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#15 - Our Devices Listening?

#15 - Our Devices Listening?

March 6, 2019

...or is it "are devices listening" to you?

Well yes. There's always a simple answer to these questions and it's yes. Breaking it down to the basics, pretty much all of our devices are listening because we've enabled Siri or Google or Alexa or… to respond to a keyword command like "Hey Siri" such that they can present us, in the case of Siri, with a spooky HAL 9000ish blob to indicate it's listening (because it wasn't before honest) and ready to perform our bidding.

Sometimes things can go amiss...

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#12 - Staying Relevant in a Tech World

#12 - Staying Relevant in a Tech World

June 20, 2018

Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road.

This is one of those podcasts which isn’t the offspring of late night research, countless hours of trial and error tempered by seminars, articles and other people podcasts. This one is coming from real life… whatever that means.

This one is coming from real life… whatever that means.

If you’ve found yourself working in the technology arena it can be as exciting as it is challenging. Sometimes these are one and the same and sometimes they could not be farther apart. Being a GenXr myself I was there at the beginning of the home computing boom. I remember the rise of Steve Jobs, and when Bill Gates was the young genius instead of Mark Zuckerberg except of course when he famously said “640k is all the memory anyone will ever need” or words to that effect. Ok fine he didn’t say that but, thanks to the post-truth world I think it’s probably perfectly ok to attribute that statement to him or anyone else for that matter. Even better if you turn it into a meme!

Getting back to the 80s and 90s when technology was “young” and when air-quotes were first invented (I was thinking some as I typed “young”). Back then I learn to program in C language, I could disassemble my PC and fix it myself, even over-clock the CPU to get more gusto from it and I was building linux kernel I got from Linus Torvalds (the OS namesake) himself because that was the only place you could get it. I will return to Linus as a flagship example of staying relevant in the technological age as he one of the most influential people in our technological era.

Let’s talk about that era. We are currently in a phase of advancement which is to say the least, complex. 

Check out the full blog at 

https://codifyre.com/tech-skills/staying-relevant-technology-world-editorial/

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#10 - Machine Learning ( Real World Applications )

#10 - Machine Learning ( Real World Applications )

May 9, 2018

Machine Learning

I’ve heard the phrase Machine Learning banging around the media more intensely over the past few years and you know what that means… I’m not happy until I know what is really means.

TO THE BAT-MOWER!

My first conjured image is of course a lawn mower in a classroom trying to fumble its way through the shakespearean sonnet.

It seems I wasn’t far off! Ok I was pretty far off. But there is a smart lawn mower that learns how to cut you lawn which is in fact machine learning. It’s the word machine which I find distracting. We’re not accustomed to speaking of computers as machines or machines as computers although the latter is quickly becoming so and hence the phrase.

A few podcasts ago we discussed Self-Driving Cars and machine learning is definitely at the core of their success. We have all driven cars and would unanimously agree that no two routes are the same even if you’re driving the same route every day. There is always some element of surprise. These cars would not exist if not for some very clever learning algorithms which prioritise success paths over failures in order to adapt their reactions and even their default behaviour to new situations. Just like us human learners.

What about other non-driving based applications? The mower is essentially a tiny little self-driving car that works out your lawns shape and the best route while having the luxury of not having to contend with human driven lawn mowers, drinking and just mowing all over the place.

Machine learning and AI (Artifical Intelligence) are peanut butter and chocolate, ham and cheese, bacon and…. everything. What’s the point of learning if you aren’t going to use what you have learned? I could dive deep into the inner workings of machine learning algorithms but that would be a serious snoozer to the non-enthusiast and as complex and fasinating as it is, it’s more fun to try to derive the gist of what it all means by looking at the applications because without application there is no learning.

Are we surrounded by learning machines who will eventually take over the world? Yes!
But how? Let’s have a crack at a top 5! 

Check out the podcast for the list.

The shownotes for the episode are here:

https://codifyre.com/technology/machine-learning-are-you-smarter-than-a-toaster/

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