Four short links: 26 September 2018
Walmart's Blockchain, Machine Learning and Text Adventures, Algorithmic Decision-Making, and Networked Brains
- Walmart Requires Lettuce, Spinach Suppliers to Join Blockchain (WSJ Blog) — built on Hyperledger, by way of IBM. I read IBM’s brief but still can’t figure out the benefits over, say, Walmart running their own APIed database app, but I suspect it has to do with “this way, EVERY blockchain participant has to buy a big app from IBM, instead of just Walmart buying something to run for others to contribute to.” (via Dan Hon)
- Inform 7 and Machine Learning (Emily Short) — TextWorld’s authors feel we’re not yet ready to train a machine agent to solve a hand-authored IF game like Zork—and they’ve documented the challenges here much more extensively than my rewording above. What they have done instead is to build a sandbox environment that does a more predictable subset of text adventure behavior. TextWorld is able to automatically generate games containing a lot of the standard puzzles.
- Litigating Algorithms: Challenging Government Use of Algorithmic Decision Systems — session notes from a day-long workshop the EFF ran with the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law.
- BrainNet: A Multi-Person Brain-to-Brain Interface for Direct Collaboration Between Brains — Five groups of three subjects successfully used BrainNet to perform the Tetris task, with an average accuracy of 0.813. Furthermore, by varying the information reliability of the senders by artificially injecting noise into one sender’s signal, we found that receivers are able to learn which sender is more reliable based solely on the information transmitted to their brains. Our results raise the possibility of future brain-to-brain interfaces that enable cooperative problem solving by humans using a “social network” of connected brains.