Phil 4.21.18

Today’s ride

“Writing is Thinking”—an annotated twitter thread

  • Another in the series of State, Orientation and Velocity. In this case discussing the differences between stories and maps:
  • It is really incredible the amount of pushback I see from companies, startups to big, about writing. In particular around the notion that writing is the antithesis of agile. Writing ossifies and cements decision or plans that should change, it is said. My view is that agility comes from planning. Without plans, activities are just brownian motion. And you can’t have plans, especially shared plans, without writing.

Ervin Staub

  • In The Roots of Goodness and Resistance to Evil, Ervin Staub draws on his extensive experiences in scholarship and intervention to illuminate the socializing experiences, education, and trainings that lead children and adults to become helpers/active bystanders and rescuers, acting to prevent violence and create peaceful and harmonious societies. The book collects Staub’s most important and influential articles and essays in the field together with newly written chapters, with wide-ranging examples of helping behaviors as well as discussions of why we should help and not harm others. He addresses many examples of such behaviors, from helping people in everyday physical or psychological distress, to active bystandership in response to harmful actions by youth toward their peers (bullying), to endangering one’s life to save someone in immediate danger, or rescuing intended victims of genocide.

Phil 4.20.18

7:00 – ASRC MKT

  • Executing gradient descent on the earth
    • But the important question is: how well does gradient descent perform on the actual earth?
    • This is nice, because it suggests that we can compare GD algorithms on recognizable and visualizable terrains. Terrain locations can have multiple visualizable factors, height and luminance could be additional dimensions
  • Minds is the anti-facebook that pays you for your time
    • In a refreshing change from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the rest of the major platforms, Minds has also retained a strictly reverse-chronological timeline. The core of the Minds experience, though, is that users receive “tokens” when others interact with their posts, or simply by spending time on the platform.
  • Continuing along with the Angular/PHP tutorial here. Nicely, there is also a Git repo
    • Had to add some styling to get the upload button to show
    • The HttpModule is deprecated, but sticking with it for now
    • Will need to connect/verify PHP server within IntelliJ, described here.
    • How to connect Apache, to IntelliJ
  • Installing and Configuring XAMPP with PhpStorm IDE. Don’t forget about deployment path: deploy

Phil 4.19.18

8:00 – ASRC MKT/BD

    • Good discussion with Aaron about the agents navigating embedding space. This would be a great example of creating “more realistic” data from simulation that bridges the gap between simulation and human data. This becomes the basis for work producing text for inputs such as DHS input streams.
      • Get the embedding space from the Jack London corpora (crawl here)
      • Train a classifier that recognizes JL using the embedding vectors instead of the words. This allows for contextual closeness. Additionally, it might allow a corpus to be trained “at once” as a pattern in the embedding space using CNNs.
      • Train an NN(what type?) to produce sentences that contain words sent by agents that fool the classifier
      • Record the sentences as the trajectories
      • Reconstruct trajectories from the sentences and compare to the input
      • Some thoughts WRT generating Twitter data
        • Closely aligned agents can retweet (alignment measure?)
        • Less closely aligned agents can mention/respond, and also add their tweet
    • Handed off the proposal to Red Team. Still need to rework the Exec Summary. Nope. Doesn’t matter that the current exec summary does not comply with the requirements.
    • A dog with high social influence creates an adorable stampede:
    • Using Machine Learning to Replicate Chaotic Attractors and Calculate Lyapunov Exponents from Data
      • This is a paper that describes how ML can be used to predict the behavior of chaotic systems. An implication is that this technique could be used for early classification of nomadic/flocking/stampede behavior
    • Visualizing a Thinker’s Life
      • This paper presents a visualization framework that aids readers in understanding and analyzing the contents of medium-sized text collections that are typical for the opus of a single or few authors.We contribute several document-based visualization techniques to facilitate the exploration of the work of the German author Bazon Brock by depicting various aspects of its texts, such as the TextGenetics that shows the structure of the collection along with its chronology. The ConceptCircuit augments the TextGenetics with entities – persons and locations that were crucial to his work. All visualizations are sensitive to a wildcard-based phrase search that allows complex requests towards the author’s work. Further development, as well as expert reviews and discussions with the author Bazon Brock, focused on the assessment and comparison of visualizations based on automatic topic extraction against ones that are based on expert knowledge.


Phil 4.18.18

7:00 – 6:30 ASRC MKT/BD

  • Meeting with James Foulds. We talked about building an embedding space for a literature body (The works of Jack London, for example) that agents can then navigate across. At the same time, train an LSTM on the same corpora so that the ML system, when given the vector of terms from the embedding (with probabilities/similarities?), produce a line that could be from the work that incorporates those terms. This provides a much more realistic model of the agent output that could be used for mapping. Nice paper to continue the current work while JuryRoom comes up to speed.
  • Recurrent Neural Networks for Multivariate Time Series with Missing Values
    • Multivariate time series data in practical applications, such as health care, geoscience, and biology, are characterized by a variety of missing values. In time series prediction and other related tasks, it has been noted that missing values and their missing patterns are often correlated with the target labels, a.k.a., informative missingness. There is very limited work on exploiting the missing patterns for effective imputation and improving prediction performance. In this paper, we develop novel deep learning models, namely GRUD, as one of the early attempts. GRU-D is based on Gated Recurrent Unit (GRU), a state-of-the-art recurrent neural network. It takes two representations of missing patterns, i.e., masking and time interval, and effectively incorporates them into a deep model architecture so that it not only captures the long-term temporal dependencies in time series, but also utilizes the missing patterns to achieve better prediction results. Experiments of time series classification tasks on real-world clinical datasets (MIMIC-III, PhysioNet) and synthetic datasets demonstrate that our models achieve state-of-the-art performance and provide useful insights for better understanding and utilization of missing values in time series analysis.
  •  The fall of RNN / LSTM
    • We fell for Recurrent neural networks (RNN), Long-short term memory (LSTM), and all their variants. Now it is time to drop them!
  • JuryRoom
  • Back to proposal writing
  • Done with section 5! LaTex FTW!
  • Clean up Abstract, Exec Summary and Transformative Impact tomorrow

Phil 4.14.18

Text Embedding Models Contain Bias. Here’s Why That Matters.

  • It occurs to me that bias may be a way of measuring societal dimension reduction. Need to read this carefully.
  • Neural network models can be quite powerful, effectively helping to identify patterns and uncover structure in a variety of different tasks, from language translation to pathology to playing games. At the same time, neural models (as well as other kinds of machine learning models) can contain problematic biases in many forms. For example, classifiers trained to detect rude, disrespectful, or unreasonable comments may be more likely to flag the sentence “I am gay” than “I am straight” [1]; face classification models may not perform as well for women of color [2]; speech transcription may have higher error rates for African Americans than White Americans [3].

Visual Analytics for Explainable Deep Learning

  • Recently, deep learning has been advancing the state of the art in artificial intelligence to a new level, and humans rely on artificial intelligence techniques more than ever. However, even with such unprecedented advancements, the lack of explanation regarding the decisions made by deep learning models and absence of control over their internal processes act as major drawbacks in critical decision-making processes, such as precision medicine and law enforcement. In response, efforts are being made to make deep learning interpretable and controllable by humans. In this paper, we review visual analytics, information visualization, and machine learning perspectives relevant to this aim, and discuss potential challenges and future research directions.

Submitted final version of the CI 2018 paper and also put a copy up on ArXive. Turns out that you can bundle everything into a tar file and upload once.

Phil 4.3.18

ASRC MKT 7:00 – 5:30

  • Integrating airplane notes on Influence of augmented humans in online interactions during voting events
  • Follow up on pointing logs
  • World Affairs Council (Part II. Part I is Jennifer Kavanagh and Tom Nichols: The End of Authority)
    • With so many forces undermining democratic institutions worldwide, we wanted a chance to take a step back and provide some perspective. Russian interference in elections here and in Europe, the rise in fake news and a decline in citizen trust worldwide pose a danger. In this second of a three part series, we look at the role of social media and the ways in which it was exploited for the purpose of sowing distrust. Janine Zacharia, former Jerusalem bureau chief and Middle East correspondent for The Washington Post, and Roger McNamee, managing director at Elevation Partners and an early stage investor in Google and Facebook, are in conversation with World Affairs CEO Jane Wales.
    • “The ultimate combination of propaganda and gambling … powered by machine learning”
  • The emergence of consensus: a primer (No Moscovici – odd)
    • The origin of population-scale coordination has puzzled philosophers and scientists for centuries. Recently, game theory, evolutionary approaches and complex systems science have provided quantitative insights on the mechanisms of social consensus. However, the literature is vast and widely scattered across fields, making it hard for the single researcher to navigate it. This short review aims to provide a compact overview of the main dimensions over which the debate has unfolded and to discuss some representative examples. It focuses on those situations in which consensus emerges ‘spontaneously’ in the absence of centralized institutions and covers topics that include the macroscopic consequences of the different microscopic rules of behavioural contagion, the role of social networks and the mechanisms that prevent the formation of a consensus or alter it after it has emerged. Special attention is devoted to the recent wave of experiments on the emergence of consensus in social systems.
  • Need to write up diversity injection proposal
    • Basically updated PSAs for social media
    • Intent is to expand the information horizon, not to counter anything in particular. So it’s not political
    • Presented in a variety of ways (maps, stories and lists)
    • Goes identically into everyone’s feed
    • Can be blocked, but blockers need to be studied
    • More injection as time on site goes up. Particularly with YouTube & FB
  • Working on SASO paper. Made it through discussion

Phil 3.27.18

7:00 – 6:00 ASRC MKT

  • Continuing with Keras
    • The training process can be stopped when a metric has stopped improving by using an appropriate callback:
      keras.callbacks.EarlyStopping(monitor='val_loss', min_delta=0, patience=0, verbose=0, mode='auto')
    • How to download and install quiver
    • Tried to get Tensorboard working, but it doesn’t connect to the data right?
    • Spent several hours building a neuron that learns in Excel. I’m very happy with it. What?! SingleNeuron
  • This is a really interesting thread. Stonekettle provoked a response that can be measured for variance, and also for the people (and bots?) who participate.
  • Listening to the World Affairs Council on The End of Authority, about social influence and misinformation
    • With so many forces undermining democratic institutions worldwide, we wanted a chance to take a step back and provide some perspective. Russian interference in elections here and in Europe, the rise in fake news and a decline in citizen trust worldwide all pose a danger. In this first of a three-part series, we focus on the global erosion of trust. Jennifer Kavanagh, political scientist at the RAND Corporation and co-author of “Truth Decay”, and Tom Nichols, professor at the US Naval War college and author of “The Death of Expertise,” are in conversation with Ray Suarez, former chief national correspondent for PBS NewsHour.
  • Science maps for kids
    • Dominic Walliman has created science infographics and animated videos that explore how the fields of biology, chemistry, computer science, physics, and mathematics relate.
  • The More you Know (Wikipedia) might serve as a template for diversity injection
  • A list of the things that Google knows about you via Twitter
  • Collective movement ecology
    • The collective movement of animals is one of the great wonders of the natural world. Researchers and naturalists alike have long been fascinated by the coordinated movements of vast fish schools, bird flocks, insect swarms, ungulate herds and other animal groups that contain large numbers of individuals that move in a highly coordinated fashion ([1], figure 1). Vividly worded descriptions of the behaviour of animal groups feature prominently at the start of journal articles, book chapters and popular science reports that deal with the field of collective animal behaviour. These descriptions reflect the wide appeal of collective movement that leads us to the proximate question of how collective movement operates, and the ultimate question of why it occurs (sensu[2]). Collective animal behaviour researchers, in collaboration with physicists, computer scientists and engineers, have often focused on mechanistic questions [37] (see [8] for an early review). This interdisciplinary approach has enabled the field to make enormous progress and revealed fundamental insights into the mechanistic basis of many natural collective movement phenomena, from locust ‘marching bands’ [9] through starling murmurations [10,11].
  • Starting to read Influence of augmented humans in online interactions during voting events
    • Massimo Stella (Scholar)
    • Marco Cristoforetti (Scholar)
    • Marco Cristoforetti (Scholar)
    • Abstract: Overwhelming empirical evidence has shown that online social dynamics mirrors real-world events. Hence, understanding the mechanisms leading to social contagion in online ecosystems is fundamental for predicting, and even manouvering, human behavior. It has been shown that one of such mechanisms is based on fabricating armies of automated agents that are known as social bots. Using the recent Italian elections as an emblematic case study, here we provide evidence for the existence of a special class of highly influential users, that we name “augmented humans”. They exploit bots for enhancing both their visibility and influence, generating deep information cascades to the same extent of news media and other broadcasters. Augmented humans uniformly infiltrate across the full range of identified clusters of accounts, the latter reflecting political parties and their electoral ranks.
    • Bruter and Harrison [19] shift the focus on the psychological in uence that electoral arrangements exert on voters by altering their emotions and behavior. The investigation of voting from a cognitive perspective leads to the concept of electoral ergonomics: Understanding optimal ways in which voters emotionally cope with voting decisions and outcomes leads to a better prediction of the elections.
    • Most of the Twitter interactions are from humans to bots (46%); Humans tend to interact with bots in 56% of mentions, 41% of replies and 43% of retweets. Bots interact with humans roughly in 4% of the interactions, independently on interaction type. This indicates that bots play a passive role in the network but are rather highly mentioned/replied/retweeted by humans.
    • bots’ locations are distributed worldwide and they are present in areas where no human users are geo-localized such as Morocco.
    • Since the number of social interactions (i.e., the degree) of a given user is an important estimator of the in uence of user itself in online social networks [17, 22], we consider a null model fixing users’ degree while randomizing their connections, also known as configuration model [23, 24].
    • During the whole period, bot bot interactions are more likely than random (Δ > 0), indicating that bots tend to interact more with other bots rather than with humans (Δ < 0) during Italian elections. Since interactions often encode the spread of a given content online [16], the positive assortativity highlights that bots share contents mainly with each other and hence can resonate with the same content, be it news or spam.

Phil 3.21.18

7:00 – 6:00 ASRC MKT, with some breaks for shovelling

  • First day of spring. Snow on the ground and more in the forecast.
  • I’ve been thinking of ways to describe the differences between information visualizations with respect to maps. Here’s The Odyssey as a geographic map:
  • Odysseus'_Journey
  • The first thing that I notice is just how far Odysseus travelled. That’s about half of the Mediterranean! I thought that it all happened close to Greece. Maps afford this understanding. They are diagrams that support the plotting of trajectories.Which brings me to the point that we lose a lot of information about relationships in narratives. That’s not their point. This doesn’t mean that non-map diagrams don’t help sometimes. Here’s a chart of the characters and their relationships in the Odyssey:
  •  odyssey
  • There is a lot of information here that is helpful. And this I do remember and understood from reading the book. Stories are good about depicting how people interact. But though this chart shows relationships, the layout does not really support navigation. For example, the gods are all related by blood and can pretty much contact each other at will. This chart would have Poseidon accessing Aeolus and  Circe by going through Odysseus.  So this chart is not a map.
  • Lastly, is the relationship that comes at us through search. Because the implicit geographic information about the Odyssey is not specifically in the text, a search request within the corpora cannot produce a result that lets us integrate it
  • OdysseySearchJourney
  • There is a lot of ambiguity in this result, which is similar to other searches that I tried which included travel, sail and other descriptive terms. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad, it just shows how search does not handle context well. It’s not designed to. It’s designed around precision and recall. Context requires a deeper understanding about meaning, and even such recent innovations such as sharded views with cards, single answers, and pro/con results only skim the surface of providing situationally appropriate, meaningful context.
  • Ok, back to tensorflow. Need to update my computer first….
    • Updating python to 64-bit – done
    • Installing Visual Studio – sloooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww. Done
    • Updating graphics drivers – done
    • Updating tensorflow
    • Updating numpy with intel math
  • At the Validation section in the TF crash course. Good progress. drilling down into all the parts of python that I’ve forgotten. And I got to make a pretty picture: TF_crash_course1

Phil 3.16.18

7:00 – 4:00 ASRC MKT

    • Umwelt
      • In the semiotic theories of Jakob von Uexküll and Thomas A. Sebeokumwelt (plural: umwelten; from the German Umwelt meaning “environment” or “surroundings”) is the “biological foundations that lie at the very epicenter of the study of both communication and signification in the human [and non-human] animal”.[1] The term is usually translated as “self-centered world”.[2] Uexküll theorised that organisms can have different umwelten, even though they share the same environment. The subject of umwelt and Uexküll’s work is described by Dorion Sagan in an introduction to a collection of translations.[3] The term umwelt, together with companion terms umgebungand innenwelt, have special relevance for cognitive philosophers, roboticists and cyberneticians, since they offer a solution to the conundrum of the infinite regress of the Cartesian Theater.
    • Benjamin Kuipers
      • How Can We Trust a Robot? (video)
        • Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics have raised concerns about the impact on our society of intelligent robots, unconstrained by morality or ethics
      • Socially-Aware Navigation Using Topological Maps and Social Norm Learning
        • We present socially-aware navigation for an intelligent robot wheelchair in an environment with many pedestrians. The robot learns social norms by observing the behaviors of human pedestrians, interpreting detected biases as social norms, and incorporating those norms into its motion planning. We compare our socially-aware motion planner with a baseline motion planner that produces safe, collision-free motion. The ability of our robot to learn generalizable social norms depends on our use of a topological map abstraction, so that a practical number of observations can allow learning of a social norm applicable in a wide variety of circumstances. We show that the robot can detect biases in observed human behavior that support learning the social norm of driving on the right. Furthermore, we show that when the robot follows these social norms, its behavior influences the behavior of pedestrians around it, increasing their adherence to the same norms. We conjecture that the legibility of the robot’s normative behavior improves human pedestrians’ ability to predict the robot’s future behavior, making them more likely to follow the same norm.
    • Erin’s defense
      • Nice slides!
      • Slide 4 – narrowing from big question to dissertation topic. Nice way to set up framing
      • Intellectual function vs. adaptive behavior
      • Loss of self-determination
      • Maker culture as a way of having your own high-dimensional vector? Does this mean that the maker culture is inherently more exploratory when compared to …?
      • “Frustration is an easy way to end up in off-task behavior”
      • Peer learning as gradient descent?
      • Emic ethnography
      • Pervasive technology in education
      • Turn-taking
      • Antecedent behavior consequence theory
      • Reducing the burden on the educators. Low-level detection and to draw attention to the educator and annotate. Capturing and labeling
      • Helina – bring the conclusions back to the core questions
      • Diversity injection works! Mainstream students gained broader appreciation of students with disability
      • Q: Does it make more sense to focus on potentially charismatic technologies that will include the more difficult outliers even if it requires a breakthrough? Or to make incremental improvements that can improve accessibility to some people with disabilities faster?
      • Boris analytic software


Phil 2.27.18

7:00 – 5:00 ASRC MKT

  • More BIC
    • A mechanism is a general process. The idea (which I here leave only roughly stated) is of a causal process which determines (wholly or partly) what the agents do in any simple coordination context. It will be seen that all the examples I have mentioned are of this kind; contrast a mechanism that applies, say, only in two-person cases, or only to matching games, or only in business affairs. In particular, team reasoning is this kind of thing. It applies to any simple coordination context whatsoever. It is a mode of reasoning rather than an argument specific to a context. (pg 126)
    • In particular, [if U is Paretian] the correct theory of Hi-Lo says that all play A. In short, an intuition in favour of C’ supports A-playing in Hi-Lo if we believe that all players are rational and there is one rationality. (pg 130)
      • Another form of dimension reduction – “We are all the same”
  • Machine Theory of Mind
    • We design a Theory of Mind neural network – a ToMnet – which uses meta-learning to build models of the agents it encounters, from observations of their behaviour alone. Through this process, it acquires a strong prior model for agents’ behaviour, as well as the ability to bootstrap to richer predictions about agents’ characteristics and mental states using only a small number of behavioural observations. We apply the ToMnet to agents behaving in simple gridworld environments, showing that it learns to model random, algorithmic, and deep reinforcement learning agents from varied populations, and that it passes classic ToM tasks such as the “SallyAnne” test of recognising that others can hold false beliefs about the world
  • Classifier Technology and the Illusion of Progress (David Hand, 2006)
    • A great many tools have been developed for supervised classification, ranging from early methods such as linear discriminant analysis through to modern developments such as neural networks and support vector machines. A large number of comparative studies have been conducted in attempts to establish the relative superiority of these methods. This paper argues that these comparisons often fail to take into account important aspects of real problems, so that the apparent superiority of more sophisticated methods may be something of an illusion. In particular, simple methods typically yield performance almost as good as more sophisticated methods, to the extent that the difference in performance may be swamped by other sources of uncertainty that generally are not considered in the classical supervised classification paradigm.
  • Sensitivity and Generalization in Neural Networks: an Empirical Study
    • Neural nets generalize better when they’re larger and less sensitive to their inputs, are less sensitive near training data than away from it, and other results from massive experiments. (From @Jascha)
  • Graph-131941
    • The graph represents a network of 6,716 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained “#NIPS2017”, or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets, taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 18,000 tweets. The network was obtained from Twitter on Friday, 08 December 2017 at 15:30 UTC.
  • Back to Basics: Benchmarking Canonical Evolution Strategies for Playing Atari
    • Evolution Strategies (ES) have recently been demonstrated to be a viable alternative to reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms on a set of challenging deep RL problems, including Atari games and MuJoCo humanoid locomotion benchmarks. While the ES algorithms in that work belonged to the specialized class of natural evolution strategies (which resemble approximate gradient RL algorithms, such as REINFORCE), we demonstrate that even a very basic canonical ES algorithm can achieve the same or even better performance. This success of a basic ES algorithm suggests that the state-of-the-art can be advanced further by integrating the many advances made in the field of ES in the last decades. 
      We also demonstrate qualitatively that ES algorithms have very different performance characteristics than traditional RL algorithms: on some games, they learn to exploit the environment and perform much better while on others they can get stuck in suboptimal local minima. Combining their strengths with those of traditional RL algorithms is therefore likely to lead to new advances in the state of the art.
  • Copied over SheetToMap to the Applications file on TOSHIBA
  • Created a Data folder, which has all the input and output files for the various applications
  • Need to add a curDir variable to LMN
  •  Presentation:
    • I need to put together a 2×2 payoff matrix that covers nomad/flock/stampede – done
    • Some more heat map views, showing nomad, flocking – done
    • De-uglify JuryRoom
    • Timeline of references – done
    • Collapse a few pages 22.5 minutes for presentation and questions – done
  • Start on white paper

Phil 2.16.18

7:00 – 3:00 ASRC MKT

  • Finished the first draft of the CI 2018 extended abstract!
  • And I also figured out how to run the sub projects in the Ultimate Angular src collection. You need to go to the root directory for the chapter, run yarn install, then yarn start. Everything works then.
  • Trolls on Twitter: How Mainstream and Local News Outlets Were Used to Drive a Polarized News Agenda
    • This is the kind of data that compels us to rethink how we understand Twitter — and what I feel are more influential platforms for reaching regular people that include Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Tumblr, as well as understand ad tech tracking and RSS feedharvesting as part of the greater propaganda ecosystem.
  • NELA News credibility classification toolkit
    • The News Landscape (NELA) Toolkit is an open source toolkit for the systematic exploration of the news landscape. The goal of NELA is to both speed up human fact-checking efforts and increase the understanding of online news as a whole. NELA is made up of multiple indepedent modules, that work at article level granularity: reliability prediction, political impartiality prediction, text objectivity prediction, and reddit community interest prediction. As well as, modules that work at source level granularity: reliability prediction, political impartiality prediction, content-based feature visualization. 
  • New benchmarks for approximate nearest neighbors
    • I built ANN-benchmarksto address this. It pits a bunch of implementations (including Annoy) against each other in a death match: which one can return the most accurate nearest neighbors in the fastest time possible. It’s not a new project, but I haven’t actively worked on it for a while.
  • Systems of Global Governance in the Era of Human-Machine Convergence
    • Technology is increasingly shaping our social structures and is becoming a driving force in altering human biology. Besides, human activities already proved to have a significant impact on the Earth system which in turn generates complex feedback loops between social and ecological systems. Furthermore, since our species evolved relatively fast from small groups of hunter-gatherers to large and technology-intensive urban agglomerations, it is not a surprise that the major institutions of human society are no longer fit to cope with the present complexity. In this note we draw foundational parallelisms between neurophysiological systems and ICT-enabled social systems, discussing how frameworks rooted in biology and physics could provide heuristic value in the design of evolutionary systems relevant to politics and economics. In this regard we highlight how the governance of emerging technology (i.e. nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science), and the one of climate change both presently confront us with a number of connected challenges. In particular: historically high level of inequality; the co-existence of growing multipolar cultural systems in an unprecedentedly connected world; the unlikely reaching of the institutional agreements required to deviate abnormal trajectories of development. We argue that wise general solutions to such interrelated issues should embed the deep understanding of how to elicit mutual incentives in the socio-economic subsystems of Earth system in order to jointly concur to a global utility function (e.g. avoiding the reach of planetary boundaries and widespread social unrest). We leave some open questions on how techno-social systems can effectively learn and adapt with respect to our understanding of geopolitical complexity.

Phil 2.14.18

7:00 – 4:00 ASRC

  • Stampede? Herding? Twitter deleted 200,000 Russian troll tweets. Read them here.
    • Twitter doesn’t make it easy to track Russian propaganda efforts — this database can help
  • Add a “show all trajectories” checkbox.
    • That’s a nice visualization that shows the idea of the terrain uncovered by the trajectories: 2018-02-14
  • Continue with paper – down to 3 pages!
  • Continue with slides. Initial walkthrough with Aaron
  • 3:00 – 4:00 A2P meeting

Phil 2.13.18

7:00 – 4:00 ASRC MKT

  • UMAP: Uniform Manifold Approximation and Projection for Dimension Reduction
    • UMAP (Uniform Manifold Approximation and Projection) is a novel manifold learning technique for dimension reduction. UMAP is constructed from a theoretical framework based in Riemannian geometry and algebraic topology. The result is a practical scalable algorithm that applies to real world data. The UMAP algorithm is competitive with t-SNE for visualization quality, and arguably preserves more of the global structure with superior run time performance. Furthermore, UMAP as described has no computational restrictions on embedding dimension, making it viable as a general purpose dimension reduction technique for machine learning.
  • How Prevalent are Filter Bubbles and Echo Chambers on Social Media? Not as Much as Conventional Wisdom Has It
    • Yet, as Rasmus points out, conventional wisdom seems to be stuck with the idea that social media constitute filter bubbles and echo chambers, where most people only, or mostly, see political content they already agree with. It is definitely true that there is a lot of easily accessible, clearly identifiable, highly partisan content on social media. It is also true that, to some extent, social media users can make choices as to which sources they follow and engage with. Whether people use these choice affordances solely to flock to content reinforcing their political preferences and prejudices, filtering out or avoiding content that espouses other viewpoints, is, however, an empirical question—not a destiny inscribed in the way social media and their algorithms function.
  • He Predicted The 2016 Fake News Crisis. Now He’s Worried About An Information Apocalypse.
    • That future, according to Ovadya, will arrive with a slew of slick, easy-to-use, and eventually seamless technological tools for manipulating perception and falsifying reality, for which terms have already been coined — “reality apathy,” “automated laser phishing,” and “human puppets.”
  • Finish first pass at DC slides – done!
  • Begin trimming paper – good progress.
  • Add a slider that lets the user interactively move a token along the selected trajectory path – done. Yes, it looks like a golf ball on a tee… Capture
  • Sprint planning


7:00 – 5:00 ASRC MKT

  • Add something about a population of ants – done
  • Add loaders for the three populations, and then one for trajectories
    • Promoted WeightWidget to JavaUtils
    • Moving 3d and UI building out of start
    • Ugh, new IntelliJ
    • Made the graph pieces selectable
    • Got drawmode (LINE) working
    • Reading in trajectories
    • Need to load each as a child and then draw all of them first, then make that selectable. Done!
  • Go over draft with Aaron. Hand off for rewrite 1? Nope – family emergency
  • 2:00 meeting with Aaron and IC team? Nope
  • Intro to deep learning course from MIT:
    • An introductory course on deep learning methods with applications to machine translation, image recognition, game playing, image generation and more. A collaborative course incorporating labs in TensorFlow and peer brainstorming along with lectures. Course concludes with project proposals with feedback from staff and panel of industry sponsors.
  • Topics, Events, Stories in Social Media
    • This thesis focuses on developing methods for social media analysis. Specifically, five directions are proposed here: 1) semi-supervised detection for targeted-domain events, 2) topical interaction study among multiple datasets, 3) discriminative learning about the identifications for common and distinctive topics, 4) epidemics modeling for flu forecasting with simulation via signals from social media data, 5) storyline generation for massive unorganized documents.
  • Communication by virus
    • The standard way to think about neurons is somewhat passive. Yes, they can exciteor inhibit the neurons they communicate with but, at the end of the day, they are passively relaying whatever information they contain. This is true not only in biologicalneurons but also in artificial neural networks. 

Phil 2.7/18

7:30 – 5:30 ASRC MKT

  • Freezing rain and general ick, so I’m working from home. Thus leading to the inevitable updating of IntelliJ
  • Working on the 3D mapping app.
    • Reading in single spreadsheet with nomad graph info
    • Building a NodeInfo inner class to keep the nomad positions for the other populations
    • Working! 2018-02-07
    • Better: 2018-02-07 (2)
    • Resisting the urge to code more and getting back to the extended abstract. I also need to add a legend to the above pix.
  • Back to extended abstract
    • Added results and future work section
    • got all the pictures in
    • Currently at 3 pages plus. Not horrible.
  • Demographics and Dynamics of Mechanical Turk Workers
    • There are about 100K-200K unique workers on Amazon. On average, there are 2K-5K workers active on Amazon at any given time, which is equivalent to having 10K-25K full-time employees. On average, 50% of the worker population changes within 12-18 months. Workers exhibit widely different patterns of activity, with most workers being active only occasionally, and few workers being very active. Combining our results with the results from Hara et al, we see that MTurk has a yearly transaction volume of a few hundreds of millions of dollars.