Computer Science and Philosophy: The Most Human Human

July 8, 2011

I recently finished a fascinating book by Brian Christian, The Most Human Human. Christian took part in the 2009 “Loebner Prize,” an annual “official” Turing Test, in which prizes are given to the program which is able to fool the most human judges (or elicit, on average, the lowest confidence of its non-personhood in the judges’ assessments). Christian did in fact win the “Most Human Human award,” and to sum up some of his insights on how far artificial intelligence has come in terms of holding a conversation, I crafted a short Citizen’s Guide to Judging whether it is a Computer or Not:

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Making fun of IKEA

July 3, 2011

Don’t get me wrong here, I love IKEA. My family’s from Finland so it’s always nice to bring a little bit of Nordic culture wherever we live, which tends to be far away from Northern Europe. At the same time, I never pass up a chance to make fun of the company’s idiosyncratic and occasionally bizarre culture, and by extension, the country of Sweden itself.

Fortunately for me, CollegeHumor did a couple of hilarious fake IKEA instruction manuals. These are amazing:

Sci-Fi Ikea Manuals

If Ikea made instructions for everything

Even the Daily Show recently joined in on the fun:

Swede Dreams

Thank you, Jason Jones.


Got 5 minutes? Some gems from “The Daily Show”

May 24, 2011

It’s getting pretty tiring to hear all those critics of the Tea Party and Sarah Palin. No matter how correct it is, it’s usually self-defeating because their targets tend to reject rational argument.

Fortunately for the rest of us, there’s these guys:

Jason Jones visits “The Real America”:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-october-20-2008/understanding-real-america-in-wasilla

John Oliver reports on a Tea Party rally:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-april-16-2009/tea-party-tyranny