Friday, April 15, 2011

Non, je ne regrette rien

Prof. Yishay Mansour of Tel Aviv University's Blavatnik School of Computer Science launched his new project at the International Conference on Learning Theory in Haifa, Israel, earlier this year. His research will help computers minimize what Prof. Mansour calls "regret." Google recently announced that it will fund Tel Aviv University computer scientists and economists to develop this foundational research, a nexus on the cutting edge of computer science and game theory.

"If the servers and routing systems of the Internet could see and evaluate all the relevant variables in advance, they could more efficiently prioritize server resource requests, load documents and route visitors to an Internet site, for instance," Prof. Mansour says — an efficiency that Google finds very attractive.

Of course computers can't "feel" regret — but they can measure the distance between a desired outcome and the actual outcome. Prof. Mansour recently developed an algorithm based on machine learning, or "artificial intelligence," to minimize the amount of virtual regret a computer program might experience.
It's as if Charlie Suet and Dr Strabismus collaborated on an idea.

Tel Aviv, Schmel Aviv; imagine what Jesuit pedagogy could do to a could do here. We'd have network cards that were wracked with guilt over dropping a packet and virtual servers that felt like frauds.

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