Browsed by
Month: April 2016

The Day a Computer Became an Author

The Day a Computer Became an Author

Artificial Intelligence. Quite a common word these days. Some get excited at it. For others, it’s a terrifying thought. Most people are worried that the robots are taking over human jobs. Be it in industries or stores or any such place. But no one would’ve even thought of robots turning into authors, wielding their metal alloy fingers to pen away stories. And it has already happened!

 

A Japanese AI program has co-authored a short story titled “The Day a Computer Writes a Novel” (Konpyuta ga shosetsu wo kaku hi). It was co-written by Hitoshi Matsubara, a computer science professor, along with his team at the Future University, Hakodate, Japan. The story is about how a computer writes a novel and thereby stops working for humans, in order to pursue its passion. The novel was entered into a writing contest for the Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award. Surprisingly, it passed the first screening round in the contest.

Here’s an excerpt:

“I writhed with joy, which I experienced for the first time, and kept writing with excitement.”
“The day a computer wrote a novel. The computer, placing priority on the pursuit of its own joy, stopped working for humans.”Almost 80% of the novel had a human involvement in some way or the other. The professor and his team decided on things like the plot and the gender of the characters. They also selected some prepared sentences which helped the AI to bring the book together. While the book didn’t win the award, it showed the potential of an AI. The creative factor, made the AI’s achievement quite impressive. Moreover the novel was rather well structured ignoring some minor errors here and there.


_If an algorithm could do so well in such a field, a field that requires creativity, then no occupation is safe from the machines. But, only a half of this achievement could be credited to the AI. The other half belongs to Prof.Hitoshi and his team. The professor now wants to research on the creative side of a machine. So, some groups of people argue that an AI works better when partnered with a human. The AI-human combo can easily defeat another AI or a group of human. _
_This “artificial author” has resulted in a huge development in the field of AI research. Hopefully we’ll be smart enough to not let the machines take over everything. We don’t need that I , Robot movie happening in real life now, do we? _

Top 10 Small and Fun Games to Pass Time

Top 10 Small and Fun Games to Pass Time

Bored? Not much to do in your free time? Here are some small (<25 MB) offline games to spend time happily.

1. Okay? – (19 MB)

A simple puzzle game where all you have to do is flick a ball to clear the board. Sounds and graphics are both pretty beautiful. A really fun game that will surely keep you occupied for a long time.

 Okay?- screenshot
Get Okay?

2. Cube Escape Series – (10-20 MB)

Simply one of the best escape puzzle games you’ll ever see. There are about 6-8 games in this series by Rusty Lake, all of them are awesome :).The main objective of game is to find clues and to escape

from the situation you are put in. The satisfaction you get from finishing one of these is truly one of a kind.


Get Rusty Lake

3. Infinity Loop – (4 MB)

All you have to do in this is rearrange the pipes to form a closed loop.A simple, relaxing and endless game.

 

Get Infinity Loop 

4. That Level Again 1&2 – (14 MB)

You play the same level over and over again with twists in each level (Interesting isn’t it?). This is a game that will surely leave a smile when you finish it :). Must-play android game.


Get That Level Again

Get That Level Again 2

5. Atomas – (11 MB)

This is a simple but challenging game. You add up elements to get even bigger elements. It’s an awesome feeling when you get some really big elements in the game, you’ll feel like a goddamn chemist 😀 (No Kidding!).
Get Atomas 

6. Radiant Defense

Beautiful looking tower defense game in such a small package. Defend your base by building a foundation with a wide variety of weapons, traps and kill the invading aliens.


Get Radiant Defense 

7. Glow Hockey 2 – (10.6 MB)

It’s a game where you try to put the ball into the opponents goal. You can the play the game with an AI or with your friend. The AI level ranges from easy to hard and by hard they mean insanely hard (seriously). The neon lights are awesome to watch. A fun way to spend your time.

 Glow Hockey 2- screenshot
Get Glow Hockey 

8. 2048 – (1.33 MB)

The classic puzzle game that has brought many people interested into the world of puzzles. All you got to do is add the similar tiles by colliding them and finally reach the number 2048. It’ll surely keep you worked up for hours and is a good time-pass game.

Get 2048

9. Don’t tap the White Tile

The game that had pushed people to the limits of how fast one’s fingers can move.Formerly called Piano Tiles all you got to do is play your piano without tapping the white tile. Great game to challenge your friends to see who has the fastest fingers of em all.

Get Don’t Tap The White Tile 

10. Colour Switch – (24MB)

You got to move the ball to the end through all the obstacles, the ball can only move through parts of the obstacle having the same colour. Seems simple enough, till you try it. Fun game to challenge with your friends.

Get Color Switch

Humans, Computers and Intuition

Humans, Computers and Intuition

Most of us would have played against a computer in a game of chess or checkers or anything of that sort. And we would’ve lost half or maybe even three quarters of the games played. A new research suggests that, we humans still have an edge over computers when it comes to solving tricky problems all thanks to our trait of intuition.  Now, intuition and logic are 2 different strategies to solve problems and predict outcomes. We know that computers run on Boolean logic and logic is also used to program them. Logical methods have many advantages: They can be used to make long term predictions and also they can make high precision predictions, such as predicting masses of elementary particles to the fifth decimal before experiments to establish the masses have been conducted. But like everything else, logic has its limits. It requires theory and idealized conditions.

Anyone who has read a text on Physics or Mechanics would’ve come across this sentence: “Neglecting air resistance or weight of the body”, “All else being constant…” etc. This is how these subjects avoid systems that are constantly adapting to an environment that it can’t be separated from (Bizarre systems).On the other hand, intuition is what we do “without thinking”. It is fast and theory free. But it can’t do long term predictions (advantages of logic systems). Scientists in Denmark have found that people who played a game that simulated a complex calculation sometimes did better than their silicon counterparts.  They created a game called Quantum Moves, where players had to do the same task by using their mouse to simulate the laser beams that pick up the atoms and move them around. The game is based on intuition and not on recognizing any patterns. The human players were able to outsmart the computers just because they relied on their intuition. We humans have an inborn ability, to forget and filter stuff. Sometimes it’s a boon and sometimes a bane.  Obviously in this case, it’s a blessing. There might be complex problems that are hard to finish if we follow some systematic method. In Quantum Moves the players did well since they didn’t try every possible solution unlike their rivals. Intuition came into play and resulted in quick solutions which may not be mathematically perfect but is definitely practical. This research has paved way to new possibilities in quantum computing and comes in the backdrop of the Alpha-Go challenge last month. It’s encouraging that there are problems where we humans are still superior to computers. Who knows, for how long…..

Arduino – Automatic Plant Watering System

Arduino – Automatic Plant Watering System

Here we are with another Arduino project for the weekend!
Does watering your garden seems like a lot of work?  Spend this weekend building your own automatic plant watering system to take care of it. It’s really simple to make.

You can find the project files here

Things You’ll Need

  1. Arduino Uno
  2. Soil moisture sensor
  3. Potentiometer (10kΩ)
  4. 5v Relay module
  5. A water pump or Solenoid valve

Basic Setup

Arduino Code

How-It-Works

In short what this circuit does is maintaining a minimum  moisture level in the soil. The constant level can be set using a potentiometer. The Arduino will monitor the present moisture and compares it with the constant level set. Whenever the moisture level falls below the threshold level the relay will be turned ON till the required moisture level is attained.
Pretty simple right? And as always you can tweak the code , make it better and share it without any restrictions.
Enjoy 🙂

 

Hardening SSH on Remote Ubuntu/Debian Server

Hardening SSH on Remote Ubuntu/Debian Server

Looking for an easy method to secure your remote openSSH server? Here’s a bash script to just do that. Sit back and run it, answer a few questions and you’re done!

Requires root access (user should be in sudoer’s list) and works on Ubuntu or Debian server. If it works for you on any other distro do let us know down in the comments.

Feel free to correct me, if I’m wrong, and contribute to the code to make it better and useful.

Github Repo:

handy-scripts