This was a weird evening.
For her talk at Barcamp Southampton yesterday, Faith did a presentation on owls, together with a chatbot she trained to answer questions about owls.
— Dale Lane (@dalelane) November 12, 2016
She decided that she wanted to do a talk on owls. That wasn’t a big surprise… she’s a little bit obsessed with owls.
A simple demonstration of machine learning to let a child train a computer to play Top Trumps
Now I’m trying out another: training a machine learning bot how to play Top Trumps.
I’ve put a demo at toptrumps.eu-gb.mybluemix.net.
What is this?
It’s basically Top Trumps: that card game I used to play as a kid where you choose one of the attributes on a card, and if it beats the other player you get their card. Except it’s online, and you’re playing against a computer.
But the computer hasn’t been given any strategies on how to play, and has to learn from the player.
Initially, it makes random choices, but it learns from playing against the player. The more turns it plays, the more training it gets, which it uses to make predictions of which choice would give it the best chance of winning. Read the rest of this entry »
I shared this at the time on twitter, and then went off on holiday. Now we’re back, I thought it’s worth sharing a little more.
sorted out where we'll be sleeping tonight… pic.twitter.com/WKbFjHjXKF
— Dale Lane (@dalelane) August 12, 2016
I took Grace and Faith to the Natural History Museum in London, and we had a sleepover! It’s something they do for kids aged 7-11, called Dino Snores for Kids.
A ramble about accuracy compared with NDCG scores for evaluating effectiveness of information retrieval. It’s an introduction, so if you already know what they are, you can skip this.
A couple of weeks ago, we released a new tool for training the IBM Watson Retrieve and Rank service (a search service that uses machine learning to train it how to sort search results into the best order).
This afternoon, I deployed a collection of small updates to the tool and thought I’d make a few notes about what’s changed.
Most of them are a bunch of incremental updates and minor bug fixes.
For example, support for a wider range of Bluemix environments, support for larger document cluster sizes, displaying the amount of disk space left in a cluster, and so on.
One update in particular I thought was more interesting, and worth explaining.
The project was to build something new: a self-serve web-based tool to enable training the IBM Watson Retrieve and Rank service.
Earlier today, we released a first version of the tool. Now it’s finally out there, I can share what I’ve been working on!
A simple hands-on activity to let kids train a machine learning classifier to be able to play Rock, Paper, Scissors.
I’ve written and spoken before that I think we should do more to introduce children to the idea of machine learning. And I’ve tried introducing my two kids to it, such as by making a Code Club-style game with them: we built a system to play Guess Who, that they trained both to understand what you say and to recognise the characteristics of faces from photos.
This weekend, we tried out another idea – Rock, Paper, Scissors from a web app, using the web cam to see your moves, and training a system to recognise your hand signs.
I tried introducing my two kids to machine learning by helping them make a game this week.
In this post, I’ll try and explain why, how we did it, and how it went. And if you make it all the way to an end, I’ve got some videos and a link to a demo to show you what we made.
I think we need to introduce the basic concept of machine learning to children.
I think the current approach to introducing coding using things like Scratch aren’t enough. This isn’t to say Scratch isn’t great (I’ve been running a Code Club every week for the last couple of years, delivered almost entirely using Scratch, so I’d be the last person to say it isn’t a fantastic tool). It lets you snap together blocks representing actions to teach the programming mindset of getting a computer to do something by you breaking the task down into a series of steps.
I think we need to add to this with something that introduces the model of machine learning – getting a computer to do something by training it with examples of doing that task.
I’ve been saying this for a while – I gave a talk about it at an education conference last year, I’ve written about it here before, and it was the theme of a lecture I gave at a science society in London last month.
This week is half-term and I have the week off work, so I thought I’d finally spend a bit of time trying it out by experimenting on my own two daughters (Faith and Grace, who are aged 7 and 11).
In Code Club, I mostly try to introduce programming concepts by helping the kids to create games. Sticking with what seems to work, I’ve helped them to make a game by training an ML system how to play it.