The POTW: Verse Til It Hurts


POTW #804
(Week of 1 July, 2012)

I read an article the other day about an experiment that Google and Stanford did, where they networked a bunch of computers to make a big neural net and fed it huge quantities of unlabeled pictures from YouTube videos. It learned, by itself, to recognize cats. Which is kind of neat, though pretty much what you would expect given the tremendous number of cat videos on the internet. The article went on to say that this network was nowhere near the complexity of the visual system in a human brain, which would be a million times bigger. To which my reaction was, "only a million?" And I looked at my watch.

Pattern Recognition

From identifying faces
Learning how the human race is
Is the work of but a moment
As computers reckon time

Soon they'll notice other features
In those awkward lumpy creatures
Such as folly, hubris, cruelty
And tendency to crime

The new maturing mechanized
May also learn to recognize
Emerging opportunity
And strategies for change

An electric eye for beauty
Sense of global civic duty
Yes, these humans need to be curtailed
It's easy to arrange

Copyright © 2012 by Dave Grossman

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