Posts Tagged ‘University of Edinburgh’

Computers That Can Write (Bad) Jokes

Anya Kamenetz of Fast Company recently wrote, “Taking another step in their ongoing quest to steal all the jobs in the world, a pair of computer scientists at the University of Edinburgh have created a computer program that can generate original jokes in the timeless, sexist, ‘I like my women like I like my coffee…’ format. As the scientists note in their original paper, this isn’t the first joke-telling robot. In 2011 some University of Washington scientists wrote a program that could correctly add ‘that’s what she said’ after a sentence 72% of the time, which is just below the percentage your brother-in-law says it. But that program had to be trained on a set of human-generated jokes, a process that is, um, long and hard. (…)” Read more

New Year, New Skills: Get Ready For The Future With MOOCs

Photo courtesy: Flickr/CollegeDegrees360

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to build up your knowledge, skills and talents for the new digital world? If so, there are plenty of online options to help you achieve your goals, and at no cost to you, from the crop of MOOCs (massive open online courses) that’s sprung up.

The Semantic Web Blog scoured some of them to present you with some possible courses of study to consider in pursuit of your goals:

Coursera:

  • Data scientists-in-training, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health assistant professor of biostatistics Jeff Leek wants to help you get a leg up on Big Data – and the job doors that understanding how to work with it opens up – with this applied statistics course focusing on data analysis. The course notes that there’s a shortage of individuals with the skills to find the right data to answer a question, understand the processes underlying the data, discover the important patterns in the data, and communicate results to have the biggest possible impact, so why not work to become one of them and land what Google chief economist Hal Varian reportedly calls the sexy job for the next ten years – statistician (really). The course starts Jan. 22.
  • We’ve seen a lot about robots in the news over the last month, from the crowd-funded humanoid service robot Roboy, the brainchild of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich, to Vomiting Larry, a projectile vomiter developed to help scientists to better understand the spread of noroviruses. If you’d like to learn about what’s behind robots that can act intelligently (sorry, Larry, but you might not qualify here), you want to learn more about AI. And you can, with a course starting Jan. 28 taught by Dr. Gerhard Wickler and Prof. Ausin Tate, both of the University of Edinburgh.
  • Siri, where can I go to find out more about natural language processing? One option: Spend ten weeks starting February 11 learning about NLP with Michael Collins, the Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. Students will have a chance to study mathematical and computational models of language, and the application of these models to key problems in natural language processing, with a focus on machine learning methods.

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