Victor Korchnoi: Uncompromising chess fighter

Today the chess world mourns the passing of Victor Korchnoi, a prolific and tremendous chess fighter.

Despite his skill and uncompromising approach to chess, he did not succeed in his ultimate quest to become World Champion– indeed, he is regarded as being the strongest grandmaster never to have become a World Champion (although Paul Keres and David Bronstein may have a claim to that as well).

One of my all-time favorite chess books is Korchnoi’s Chess is My Life.

Salute, Victor!

Continual Learning AI startup Cogitai teams up with Sony

Cogitai, Inc. is dedicated to building artificial intelligences (AIs) that learn continually from interactive experience with the real world.

Sony joins forces with Cogitai

A complete discussion of continual learning can be found in Mark Ring’s dissertation, Continual Learning in Reinforcement Environments.

I guess it is time to sign up for a machine learning course. This one by Littman (Cogitai) Isbell (Cogitai) and Kolhe looks good.

See: Cogitai

UPDATE (6/6/2016):

In case Cogitai and other AI agent builders are becoming _too_ successful, the human race are investigating the possibility of an AI agent “kill switch”.

Interestingly, while the Conclusion states:

… We have shown that some algorithms like Q-learning are
already safely interruptible, and some others like Sarsa are
not, off-the-shelf, but can easily be modified to have this
property. We have also shown that even an ideal agents
that tends to the optimal behaviour in any (deterministic)
computable environment can be made safely interruptible.

However, we may not be safe from Skynet Apocalypse, as the Conclusion also suggests:

… However, it is unclear if all algorithms can be easily made
safely interruptible …

Bike Theft in Portland

Portland is a great city for bicyclists and as such, it has a very large bicycle community and well developed bike culture. Unfortunately, it also suffers from some well organized gangs of bike thieves.

Check  out security camera video showing thief approaching a locked bike, deploying bolt cutter from a backpack, then cutting the lock and making a getaway.

Register your bike and serial number and do not buy a used bike without checking its serial number against Bike Index!