The Deep Learning Revolution!

25th October 2018

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Year

The Deep Learning Revolution, by Terrence Sejnowski.  Barb had the chance to read this superlative book pre-press, and she has a beautiful hard copy beside her as she writes this. If you are interested in how we got to driverless cars, automated translations, eerily human-like conversations with automatons, and uncannily adept opponents in chess and Go, you can’t miss this fantastic book by our very own Terry Sejnowski. Terry’s many decades of experience at the pinnacle of discovery in neural processing and artificial intelligence give him an irreplaceably broad perspective. Learn how the obstruction of a few key players delayed the advent of artificial intelligence by decades  and the future direction of deep learning networks in everything from gaming. The deep learning revolution has brought us driverless cars, the greatly improved Google Translate, fluent conversations with Siri and Alexa, and enormous profits from automated trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Deep learning networks can play poker better than professional poker players and defeat a world champion at Go. In this book, Terry Sejnowski explains how deep learning went from being an arcane academic field to a disruptive technology in the information economy. Barb’s not being biased (well, only a tiny, inescapable bit!) when she calls this book the book of the year—read and enjoy!

Are Engineers Educated? Or are they merely trained?

This article in the IEEE Spectrum by Robert W. Lucky explores what being well-educated might really mean.  As Lucky notes: “Let me just give you my take. A graduate of a good university noted for, say, philosophy or English literature, would be considered to be ‘well educated.’ A graduate of a similar university noted for engineering would be considered bright and intelligent. I’ll settle for that.”

Correlation is not causation, but heck yeah for video games!

A recent study, “funded by the British Academy and published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour, found that 13-14 year old girls classed as ‘heavy gamers’—those playing over nine hours a week—were three times more likely to pursue a PSTEM degree compared to girls who were non-gamers.”

Barb in Spanish—El País

You can read and watch Barb’s interview in Madrid with El País here. Here also are longer and shorter YouTube versions of the video. As you can tell, the audience and Barb were having a blast!

The “Throw the Pen” Memory Method

Here is another practically useful—and super funny—short video by memory champion Nelson Dellis about how to remember ideas you might get in the middle of the night, or when you’re preoccupied with something else that you can’t really take a break from.  This is one of many useful ideas from Nelson’s great book Remember It!

A nice email about A Mind for Numbers

Here’s a nice email we received about how a learner has been able to restructure their thinking to become successful:

“Last semester I failed a differential equations class, and it was my biggest wake-up call. I have always been deluding myself into thinking I know something when I actually didn’t. That class was proof of my delusion. Your book, A Mind for Numbers, was unlike anything else I’ve read. Instead of reaffirmations, it was book filled with tips to restructure the way I process information. I would like to thank you on constantly pointing out the errors in the way a person learns so that they can use other tools to actually grasp information. [A]ctually working out the solution or thinking of just something to get started has helped me a lot better than staring at the solutions. Thank you for sharing your tips which helped me grow my learning abilities. It’s sad to say that it took me 8 years for me to get this frustrated for me to actually make the change in order to learn better. I’ve always had the knowledge in me, you just pieced together the information in a more logical point of view so the reader has no choice, but to be confronted with facts and helpful tips. Thank you once again.”

Debunking the Myers-Briggs type indicator

Here’s a good article from Reason Magazine about the fallacies of the Myers-Briggs indicator.  Surprisingly, some of the most-cited literature about the validity of learning styles is actually predicated on the Myers-Briggs, meaning that literature is actually built on a house of cards.

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team



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