Will large amounts of information and data change how we learn?

Data Centre

Will extremely large databases of information, starting in the petabyte level, change how we learn. It may turn out that tremendously large volumes of data are sufficient to skip the theory in order to make a predicted observation.

Google was one of the first to notice this. For instance, take Google’s spell checker. When you misspell a word when googling, Google suggests the proper spelling. How does it know this? How does it predict the correctly spelled word? It is not because it has a theory of good spelling, or has mastered spelling rules. In fact Google knows nothing about spelling rules at all.

Instead Google operates a very large dataset of observations which show that for any given spelling of a word, x number of people say “yes” when asked if they meant to spell word “y.” Google’s spelling engine consists entirely of these datapoints, rather than any notion of what correct English spelling is. That is why the same system can correct spelling in any language.

In fact, Google uses the same philosophy of learning via massive data for their translation programs. They can translate from English to French, or German to Chinese by matching up huge datasets of humanly translated material. For instance, Google trained their French/English translation engine by feeding it Canadian documents which are often released in both English and French versions. The Googlers have no theory of language, especially of French, no AI translator. Instead they have zillions of datapoints which in aggregate link “this to that” from one language to another. 

Continue reading

The Google Way of Science
http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/06/the_google_way.php

The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/pb_theory

Weezer plans for internet domination with “Pork and Beans”

Weezer “Pork and Beans”

This promo is quickly becoming the most-watched video on the internet.. within 2 weeks of it’s release it’s already generated over 5.7 millions views on YouTube.

Tapping into the YouTube generation it uses solid post-production to mix classics clips with new footage of internet “stars”, who were flown out to Los Angeles for the 4-day shoot. “Pork and Beans” was directed by Mathew Cullen of Motion Theory.

Weezer’s Memetastic Video Director Spills the ‘Pork and Beans’:
http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2008/05/director-behind.html

Links to the original videos:
http://buzzfeed.com/scott/weezer-pork-and-beans-video

Promo videos for Radiohead “All I Need”

Radiohead & Microcosmos – J Tyler Helm video

JT Helms edited this promo for Radiohead with footage from the 1996 French film “Microcosmos”. The sensual pace and delicate melody of the song reminded him of a world much smaller than ours, with all the love and violence we experience.

Watch better quality version:
http://jtylerhelms.com/films/allineed.html

 

Radiohead – MTV Exit Campaign

MTV Exit is a campaign about freedom — about our rights as human beings to choose where we live, where we work, who our friends are, and who we love. Most of us take these freedoms for granted, but hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world have had these basic human rights taken away. They are victims of trafficking – modern-day slaves — and criminals have forced, defrauded, or coerced them into various forms of labor, or prostitution.

End Exploitation and Trafficking:
http://www.mtvexit.org

More videos:
http://uk.youtube.com/user/radiohead

Andy: writing about a video called “Presenting Twitter?”


Jack Dorsey Presents Twitter from biz stone on Vimeo.

A lot of people ask me ‘What is Twitter?’ and to be honest it’s kinda hard to explain so it’s over to company founder Jack Dorsey to give some background on Twitter and its current use.

Turns out it’s a lot more than letting your friends know ‘Where you are’ and ‘What you’re doing’; and the bits we don’t normally associate Twitter with is actually where some of more interesting stuff is happening.

Music everywhere you go. Muxmaster is your mobile jukebox.

muxmaster.jpg

Muxmaster is a wicked desktop app built with Adobe AIR that lets you stream music from Muxtape.com, and explore different mixes to find new music.

All my iTunes music is on an external HD which I often can’t be bothered carting about so this app is great if I’m travelling or streaming music around the house at the weekend.

We’re developing 2 AIR apps at glue at the moment and it’s clear that it’s sexy interfaces you can create and the cross-platform nature is really giving the desktop app / widget market a good kicking… but this is one of the best out there.

Have a look:
http://dougmccune.com/blog/2008/04/25/introducing-muxmaster-a-kickass-open-source-muxtape-playerdownloader-built-with-flex-and-air

For streaming I use AirTunes and Airfoil.