disciple approach,
  • Trying to get implicit answers ciritcal to my thesis study, and
  • To become able to write some journal paper related to what I’ll be taught in class and what I am studying for my thesis.

jjustification - Data Mining:

  • Dr. Carlotta Domeniconi was teaching it (no more, but new prof. is good),
  • To learn atleast the definition of mining!,
  • to diversify my know-how of cs topics,
  • to find out a way to take time out to use google maps api to crawl google maps data and use it somehow (how intelligent :p)
  • ...