Thursday, May 25, 2017

Machine Learning

Last weekend - regarding preparation for doling out burgers and hot dogs by the score in the Standard - I attempted to dictate the SMS message "I cooked a lot of onions last night" on my Android phone.

It was rendered as "I cooked a lot of onions Husserl" which struck me as rather odd. Then again, I had been reading a lot online - in Google's Chrome browser - about Edmund Husserl, the German philosopher who established the school of phenomenology.

I googled Callum quite a lot in the run up to the FA Youth Cup and the EUFA U17 tournament, and I also remember Google's speech recognition engine rendering his name for some completely unrelated utterance.

It is gradually dawning on me that Google must be drawing on all the knowledge it has of me to fine tune its speech recognition. I remember being impressed that it got Bronwydd Avenue right, but now I think it may have steered itself from my address book.

I am not sure I approve.

"Do no evil" Google is also suggesting articles to me because I "have shown interest in Katie Hopkins," a car-crash of an attention-craving loon even by the exalted standards of the Daily Mail. Please note, appalled fascination is not the same thing as interest. 

Whether I am concerned enough to devote any time to the study of Long Short-Term Memory Based Recurrent Neural Network Architectures for Large Vocabulary Speech Recognition remains to be seen.

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