The Journey Ends

This blog is an export of my Google+ feed. Google is shutting down the service in the next few days. I’m archiving my G+ stream here for posterity.

Over 7 years I posted exactly 1,001 times to Google+. I know it was never an especially popular social network, but somewhat to my surprise I found that I enjoyed it a lot. There was a strong set of people on G+ interested in deep learning, robotics and related topics, at least for a period of several years. The unlimited post length meant your could have meaningful conversations in a way you couldn’t on Twitter. For me Google+ was a thoughtful place, with high quality people, interesting content and meaningful discussion. The fact that it was a small, ignored community mostly interested in technical topics provided the conditions for that.

I have now reluctantly moved to Twitter, and I also have a (very infrequently updated) blog. Twitter is (alas) not much of a substitute. No matter how carefully I curate who I follow, my Twitter stream is invariably full of political anger and culture wars. I am as susceptible to this as anyone else, and a Twitter session is a pretty sure way to make me feel angry and unhappy. I very much wish there was a way to turn down the emotion in my Twitter feed. Unfortunately I am yet to find that setting. Nevertheless, I do still get some useful technical and professional news from Twitter, so I will likely proceed with it and accept the unhappiness tax that it imposes.

So RIP G+, you were not much loved by most, but I will miss you.

Thanks for joining me!



Montezuma’s Revenge solved!

Originally shared by Jeff Clune

Montezuma’s Revenge solved! Our agent scores over 2 million points and reaches level 159! We are excited to announce Go-Explore, a new algorithm for hard-exploration problems. It shatters records on Pitfall too: 21,000 (previous best was a score of 0). Video summary: Details in blog post: This is from an excellent team of collaborators at Uber AI Labs led by Adrien Ecoffet and Joost Huizinga, with Joel Lehman and Ken Stanley. Please let us know what you think. In my view, this game has been a grand challenge of AI since Atari became a benchmark in 2013. It certainly has been a white whale of ours for a while. It’s a fun, rare moment in a scientific career to say “grand challenge solved!”

A sad day.

A sad day. The signal to noise ratio was always pretty good here, even if the audience was small. Always felt I could post things and at least sometimes get genuinely useful discussion. Twitter is just not the same. Ah well. Romantic Google’s dead and gone, it’s with G Reader in the grave.