June 6th, 2007 SkyHorse
new poker AI bot in the making…
Hurwitz and Tshilidzi Marwala, also at Witwatersrand, have developed a virtual player that has taught itself to bluff at a card game called lerpa. Their artificial intelligence bot, named Aiden, is based on a neural network algorithm that usually forecasts stock market fluctuations.
Crucially, Aiden was not pre-programmed with the rules of lerpa. Instead, Hurwitz and Marwala allowed Aiden to play against three “dumb” virtual players that made choices entirely at random. Aiden was dealt his cards and told which of these could legally be played for each hand. At first he was almost too smart for the task. For the first 40 hands he wouldn’t play, then he tried one hand and lost. This proved so much of a setback that he refused to play again.
Hurwitz then changed tactics, giving Aiden no choice but to play the first 200 hands. Aiden then began to infer the rules of lerpa by treating his cards, his opponents’ actions and his own win-lose history as parameters to learn from. At this stage, though, he still wouldn’t bluff.
Then the researchers decided to play Aiden against three other similarly trained bots to see what would happen. “They began to develop their own personalities – either aggressive or conservative – depending on their past successes,” Hurwitz says. After a streak of being dealt bad hands and consistently folding, one of the more aggressive players, Randy, suddenly changed tactics and began to play even when he had poor cards – he began to bluff. Aiden, a more cautious player, responded by tending to fold even when he held a relatively strong hand (www.arxiv.org/abs/0705.0693).
“Randy suddenly changed tactics and played poor cards. He began to bluff”
“This demonstrates that computers can learn this peculiarly human behaviour,” says Philippe de Wilde, a computer scientist at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK. “They generate the strategy from play, which is a very human way of learning.”
September 19th, 2006 SkyHorse
Banksy is to Art as Hackers are to I.T.Is Banksy a Hacker? Absolutely.
His own words resume his style:
The time of getting fame for your name on its own is over.
Artwork that is only about wanting to be famous will never make you famous.
Any fame is a by-product of making something that means something.
You don’t go to a restaurant and order a meal because you want to have a shit.
October 25th, 2003 SkyHorse
As time goes by, more and more spammers seem to find our e-mail address. We change it and, surprise surprise, they find it again.
Although there are several dozens of anti-spam products, filters and firewalls, the regular person does not know how to get them, use them, much less configure them.
And the ones that do know, are afraid to lose important e-mails along with the porn.
Why is there Spam?
Because it can.
In the early days, when e-mail was designed, the idea was to have the email delivered directly to the users inbox, unix style. Thus, user@server , meaning user in the server. Nowadays that lost its meaning with hotmailish companies, ISP’s and the like offering e-mail accounts on their servers. E-mail was a sacred tool, not to be wasted (not even feasible) by sending unsolicited e-mail adverts. The e-mail users were a small closed community. No one thought about the possibility of pornographic, enlarge-your-penis while getting-slim-fast diet hormone pills spam messages.
If they had thought about it, they would have designed e-mail in a different way.
Lets face it. E-mail is just a medium for recieving text and sending messages. Thats the original idea and thats what we have today.
(attachments are actually converted to text messages, usually base64 which is actually a waste of space because
it uses much more space than it would usally need. HTML and all those fancy things are but text. Same with images
and all that)
The e-mail idea would remain the same. Although some things would change.
These are my ideas:
1- Real Time: E-mail should really be real time. Instant Mail? Thats sounds nice. I-Mail !
That pop3 getting and waiting and blabla is bulshit. Future e-mail should be more like instant messaging than actual e-mail. E-mail will be the Snail Mail of the future. If the person is not available, then leave a message. And let the sender know that. (ICQ anyone?)
2- Binary files: Sending Word Documents? 2Mb? Think 2.5Mb because thats what a 2Mb file will take after converting to base64. And why oh why don’t you Zip it? Include realtime Zlib compression please. Seamlessly.
3- Decent Authentication and Authorization Systems: This is the most important measure to kill Spam. I would envise two
distinct measures to create and I-Mail system fool-proof:
User Authorization: A User would ask another User to be added to his trusted User List. Only after that would the user
recieve those messages. Ok, so the spammers could spam this. But its better than nothing and we haven’t seen much of
that in Instant Messaging Systems.
User Authentication: The sending system would have to be authenticated to send an I-Mail. No more spammers using
other people servers without authorization.
4- Encryption: All I-Mails would be encrypted. Using the Public/Private Key authentication system, the sender would send
an I-Mail to X, Y and Z. Only X, Y and Z could read it. Obviously those could take the content of the file and resend it to
other people. The idea is that no one BUT the people who the users send it to will be able to open it. Seamlessly.
Those would be the most important changes.
I would see a system like this beeing developed by the military or by big corporations and them started
to be used by regular users. From 10 to 20 years everyone would be using this instead of E-Mail. Less
if it comes with backwards compatability with E-mail.
September 16th, 2003 SkyHorse
Recent discoveries and techonogies are pointing in the direction of mass use of micro ID tags.The RFID tags (Radion Frequency ID) could be as small as a grain of rice and placed just about anywhere.
I forsee a future where all our consumables (cd’s, books, computers, magazines, tabacco, deodorants, toothpaste, etc…) will have a inexpensive micro ID tag embedded.
Information included in these tags could range from ‘type’ (book, cd, etc), ‘author’, ‘designer’, ‘manufactor’, ‘date of purchase’, ‘owner’, ‘expiry date’, ‘ingredients’, ‘etc..
I also see a machine to read these ID tags. These could be used to make quick inventories of your home, know where things are, find objects, etc… well basicly have a database of all your belongings.
Now, this will probably start with big commercial surfaces, because they would be the first to take advantage and have the money to invest into.
Instead of days of incorrect stock takings, one simple ‘scan’ will tell you all your stock in one go.
More uses could range from insurance companies having a fantastic tool to insure a home,
for the police to track down stolen items,
used also as a security tag in shops.
I can easily see also these tags beeing embedded under everyones skin as a form of ID.
No more pins, codes, etc… just place your hand on the scanner and it will ID you.
This could also include clinical information, marketing information (your likes, dislikes, etc…) enabling amasing personalised ADs to show when you walk into a store for example. Or even to recognise you whem you walk into your bank and have your personal banker call you by your name (and see you account balance eheheh).
Telephones would no need to have SIM’s, they would include a micro scanner to know whos using the phone and personalize it accordingly (remote phone books, schedules, etc…) and maybe even charge you accordingly.
Micro payments would also be available this way. Just pass your hand on the scanner and your bank/credit card would be charged automaticly.
Well, if all these were used, I can see you walking into a store, taking whatever you want and walk out. Nothing else.
Walking into the store a scanner would welcome you and advise you. Maybe even make personalized promotions.
Taking whatever items you wanted and by walking out of the store, the scanner would ID the products and ID you again. The system would charge you for your products and take it out of its stock database immediatly.
Talk about compulsive shopping!
All this does have one big downside: personal freedom and privacy.
And I believe that only when these two issues are solved we will have this technology available for everyone. Maybe we will never have it because of privacy advocated.
But remember, it will still be used undercover either by espionage agencies or unscruplous people.
I predict in one years time for countries like Japan to start adopting personal ID tags.
ID tags in products could go at the same time, starting with expensive and bulky cargos.
In about 5 years time, this would start becoming inexpensive and small so it would start to deploy in commercial applications such has supermarkets.
In 15/20 years time I believe the medical field would catch up with everyone having one ID tag in them.
The rest, maybe in 30 years from now.
Interesting media references:
Three R’s: Reading, Writing, RFID
Oct. 24, 2003
Undeterred by fretful privacy advocates, a charter school in Buffalo has adopted RFID technology to track student attendance. The school’s chief says it’s all in the name of safety and efficiency. By Julia Scheeres.
Tracking Junior With a Microchip
Oct. 10, 2003 PT
A Mexican company has launched a service to implant microchips in children as an anti-kidnapping device.
Solusat, the Mexican distributor of the VeriChip — a rice-size microchip that is injected beneath the skin and transmits a 125-kilohertz radio frequency signal — is marketing the device as an emergency ID under its new VeriKid program.
RFID Gussied Up With Biosensors
Aug. 26, 2003 PT
Still stinging from failed attempts to introduce radio tags to consumers, retailers and their suppliers are now adding features to the technology to make it appear essential to the safety of the nation’s food supply.
Claim: RFID Will Stop Terrorists
Aug. 08, 2003 PT
Facing increasing resistance and concerns about privacy, the United States’ largest food companies and retailers will try to win consumer approval for radio identification devices by portraying the technology as an essential tool for keeping the nation’s food supply safe from terrorists.
Radio ID Tags: Beyond Bar Codes
May. 20, 2002 PT
An emerging technology could usurp the ubiquitous bar code’s quarter-century of quiet domination.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, which consist of silicon chips and an antenna that can transmit data to a wireless receiver, could one day be used to track everything from soda cans to cereal boxes.
Tagging Books to Prevent Theft
May. 20, 2002 PT
For reference librarians, scanning endless bar codes is as tedious a daily task as dealing with stolen, lost or overdue library books.
Now, a wafer-thin, microchip-based tag the size of a postage stamp could ease their workloads.