31 May 2016

Fei-Fei Li: How we're teaching computers to understand pictures

Machine learning has taken large steps forward in recent years. There has been a shift from trying to document each facet of an object to building better algorithms that can make extrapolations based on a training set. There is some cool stuff here!

Fei-Fei Li: How we're teaching computers to understand pictures

26 May 2016

Alyson McGregor: Why medicine often has dangerous side effects for women

I never realized that male and female bodies were so different, but they are. McGregor explains some of how we know they are different and advocates that we expand our research into the differences so we can better understand how to treat people according to how their body will best respond.

Alyson McGregor: Why medicine often has dangerous side effects for women

11 May 2016

"How Music Got Free" by Stephen Witt

With a narrative that twists and turns, Witt describes the dramatic and often revolutionary forces that upended the music industry (and parts of the entertainment industry as a whole), bringing it to its needs as well as the accompanying technical revolution that was at first abhorrently rejected before finally being welcomed.

Spanning a couple of decades, Witt gives unique insight into the astounding process of creating the MP3 standard, the development and rejection of the first MP3 players and the hearty destruction caused by rampant, persistent digital piracy.

Interesting tidbit: The 80's classic, Tom's Diner, was chosen to develop the MP3 compression algorithms against because of its variety of instruments, vocals and spoken words.

03 May 2016

Asha de Vos: Why you should care about whale poo

"More whales pooping" is a statement that I never thought I would write (much less quoting someone saying). Well, actually, it was never a statement I really thought about. Apparently it is really important though. Asha de Vos talks about whale poop and carcasses and their critical contribution to oceanic ecosystems.

Asha de Vos: Why you should care about whale poo