Earlier this month, Dove launched their new baby range with another of their fantastic adverts challenging stereotypes and questioning is there a “perfect mum”. As a mum myself I can relate to the many hilarious bloggers1 who are refreshingly honest about the unbrushed hair, lack of make-up, generally being covered in whatever substances your new tiny human decides to produce, and all other parenting frustrations. I’m really pleased that there are lots of women2 out there challenging the myths presented in the media – we don’t all have a team to make us beautiful, nor someone photo-shopping the results to perfection, and the pressure can be immense. This is where Dove’s campaign is fantastic. Rather than just creating a photoshoot with a model and doctoring the results, the image is actually completely artificial, having been generated by AI. Continue reading Artifical image creation takes another step forward in advertising
I love the fact that here in the UK everyone can be involved in shaping the future of our country, even if a large number of individuals choose not to and, in my eyes, if you don’t get involved then you don’t have the right to complain. While this is most generally applied to the election of our representatives from local parish councils to our regional MPs (or actually standing yourself)1 there are also a lot of other ways to be involved. In addition to raising issues with your local representative, parliament has cross bench committees that seek input from the public and to help create policy or consider draft legislation.
Our elected parliament is not made up of individuals who are experts in all fields. Even government departments are not necessarily headed by individuals with large amounts of relevant experience. It is critical that these individuals are informed by those with the experience and expertise in the issues that are being considered. Without this critical input, our democracy is weakened. Continue reading Submitting evidence to parliament committees
If you’re starting out in deep learning and would prefer a laptop over a desktop, basic research will lead you to a whole host of blogs, Q&A sites and opinions that basically amount to “don’t do it” and to get a desktop or remote into a server instead. However, if you want a laptop, whether this is for college, conferences or even because you have a job where you can work from anywhere, then there are plenty of options available to you. Here I’ll lay out what I chose and why, along with how it’s performing. Continue reading Choosing a Laptop for Deep Learning Development
One of the things I love about is how customisable it is. Separating content from design a long time before web design cottoned on to this. However, out of the box, comes with very limited fonts and most people just use these defaults, mainly because setting up other fonts isn’t as easy as it should be.
One of the great things about drawing diagrams in is that the fonts match, it’s always a little jarring to my eye when I see papers with a mismatch between diagrams and main text. However, sometimes you just can’t control what’s in your diagram or you want something a little more modern than Times New Roman for whatever you’re putting together.
So how do you go about doing this? Like most things, the answer is “it depends”… let’s start with an assumption that you’re starting from scratch and if you’re already a few steps down the process then that’s just less work for you to do 🙂 Continue reading True Type Fonts in LaTeX: a brief guide
The Science and Technology Select Committee here in the UK have launched an inquiry into the use of algorithms in public and business decision making and are asking for written evidence on a number of topics. One of these topics is best-practise in algorithmic decision making and one of the specific points they highlight is whether this can be done in a ‘transparent’ or ‘accountable’ way1. If there was such transparency then the decisions made could be understood and challenged.
It’s an interesting idea. On the surface, it seems reasonable that we should understand the decisions to verify and trust the algorithms, but the practicality of this is where the problem lies. Continue reading Algorithmic transparency – is it even possible?
I grew up reading and watching Sci-Fi. As a child with an Acorn Electron, the idea of smart interactable devices seemed far future rather than near future. I loved the voice interactivity and things ‘just working’ without needing to be controlled. When I got my Echo dot last year, I knew this would be the start of a journey to upgrade my house to a SmartHome and truly be part of the Internet of Things. It’s been four months now and I’ve got a setup with which I’m pretty happy. Here’s what I chose and why… Continue reading Internet of Things: Making a Smart Home
I’ve written before about the power of literate programming, using to create reports when code runs. It’s fairly simple to combine this with the graphical drawing packages to create impressive graphs and figures on the fly. A lot of academics I’ve spoken to have shied away from using for drawing, despite being very proficient with the textual layout. Similarly, a lot of students on the OU Mathematics degree write up all of their assignments in but drop in hand drawn graphs and diagrams. Just like anything else in , once you get your head around how it works, it’s actually not that difficult to create very complex structures. Continue reading Diagrams with LaTeX – easier than you might think
Yesterday I had the great pleasure in being part of the global WiDS2017 event show casing women in all aspects of data science. The main conference was held at Stanford but over 75 locations world wide had rebroadcasts and local events, of which Reading was one. In addition to spending a great evening with some amazing women, I was asked to speak in the career panel on my experiences and overall journey. Continue reading WiDS2017: Women in Data Science Reading
Over the weekend, I was clearing out some old paperwork and I found the notes from one of the assessed practical sessions at University. Although I was studying biochemistry, an understanding of basic programming was essential, with many extra optional uncredited courses available. It was a simple chemical reactions task and we could use BASIC or Fortran to code the solution. I’d been coding in BASIC since I was a child1 so decided to go for the Fortran option as what’s the point in doing something easy…. Continue reading Learning Fortran – a blast from the past
Learning to play games has been a great test for AI. Being able to generalise from relatively simple rules to find optimal solutions shows a form of intelligence that we humans always hoped would be impossible. Back in 1997, when IBMs Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov in chess1 we saw that machines were capable of more than brute force solutions to problems. 20 years later2 and not only has AI mastered Go with Google’s DeepMind winning 4-1 against the world’s best player and IBM’s Watson has mastered Jeopardy, there have also been some great examples of game play with many of the games I grew up playing: Tetris, PacMan3, Space Invaders and other Atari games. I am yet to see any AI complete Repton 2. Continue reading Anything you can do AI can do better (?): Playing games at a new level