Four short links: 4 Nov 2020

Bald AI, Dates and Times, UX, and Tools

By Nat Torkington
November 4, 2020
Four Short Links
  1. The AI Who Mistook a Bald Head for a FootballSecond-tier Scottish football club Inverness Caledonian Thistle doesn’t have a camera operator for matches at their stadium so the club uses an AI-controlled camera that’s programmed to follow the ball for their broadcasts. But in a recent match against Ayr United, the AI controller kept moving the camera off the ball to focus on the bald head of the linesman, making the match all but unwatchable. No fans allowed in the stadium either, so the broadcast was the only way to watch. Watch the video, it is hilarious and tragic. I’m sure there’s a serious lesson to be drawn from this, but I’m too busy snickering to draw it.
  2. Why Is Subtracting These Two Times (in 1927) Giving a Strange Result? — You already knew timezones are a hellmouth, but now you have another example of how deep the hellmouth goes. Basically at midnight at the end of 1927, the clocks went back 5 minutes and 52 seconds. (via Jarkko Hietaniemi)
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  4. Average UX Improvements Are Shrinking Over TimeOn average, UX improvements have substantially decreased since 2006–2008: from 247% to 75% (a 69% decrease). This difference is statistically significant (p = 0.01) — we can be quite confident that average improvement scores are lower now than they were 12–14 years ago.
  5. CS294: Building User-Centred Programming ToolsThis hands-on course explores a selection of techniques from Programming Languages and Human-Computer Interaction that can help us create useful, usable programming languages and programming tools. We will cover strategies for designing programming systems—e.g., need finding, formative studies, user-centered design broadly. We will also cover tools and techniques that help us build user-friendly programming systems—e.g., program synthesis, structure editors, abstraction design, program slicing. For the final project, individuals or teams will develop a usable abstraction, language, or programming tool of their own design. What looks like an awesome course at Berkeley. The readings alone are excellent.
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