algorithm

8 posts
xkcd: Algorithms are hard

Yeah, but what if you combine and overlay all these datasets? Tags: algorithm, xkcd

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Sans human, Facebook’s Trending Topics algorithm faired poorly

Last week, Facebook announced that it was making the Trending Topics section more automated. More algorithm-based. Less person-based. On Monday, the section showed a fake news story at the top of the list for several hours. Nick Statt for the Verge on the human element: The changes instituted on Friday didn’t throw all of that away; Facebook has been slowly stripping away the human element of Trending Topics for months...

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Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip. Read More

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Computer program learns to play classic Nintendo games

I knew I had seen another automated video game thing before. Tom Murphy published work a couple of years ago on creating a computer program that learns how to play classic Nintendo games. It's a different approach than the project from earlier this week. The program is generalized, so it can be applied to games besides Mario Bros., and the computer can eventually beat more than one level. Plus, the...

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Automated Super Mario World gameplay through machine learning

Seth Bling made a bot — MarI/O — that automatically learns how to play Super Mario World. It's based on research by Kenneth O. Stanley and Risto Miikkulainen from 2002 that uses neural networks that evolve with a genetic algorithm. MarI/O starts out really dumb, just standing in place, but after enough simulations it get smart enough to navigate the world. Code available here and the paper from Stanley and...

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Problems with algorithmic policy-making

Virginia Eubanks for Slate describes the dangers of relying too heavily on black-boxed algorithms to create and enforce policies. Policy algorithms promise increased efficiency, consistent application of rules, timelier decisions, and improved communication. But they also raise issues of equity and fairness, challenge existing due process rules, and can threaten Americans’ well-being. Predictive policing relies on data built upon a foundation of historical racial inequities in law enforcement. Remote eligibility...

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Algorithm-generated song, based on income data

In the first song of his music experiment Data-Driven DJ, visual artist Brian Foo used median household income data to create a song that represents a ride on a New York subway. The goal of this song is to emulate a ride on the New York City Subway's 2 Train through three boroughs: Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx. At any given time, the quantity and dynamics of the song's instruments...

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Genetic algorithm walkers

If you ever wondered what it looks like when QWOP-like figures learn to walk through mutation as dictated by a simplified genetic algorithm, here's your answer. Rafael Matsunaga made a simulation that starts with a bunch of walkers, and the one that stays upright the longest moves on to the next generation. Adjust the probability of mutation and the amount, and there's a chance the next generation of walkers could...

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