Last night we went to the British Library to see an event called “Sounds of the Sky”. It was fun being in the British Library and seeing some of the rooms, but the event wasn’t that great. The first part involved lying on our backs in a big room while various audio recordings played through some speakers overhead. The audio tracks – mainly interviews – were good, but the sound itself was a bit muddy and neither Helen nor I could make out some of the dialog.
I just tried the Deep Music skill on Alexa. It generates AI music – which sounds pretty much as you’d expect. It’s a bit repetitive, but not too bad. This is an area of Machine Learning that will get a lot better in the near future. So, my AI voice assistant can now play AI generated music at me!
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of work on automating my life. It’s been a lot of fun! I’ve been using Python and Jupyter a lot to create scripts to make myself more productive. I have been customising my notebook to create an optimal work environment. I’ve been setting up my Emacs environment to make it more effective. It’s been nice having the space to do this!
Last night I binge-watched 6 episodes of Agents of Shield on Netflix! I hadn’t watched the series for ages, and so I picked up from Season 3. I absolutely loved it!
Some days I feel flat and completely unproductive. It’s a struggle to get anything done. I find that time-boxing helps. Today I found that going for a run really helped. This morning I felt totally discombobulated. This afternoon after the run, I had a lot more focus. I still need to ensure that I get the right things done though.
The more I use Deep Learning, the more I am amazed by it. Some things which would be hard to do programmatically are easy with the right Neural Network. It feels like we are just starting to scratch the possibilities.
This afternoon we watched along the Under Cliff walk to Rottingdean. It’s a walk we’ve done many times in the past. The tide was fully in, so the waves were crashing over the path in places.
I’m really enjoying the new (anti)-Brexit Podcast – CakeWatch. Chris Kendall and Steve Bullock deliver a lively discussion on the events of the week. It’s amazing how many events around Brexit are happening every week! At the moment I’m listening to the CakeWatch podcast and The Guardian Brexit means… podcast.
Helen and I have stopped being mainly vegan – primarily because of milk and cheese. Non-dairy milks are OK for coffee and tea, and work quite well in muesli, but cow milk is so much better! Also, after trying a lot of vegan cheeses, there just is no substitute for dairy cheeses. We are still primarily vegetarian though.
Today I was at a Computation meets Data Science Conference, organised by Wolfram Research and the CQF. There were some interesting talks. The ones I enjoyed the most used Mathematica to analyse data in real time in interesting ways. It looks like Mathematica has good support for building neural networks now. I was impressed at how quickly Jon Macloone from Wolfram was able to get some quite useful neural network models up and running. Jon made the point that for some problems you are able to get results really quickly with neural nets, and others it’s really hard to get good results, and it’s not obvious which problems are which.