Archive for the ‘Algorithms’ Category

Ungarbling natural language processor technologies … and Happy New Year!

natural language processor 1


30 December 2014 – Natural language processing is becoming a popular analytical tool as well as a quicker way for search and customer support, as well as legal document analysis. Dragon Nuance is at the tip of everyone’s tongue when NLP enters a conversation, but there are many other products with their own benefits. This past year we saw the IBM Watson system’s natural language processing automated content analysis and classification applied to legal analysis. We breathlessly await Google and Microsoft’s predicted entry in the legal space next year or in 2016.

Over the summer Code Project reviewed three of the NLPs in a post entitled “A Review Of Three Natural Language Processors, AlchemyAPI, OpenCalais, And Semantria”. Rather than sticking readers with plain product reviews, Code Project explains what NLP is used for and how it accomplishes it.

While NLP is used for vocal commands, it can do many other things: improve SEO, knowledge management, monetization, and decision support. The legal industry has been using it in text mining, text analytics, content visualization, automatic classification, and regulatory compliance. … Read more

If the U.S. Navy was involved in finding the missing Malaysian plane they’d be using Bayesian search techniques

Search Efforts + MapBox Reference Layer + Watermask + Satellite

 Map of the search area from Mapbox, as of yesterday, with the footprints of the available data from major satellite providers


17 March 2014 – Benedict Carey reports in the New York Times that the uncertainties surrounding Malaysia Airlines Flight 370’s disappearance are enormous, but naval strategists have been unraveling lost-at-sea mysteries as far back as the U-boat battles of World War II, and perhaps most dramatically in 1968, when an intelligence team found the submarine Scorpion, which sank in the North Atlantic after losing contact under equally baffling circumstances. “The same approach we used with Scorpion could be applied in this case and should be,” says John P. Craven who helped pioneer the use of Bayesian search techniques to locate objects lost at sea. “But you need to begin with the right people.” The approach is a kind of crowdsourcing, but not one in which volunteers pored over satellite images, like they have in search of Flight 370. “That effort is akin to good Samaritans combing a forest for a lost child without knowing for … Read more

Coming soon! Weapons systems that kill according to algorithms! What fun!


9 January 2013 – Mark Gubrud has another great piece exploring the slippery slope we seem to be traveling down when it comes to autonomous weapons systems. ‘Autonomous weapons are robotic systems that, once activated, can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human operator. Advances in computer technology, artificial intelligence, and robotics may lead to a vast expansion in the development and use of such weapons in the near future. Public opinion runs strongly against killer robots. But many of the same claims that propelled the Cold War are being recycled to justify the pursuit of a nascent robotic arms race. Autonomous weapons could be militarily potent and therefore pose a great threat.… Read more

It’s Computer Science Week. Chill. Code. Program. Do some math. Watch our video.

Computer science jobs


10 December 2013 – Computer code is something most people enjoy the benefits of without ever laying their eyes on it. But this week, it will be hard for students to avoid calls for them to learn how to program. There has been a promotional blitz this week for an education event called “Hour of Code” which has featured video statements from President Obama calling on students to learn how to write code, plus the home pages for Apple, Disney, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo promoting the event.

Then there is Apple.  Tomorrow every Apple store in the United States will host code education events. Microsoft will host similar events at 51 Microsoft retail stores all this week.

Hour of Code, which coincides with Computer Science Education Week, is organized by a nonprofit organization called which is seeking to get more students interested in programming. It has the support of nearly all the major technology companies which say they need a stronger pipeline of engineers to supply the industry with the talent it needs to thrive. And you … Read more

A fragile quantum memory state has been held stable, overcoming a key barrier to ultrafast computers – and encryption continues its death march



Quantum Computer systems encryption



15 November 2013 – For a few years now we have been promised quantum computers. The media has been full of reports. It makes use of all that “spooky” quantum stuff and vastly increases computing power, right? And they’ll be under every desk when scientists finally tame the spooky stuff, right? And computing will undergo a revolution no less profound than the one that brought us the microchip, right? Wow. Another “tectonic-major-disruptive-paradigm-shift-game-changing” thingie. Cool. Will it be on the App Store?

We’ve actually been following quantum computing for awhile, through Greg’s contacts at CERN and IBM Research and mine at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Ulm, Germany.

It is fascinating stuff … and yes, having degrees in physics and computer science helps … but of late it has been a hot topic made more prominent with the big news this past Spring of the quantum computer collaboration among Google, NASA and D-Wave not least of which is the fact that futurist and artificial intelligence expert Ray Kurzweil (now Director of Engineering at … Read more

Anyone Can Crack Crypto. Take THAT, you NSA Wunderkinds!



9 September 2013 – Making and breaking encryption: it’s what an intelligence agency does for a living. That NSA engages in such activities is not surprising. Its involvement in the development of some cryptographic standards was legally mandated and openly acknowledged.

Ah, but the details.  We really do not know specific details. Recent headlines, at Ars Technica (click here),The New York Times (click here), and Spiegel Online (click here) paint a grim picture, suggesting that “many or all of the cryptographic safeguards that people use to protect their privacy have been undermined”.

But many experts say no, the mathematics underpinning crypto is still basically sound. It is really a case of implementation flaws, bad passwords, weak algorithms, corporate cooperation, and … SHOCK!! … backdoor access.

It’s a case of “cryptography is hard” and not as in “math is hard” but that apparently getting everything right is difficult.

And clearly we have a situation where Snowden and the media may be not disclosing the exact HOW it is done and how the NSA
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Quantum computers of the future will have the potential to give artificial intelligence a major boost

Quantum computers


30 July 2013 – Algorithms developed so far for quantum computers have typically focused on problems such as breaking encryption keys or searching a list — tasks that normally require speed but not a lot of intelligence. But in a series of papers posted online this month on Arxiv (which is an open e-print archive with over 100,000 articles in physics, 10000 in mathematics, and 1000 in computer science) Seth Lloyd of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and his collaborators have put a quantum twist on AI.

The team developed a quantum version of “machine learning”, a type of AI in which programs can learn from previous experience to become progressively better at finding patterns in data. Machine learning is popular in applications ranging from e-mail spam filters to online-shopping suggestions. The team’s invention would take advantage of quantum computations to speed up machine-learning tasks exponentially.

You can read more in an article that posted in Nature magazine by clicking here.



 … Read more

Financial markets and “Big Data” crashs: “reckless behavior” replaces “market manipulation” as the standard for prosecuting misbehavior

Swirling 0s and 1s


29 May 2013 – Most of us have been following the regulators’ struggle to meet the challenges posed by high-frequency trading (for an excellent infographic on HFT click here). This ultra-fast, computerized segment of finance now accounts for most trades. HFT also contributed to that infamous “flash crash”  back in 2010, the sudden, vertiginous fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. However, the HFT of today is very different from that of three years ago. This is because of … yep … our “new new” friend “Big data”. And financial markets are notorious producers of big data: trades, quotes, earnings statements, consumer research reports, official statistical releases, polls, news articles, etc.

Companies that have relied on the first generation of HFT, where unsophisticated “speed exploits” price discrepancies, have had a tough few years. Profits from ultra-fast trading firms were 74 per cent lower in 2012 compared with 2009, according to Rosenblatt Securities which tracks this sort of information for its institutional clients.

NOTE:  In the hacking world an “exploit” is a piece of software, a chunk of data, Read more

Nate Silver, l’homme qui parlait à l’oreille du big data

Nate Silver


24 Mai 2013 – Portrait de Nate Silver, « le saint patron des nerds », comme le baptise Le Monde.

« Il est là, costume gris et lunettes rectangles, avec des airs d’oiseau tombé du nid, face aux mines imprégnées de ses fidèles, aussi sûr de ses algorithmes que de son aura. Des mois avant le scrutin présidentiel américain du 6 novembre 2012, il annonçait une confortable victoire de Barack Obama. Faisant ainsi mentir les analystes et autres experts qui pronostiquaient un vote serré. “

Il fait actuellement la promo de son livre, ‘The Signal and the Noise’ (‘Le Signal et le Bruit’, paru aux Etats-Unis en septembre 2012). Dans la liste des best-sellers des œuvres non romanesques du New York Times et du site Amazon à sa sortie, il est aujourd’hui traduit dans le monde entier. Sauf en France.

‘Il n’est pas étonnant que l’Hexagone n’ait pas traduit son œuvre, estime Stéphane Rozès, conseiller politique, président de Cap. Si la France est une grande consommatrice de sondages, l’idée même qu’un statisticien puisse annoncer en amont le résultat de

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The continuing application of artificial intelligence to the legal process

artificial intelligence


By: Gregory P. Bufithis, Esq.

23 May 2013 – You can certainly say this: the IT industry is nothing if not a breeding ground for an infinite variety of acronyms and neologisms. Alongside cloud computing today sits the term Big Data, which of course we understand to mean “that amount” of data which a traditional database would find hard to compute and process as a normal matter of job processing. The Big Data ethos and the zany incomprehensible world of zettabytes, petabytes and yottabytes have provided the computing world its neologism du jour, and a technology conference in 2013 is rarely considered complete without a smattering of uses.

And to make it worse … never mind the fact that Big Data has made anonymity algorithmically impossible … we are typically barraged further by volume-related qualifiers (tsunamis of big data being by far the worst offender I have encountered – other suggestions welcome). Although my favorite, used by the Chief Data Officer of a major corporation (who shall remain nameless) was at an analytics conference I recently attended: “Think Read more