Recipes for success (or not)

“The AI revolution will be led by toasters, not droids” (from Aeon Magazine)

This article talks about how we may expect AI to become “wonder boxes” in part because of the movies we see (think C-3PO in Star Wars or any of these). But at this stage, we shouldn’t expect too much. If the technolgoy is used for more specific purposes and skills, it’s much more successful.

There’s a funny, if a bit scary, algorithmically generated photo, and an equally funny (and scary) recipe generated by looking at 30,000 recipes of all different kinds. The result is … head-scratching:

The last part says “Bake at 350F for 2 to 1 hour.” Okay…

When the algorithm was created to look at only recipes of cakes, it did much better, though it’s still a recipe for something inedible.

The article goes on to explain that ANI (artificial restricted intelligence) — focusing on specific, narrower functions, is working well.

 

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“If the singing stops, so does the engine.”🎵

“Carpool Karaoke” made singing in cars a thing. For a few days in one city in Finland, you could sing in taxis instead of paying, says this short article from Japan Times Alpha (a good place to get some reading practice in English, this site has Japanese translations of the articles to help you understand and improve vocabulary). This article is labeled in the “easy” to read category. Read it to find out why the company did it.

 

The English: “Finnish karaoke taxi lets passengers pay for their rides by singing”

The Japanese: 「フィンランドの音楽フェス、シャトル運賃の支払いは「歌」で」

(Almost) all of Japanese culture in 6 minutes

This short film has just about everything about Japanese culture in one cute story: “yuru-kyara” mascots, seemingly fragile yet quite strong old ladies, very funny inefficiences within an efficient society, conformity, earthquakes, elevator girls, technology, traditional bento shops, modern shopping malls, very helpful people (or at least they’re trying to be) working together to overcome difficulties.

The title is Gokurōsama, which is hard to translate but means something like “good job!” and it’s the graduation project from a group of students at a French computer graphics animation school.

Faux-lidays

Today is 7/10 — which can be read as “natto” so it has become natto day, one of the “faux-lidays” Japan is so famous for.

Others: 11/11 is Pocky Day and here’s something about Meat Day and Cat Day, and here’s a list of many more. The humor is something akin to Star Wars Day (“May the 4th be with you.”)

Natto is inexpensive and healthy, but it’s definitely an acquired taste. And if you’re not a fan, maybe try something more palatable like natto spring rolls. Here’s a recipe.

What’s your favorite way to eat natto?

What other “faux-lidays” do you know about?