Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from November 6, 2017 Options

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.

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Options November 6, 2017: Janelle Shane taught an AI to name a craft beer

Listen to this show: MP3 - 128K | | Add or read comments



This week, artificial intelligence and an interview with research scientist Janelle Shane.

But first: yes, I dressed up last week for Halloween.

Last week's anonymous donor of $1,000, to determine my AI-generated costume, asked for...
Statue Of Pizza.

Here's the photo of my costume. And here's a close-up up of the crown.

Three other reminders...

1. Support Techtonic by clicking "Pledge Now!" above for our fall fundraiser. WFMU is funded by listeners and we really do need your support. Thank you!

2. After pledging, immerse yourself in Janelle Shane's aiweirdness site - with AI-generated beer names, Halloween costumes, paint colors, knock-knock jokes, and more.

3. Subscribe to the Techtonic podcast to catch up on past episodes.

Artist Track Images Approx. start time
  Janelle Shane taught a neural network to name a craft beer. It's now in production. Tonight, Mark interviews Janelle Shane about AI and machine learning. Also: is Facebook secretly listening to your conversations via your smartphone's microphone?
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options    
  Mark's intro and Halloween recap  
Options
 
  Interview with Janelle Shane, aiweirdness.com  
Options
 
  Fall fundraiser update     0:25:41 (MP3 | )
  Uncanny Valley / your comments & calls  
Options
0:34:10 (MP3 | )

Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:00pm listener james from westwood:

Heya Mark and all! That robot eats burgers like I eat burgers.
Avatar    Mon. 11/6/17 6:01pm RomanDogBird:

good show to eat a burger too
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:01pm Mark Hurst:

Hi James! Hi RomanDogBird. Yes enjoy your robo-burger.
Avatar    Mon. 11/6/17 6:02pm RomanDogBird:

nice costume, mark
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:04pm listener james from westwood:

"something that happened last week" is, of late, a rich vein to mine.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 11/6/17 6:07pm chris:

nicely done, Mark! statue of pizza FTW!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:07pm listener james from westwood:

Holy crap that is excellent! The slice crown!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:07pm listener james from westwood:

And of course thanks to said donor!
Avatar    Mon. 11/6/17 6:08pm ultradamno:

Jammed through all of The Butterfly Effect since last week inspired by this show's rec. Fascinating stuf, thanks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:08pm northguineahills:

Nicely done last-minute costume!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:10pm Fredericks:

I have a moldy goin!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:11pm northguineahills:

Kasaitus is exposure to too much (Kinshasa, DR Congo) Kasai All-Stars, which is impossible!
Avatar    Mon. 11/6/17 6:12pm ultradamno:

Is this the only show with an animated pledge banner?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:14pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, everyone! I probably didn't pronounce it clearly enough - "Cussitis" was the condition. Here's the disease post: aiweirdness.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:18pm Mark Hurst:

...and here is the list of AI-generated brewpub names: aiweirdness.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:21pm listener james from westwood:

That is indeed a good name.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:22pm northguineahills:

What, no one took Farter's Red Hotel?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:23pm listener james from westwood:

Recalling that AI that got turned into a hideous racist via machine learning.
  Mon. 11/6/17 6:24pm elevator:

THE FACTS ARE RACISTS
give me a break
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:25pm Webhamster Henry:

"Garbage in - garbage out"
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 11/6/17 6:27pm Jeff:

Sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s, I worked on a pilot project to provide human authorizers at a Certain Large Charge Card Company with a computer assistant to provide on-the-fly help with deciding whether or not it made sense to approve incoming charge requests. It was a rule-based system running on a Symbolics lisp machine.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:27pm Webhamster Henry:

Again, take a peek at botnik.com , it's the same kind of stuff, but they have a stable of comedy writers mashing up various corpora.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:27pm listener james from westwood:

We'll need to be applying Turing tests to AI input. Or maybe Voight-Kampff tests.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:28pm Webhamster Henry:

AI's will advise you on how much to contribute to WFMU.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:30pm Tommy in Neversink:

My entire wardrobe is 20 fmu tees
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:34pm northguineahills:

@Tommy: 40% of my tees that I wear regularly are fmu tees
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:37pm coelacanth∅:

greetings all
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:41pm listener james from westwood:

Facebook is like that killer Krusty doll in that one Treehouse of Horror Simpsons episode, except both settings are "evil."
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:41pm northguineahills:

I've never even noticed anything in the ad-feed. I'm blind to ads.

Ha!, james!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:42pm Webhamster Henry:

Neural nets will evolve to be just as unpredictable and unreliable as people.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 11/6/17 6:42pm melinda:

hi all
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:42pm common:

bladerunner
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 11/6/17 6:42pm хтinа:

hi Mark & everyone, second show i've caught so far, interesting, scary, horrific stuff... really enjoying it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 11/6/17 6:45pm melinda:

I think it is troubling.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 11/6/17 6:45pm chris:

if their ad feed algorithms are ai powered, they'd have ways of reviewing its success to fine tune it. i don't buy that they wouldn't know what its up to.
  Mon. 11/6/17 6:45pm HuskLife:

I once received an ad for custom BMW acid washed pants. I work on old an BMW so branding wasn’t surprising to me. However the unusual part is that I was in a photo the previous day wearing an acid wash shirt. I though I was going crazy when I saw that.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 11/6/17 6:46pm Jeff:

Here's a pretty excellent spooky story it seems appropriate to share here:

www.teamten.com...
  Mon. 11/6/17 6:47pm Sean d:

I think the aliens are the ai
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 11/6/17 6:47pm Cheri Pi:

Hahaha
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 11/6/17 6:48pm Jeff:

Autocomplete poetry!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:48pm listener james from westwood:

LOL, can't go into details, but I believe I know at least one couple who divorced partly b/c of an autocomplete!
  Mon. 11/6/17 6:48pm Dean:

I think we're dealing with the fallacy of the excluded middle. It's not merely a matter of 1) knowing the instructions we coded that account for an output, versus 2) not knowing how a machine "learned" and then generated its own instructions that produced an output. Seems to me there's a third alternative, which allows we can -- albeit perhaps impractically -- reverse engineer what occurred in the black box.
Avatar    Mon. 11/6/17 6:48pm ultradamno:

The billboard is having the desired effect!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:49pm common:

they are watching us right now. I have a bandaid on my computer camera
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:49pm Webhamster Henry:

No matter which "hood" you open, you'll see the same silico-neural grey matter.
When "Genetic Programming" was getting popular, you'd get these programs evolved that would actually work, but weren't too adaptable outside their own contexts. And if you looked at them, they were far, far from optimal. But that works just like evolution: if it survives to produce fertile offspring, it wins, no matter how kludgey! It also doesn't solve problems, it just tries everything and whatever survives, survives.
The difference now is that there is vastly more power available for these programs to run in.
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 11/6/17 6:50pm melinda:

Those pub names are awesome.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:50pm listener james from westwood:

Weird, possibly 20% too long article on how algorithms may be helping to create unsuitable children's vids on YouTube: medium.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:51pm listener james from westwood:

melinda, I could imagine some of those being in one of the seedier sections of the Shire.
  Mon. 11/6/17 6:53pm Sean:

I just tried to delete instagram and it did not work. Awesome.
  Mon. 11/6/17 6:53pm Dean:

As for Facebook, etc., I personally see very little value to them as weighed against their downside, including more mundane, less dystopian downside factors than those that prime our fears of a world run by robots. I find them tedious and often time-wasting. I have zero need for a so-called smartphone, and only a barely greater need for the rinky-dink flipphone I reluctantly carry.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:54pm Webhamster Henry:

Just make up a different Facebook account. I hope you aren't posting true things about yourself on Facebook. Social media is a great place for fiction.

"Romance at short notice was her specialty" -- Saki.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:56pm northguineahills:

JaJAja! @ultradamno!
     Mon. 11/6/17 6:57pm Listener Robert:

I find Facebook a PITA. There are more efficient ways to use the Internet to do what Facebook purports to. Unfortunately I'm driven to be on it because others want me to be in that current.
  Mon. 11/6/17 6:58pm Ray L:

Great show -- yes, remove FB app -- and leave the phone at home when you can.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:58pm listener james from westwood:

Thanks, Mark!
     Mon. 11/6/17 6:58pm Listener Robert:

I was more or less hired by someone who started a Facebook acc't for biz reasons. He found it too much a PITA to keep up w, so he had me take it over.
  Mon. 11/6/17 6:59pm Dean:

Yup, the curse of the 'net, the dreaded network effect. It's not a mere "tool" we use to "solve a problem."
Avatar Swag For Life Member    Mon. 11/6/17 6:59pm chris:

thanks, Mark.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Mon. 11/6/17 6:59pm listener james from westwood:

Holy shit, an hour of ketjak!! I am there!
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