Monday, February 27, 2017

A truism of rhetoric

Repeating myself, there is a truism of rhetoric of the form:

Being in the same category is "excited" when both X and Y are mentioned and even more excited when three things from the same category are mentioned. The category remains dormant until at least two things from it are mentioned. 
Again: Truism 4 says "things remain the same" and this is applied to a comparison of past versus present; so the "thing" has assumed constancy in time. With the rhetorical truism, the impulse is the same as T4 but, in its case, "thing" is the next member of the category. So the assumed constancy is between members of the category. With eg the bird category and the migrates (yes/no) attribute, the attribute is not entirely independent of the category. If someone mentions terns migrating and swallows migrating then the next mention of a bird ("robin") carries with it the assumption that the subject matter is birds that migrate. Changing the scope from migrating birds to birds in general calls for the use of "but".
I am still trying to figure this out. "Things remain the same" applied to rhetoric, says that the scope of the topic remains the same. (First shivers in the direction of "context".)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I just won a Google prize

The one when you get a single search result:
Now we know, for example that Google does not index the journals where I publish...what were their names again?
Added: IOSR Journal of Engineering
Added: DuckDuckGo finds at least one relevant result and several more that are irrelevant.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Syntatic Truism 4

An example of a parallelism in rhetoric (quite similar to the semantic Truism(s) 4 a,b,and c) is the following:
The sky was red
The car was red
Her lipstick was red
But the blood was black against the snow
Wait, that's not right, isn't that just 4A? How about...
Artic Terns migrate
Swallows migrate
Robbins used to migrate
But now they are around all winter
With the use of "but" these clearly are using implicit assumptions of some kind. Is it just a byproduct of parallel phrasing or is it more? I am wondering about the sudden and spontaneous conversion of the word "migrate" into a category from which we can say the last line of the stanza is excluded.

Exclusion from a category is hardly the stuff of proto semantics. So for now let's go with this: parallel phrasing can create categories and a higher level truism accompanies the lower level Trusim 4: It says if "X in category" then also the next "Y in category".

I want voice activated keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11

I don't mean voice dictation, I mean voice enhanced typing. And I don't want to have to program macros either. I say this with no hope Microsoft is listening but, some basic keyboard improvements are right there for whoever can integrate them into Word. A redesign of the basic keyboard is imminent. The point is to solve these sorts of headache:
  • swapping words
  • putting words in quotes, after the fact
  • fixing a recent typo
Generally these include marking a position, doing something, then returning the cursor to its original mark. Which suggests a little voice activated set of commands: "mark.. (select word1, select word2)...verb". Where the verb could be "swap", "quote", "fix".

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

To my reader from Florida

You are one of only two people who occasionally reads this blog. I know who the other is but who are you? Send an email or leave a comment.
And bye the way: thank you very much for visiting.

Oliver Wendell Holmes's "Free Speech" Limitation versus Fake News

I recall (maybe incorrectly) the OWH used the example of shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater where there is no fire, as a an example where speech should not be "Free".
I am not sure of the reasoning but clearly such "speech" causes harm and is equivalent to fake news stories that cause damage. Why then are the people who create Fake News not being prosecuted for negligent damage? are they?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Voice Enhanced Keyboards

For a long time I have been wrestling with the idea that the keyboard is a pain when it comes to slight edits to what you just typed. Two examples are: when I decide, afterwards, that a word should appear in quotes; or when I spot a typo several words back. It is a total pain to change small things like that and, generally, whatever you do takes about the same time as going back to the error and retyping everything. That is because typing words is much faster than correcting the typos. Moving the cursor around is so time consuming and may move the right hand back and forth from the keyboard to the mouse.
So I have been wondering about magic keystrokes or other things that could be embedded in conventional word processing that would solve the problem. Here is an answer: voice activated keyboard shortcuts and edits. So you might highlight a word with the mouse, hold the control key, and say "quote". Or hold the control key and say "end" or "end paragraph". This has lots of possible advantages in avoiding moving the right hand back and forth from the keyboard to the mouse - during edits. Or in keeping both hands on the keyboard for other operations.
I see that such things already exist. I am not surprised but I think some things, like quoting, are not easy to implement as a keyboard macro, so perhaps there is still room for some new ideas.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What are chatbots for?

I am doing a survey on about what is the purpose of the various forum poster's personally developed chatbot. So far, 3 out of 3 report their chatbots are "pets" either for their own entertainment or for someone else's.
I am puzzled. Is this a disconnect between an old guy and a younger generation, where I am focused on how to get work done using a chatbot, and these younger (?) programmers are focused on how to get entertained? Is this the post-reality world I have been reading about where games are real and reality doesn't exist? Somehow I suspect: no, it is a field that attracts people who are not engaged in traditional business and have no experience with business applications.
Added:  It has something to do with the view that language is comprised, at the lowest level, of sentence structure. These chatbots are good at using the structure of the sentences to simulate appropriate responses where nouns of the response are simply substituted from nouns of input sentences. My (flabbergasted) response is that this is not a story: "noun verb noun".

AI Startup Gamalon

Read: Bayesian Program Synthesis (BPS). The technology is such that it writes and rewrites its own Bayesian programs. 

Sounds like Data Equilibrium and AODiagrams. Check it out on Source Forge
Added:  I was wrong, it is much more like Narwhal.
Added: Wrong again. I watched a great TED talk from the founder of Gamalon at 2:30 AM and then went back to bed to think about it. That fellow understands perfectly well that models, which he calls "stories", are critical in forming a machine learning solution. He also vindicates my impression that (1) AI is not new but is being amp'ed up by powerful machinery and data bases; and (2) that 90% of the AI startups [of which there are many in the Boston area these days] do not understand the importance of "stories" and, by implication, those startups will fail.
Good stuff! He is right. He also tried to introduce the principle of using the goodness of fit as a weighting factor in a Bayesian Network. Not sure what he means there.
Added: In Bayesian networks it is the connections between nodes that get weighted, so to make sense of what he said, is to put narratives in the role of connections between nodes of a graph. But you know, there are more than one way these nodes can be connected in different narrative structures. Still not sure I get it.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

Tired of reading about AI from authors who really do not understand it

Just read another article that started, sensibly enough, with discussion of fake news and the problems with blind use of technology. The author then pivots toward discussing the great new advances in AI brought about by "Deep Learning". Maybe I need to read more but, last I checked, that was just a re-branding of back propagation and convolutional neural nets. Things that are not new.

My theory, currently is that the advances in AI have to do with Nuance engineers spreading out into industry, bringing technical secrets with them, about voice signal vectors [in particular 30 years of knowledge about what parts of the signal are most relevant], making it possible for Amazon to reproduce the technology in under 10 years, and same for Microsoft. IBM has been doing it longer than Nuance and, I assume, had their own expertise in voice signals.

Anyway, no, there are no such advances. Just another cycle of hype and much more data and more powerful computers...making it harder to see that the emperors clothes are still "new".

Added: but every day my reading of "Venture Beat" finds another example of an author talking about how AI is going to revolutionize [fill in the blank]. It is kind of tiresome because there is no free lunch and just like voice recognition, finding the proper feature vectors for a given subject area is not automated, it is not provided by statistical ("neural net") models of AI, and it may take several years to get started in any new subject area.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Context when following a story

There is a property of an account that brings context into the narrative as it begins, and is maintained in a sort of equilibrium on the way through such that when the account is over there is a sense of completion that absolutely is quantifiable. [I wish I could convince mathematicians of that.] So for example if something is brought up in one place, its relevance needs to be resolved in another - otherwise there is a sense of a loose end or an irrelevance in retrospect. Or if the topic jumps suddenly there is a sense of  irrelevance that is direct and not in retrospect.
Consider the example: "I was hungry so I repainted the garage". This is a non sequitur but it could be  salvaged if before hand we heard this account:
I came to town penniless and saw a woman and asked her if she had any work I could do. She said she did and that the garage needed repainting. But she couldn't pay me - although she was going to fix dinner later which I could share, if I did the work. I was hungry so I repainted the garage.

A further aspect of what the account brings with it as it begins is whether or not you accept some actor or entity within it. For example, when a story begins with "I" it always has that authoritative context.
Added: When a person is telling a story, the "I" derives its context directly from the person speaking. I suppose "You" must also be a beginning with automatic context as might be anything mentioning the present currently being shared.

Antoine Bordes Artificial Tasks for Artificial Intelligence

Cribbing from a forum post by Merlin on He is discussing:
Antoine Bordes Artificial Tasks for Artificial Intelligence, ICLR keynote, 2015.
Example Task:
John is in the playground.
Bob is in the office.
John picked up the football.
Bob went to the kitchen.
Where is the football?  A:playground
Where was Bob before he went to the kitchen? 
This is very thought provoking. To answer correctly requires knowing the src/target roles for the event words "in", "picked up", and "went to" but not much else. It is like Narwhal without the application keywords. It sure would be worthwhile to be able to extend the internal GENERAL_OP tree of Narwhal, to include an EVENT_OP tree.

Another idea arising from this "Example Task" is that  - surely - this is not all of AI because answering the such questions correctly is content-independent. It would be very worthwhile layering an ability, on top of Narwhal, to match the original word in the text (as in "snippet" of the NarRecord) to the same word appearing in the question or being inserted in an artificial answer. So with something like an EVENT_OP tree what we have is not a narrow world but a narrow world template.

Another idea for Narhwal is that, as a NWSReader's vaults are filled while reading a text segment, a separate structure of "context" can evolve along side. This context includes changes and time differences to handle questions like "Where was Bob before he went to the kitchen?".

The new Rodney King

"Can't we all just watch the same shows?"

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Getting started on a moose carving

Wood is beautiful.
Added: The actual result rarely lives up to the potential you see at this stage.

Open standards and voice activation in dentistry

I believe the treatment plan, without associated patient data, belongs to the Doctor and must become a standardized piece of data that the Doctor can make public as part of a bid/ask process. The standard piece of data (an XML format) might have links to patient data, constrained by HIPAA; but these links could not be accessed without the right permissions. At work I am promoting the idea of such a standard. HIPAA should not be preventing dentistry from entering the 20th century :)

I am behind the curve on voice activation: Dentrix is already doing voice-to-treatment plan for periodontal probe numbers. So if I build it they won't be coming. However, there might be a competitive advantage to producing data using an open standard for the treatment plan.

Just so someone else cannot claim the idea: the use of structured language to help the machine get accurate information is one possibility. For example, with periodontal probe numbers you might implement some canned commands like:
Number 8

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Political software

I doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the cellphone could change the way politics works in America, specifically in terms of the its potential to get people to act collectively. Group messaging applications could to do this.
This reminds me of the people who built a website to find the nearest swing district.

Uber for Dentists - a million dollar idea...if it doesn't already exist (2)

Software that supports bidding on dental lab work. Whoever builds that marketplace, that auction house, would get a cut. Some kind of Uber for dentists.
Update:  The problem is that HIPAA regulations make it impossible to share the kinds of patient records that you would need to share for a public marketplace.

However I see a way around that: defining a version of the "dental treatment plan" as essentially a vector of numbers that could not possibly be interpreted as containing a patients identity. The argument is that (a) at most it expresses a doctor's description; and (b) you cannot claim identity for a numeric vector. If anyone tries to make a HIPAA issue out of it - then argue it in court.
Once that's established, the dental lab "bid" can begin with the posting of a work description in those abstract "treatment plan" terms. The actual negotiations then takes place between parties that do have HIPAA compliance. In other words, a bid is not subject to HIPAA if done in terms of an abstract treatment plan.

Groupon for boycotts - a million dollar idea...if it doesn't already exist

A messaging App/Website that facilitates group boycotts of advertisers - synchronized on tracking of particular media - thus becoming an electronic parasite able to capture, connect, boycott, and punish! Problem: who decides which media to track?See GrabYourWallet


Wow! I just found a word that hasn't already been co-opted. So Lingopsychology can be the name for: the study of psychological aspects of involvement with a narrative.
For fun, here are some characteristic types of involvement in a narrative:
 - You hear talking but aren't listening
 - You hear talking and are listening with "1/2 and ear" for topics that interest you if they come up
 - You hear talking and are listening but are distracted
 - You are listening but it is not interesting and engaging
 - You are listening and being surprised
 - You are listening and engaged in the outcome emotionally ("engaged in a narrative preference")
 - You are listening and forming plans, perhaps believing or disbelieving what is heard
I can't get my mind around the difference between these last two, the difference between planning and reacting emotionally.