Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The unprecedented corporate power grab known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal could be headed for a possible vote in Congress later this year. But thanks to the work of thousands of CREDO activists, whether it has enough support … Continue reading

The unprecedented corporate power grab known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal could be headed for a possible vote in Congress later this year. But thanks to the work of thousands of CREDO activists, whether it has enough support to pass is still an open question.

Unfortunately, the TPP just got a major boost from some of the largest and most well-known internet companies. A trade association representing companies including Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo just announced their full support of the TPP.1,2

This is outrageous. The TPP is antithetical to the interests of internet users. Furthermore, many of these companies pride themselves on putting the rights and interests of their users first and claim that principles such as free speech and privacy are at the core of their mission. TPP directly undermines those values in favor of corporate profit.

Tell members of the Internet Association: Disavow endorsement of the TPP. Click here to sign the petition.

Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo don’t have to go along with the Internet Association’s disastrously poor decision to endorse the TPP. One of its members, Reddit, has just come out and disavowed the endorsement.3 This is why we are joining with our friends from Fight for the Future to pressure other members to do the same.

The TPP was written and negotiated in absolute secrecy, and it’s easy to see why. It would eviscerate broad swaths of regulations that protect consumers, workers, the environment, and the soundness of our financial system. And it would set up a global system where corporate profits trump the policy priorities of sovereign governments.

Passage of the TPP could mean more American jobs offshored, developing countries losing access to lifesaving medications, and unsafe foods and products pouring into our country. The deal includes countries that are notorious for human rights violations without once mentioning “human rights” in its 5,600 pages.

The deal could also mean the end of internet freedom as we know it. It would expand corporate copyright enforcement at the expense of privacy and free speech. It would criminalize tinkering and modifying products under fair use purposes. And it would allow corporations to avoid the legal and democratic process by using secretive international tribunals to attack internet users’ rights – the same tribunals that could be used to undermine environmental and consumer protections.

The members of the Internet Association have no obligation to support this wrongheaded endorsement of the TPP. And, fortunately, many of these companies would be extremely sensitive to a backlash from their own users. After all, companies like Facebook and Twitter wouldn’t have a product if it weren’t for their users’ ability to freely express themselves and create content on a daily basis.

Tell members of the Internet Association: Disavow endorsement of the TPP. Click here to sign the petition.

With the media currently focused on the corrupt practices of corporations revealed in the release of the Panama Papers,4 we have the opportunity to shine the spotlight on how the TPP is just another attempt by corporations to skirt domestic and international law.

If we can get these major internet companies to publicly reject the TPP, as Reddit just did, we can turn this pathetic and self-defeating endorsement into exactly the opposite: A major public statement against the TPP and the corporate power grab it represents.

Tell members of the Internet Association: Disavow endorsement of the TPP. Click below to sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/TPP_Internet?t=7&akid=17517.5084505.ftxYLO

Thank you for your activism.

Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ?
  1. Internet Association Member List.
  2. Statement In Support Of The Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Internet Association, March 30, 2016.
  3. Reddit statement on Twitter disavowing TPP endorsement,” Reddit, March 30, 2016.
  4. Panama Papers: Leaks spur global investigations,” BBC, April 4, 2016.

DSPL Tools

DSPL Tools is a small suite of command-line utilities designed to help generate, organize, and validate DSPL datasets. The suite currently includes the following components: DSPL Check: Checks a dataset against a variety of criteria including adherence to the official DSPL schema, consistency of internal references, and CSV layout. DSPL Gen: Generates a simple, DSPL … Continue reading DSPL Tools

DSPL Tools is a small suite of command-line utilities designed to help generate, organize, and validate DSPL datasets. The suite currently includes the following components:

  • DSPL Check: Checks a dataset against a variety of criteria including adherence to the official DSPL schema, consistency of internal references, and CSV layout.
  • DSPL Gen: Generates a simple, DSPL dataset “template” from an input CSV file

This software is released under a BSD license; the full source code is available for browsing and download on the DSPL open source site. Release notes are provided in the DSPL Tools README file.


DSPL Developer Guide

DSPL stands for Dataset Publishing Language. It is a representation format for both the metadata (information about the dataset, such as its name and provider, as well as the concepts it contains and displays) and actual data of datasets. Datasets described in this format can be imported into the Google Public Data Explorer, a tool that allows for rich, visual exploration of the data.

Note: To upload data to Google Public Data using the Public Data upload tool, you must have a Google Account.

This document is intended for data owners who want their content to be available in the Public Data Explorer. It goes beyond the Tutorial by diving deeper into the details of the DSPL schema and supported features. Only a basic familiarity of XML is assumed, although knowledge of relational databases is also useful.

Although not a requirement, we suggest reading through the Tutorial, which is shorter and easier to digest, before looking at this document.

Dalvik VM Internals

Dan Bornstein (Google) Dalvik — the virtual machine with the unusual name — runs your code on Android. Join us to learn about the motivation for its design and get some details about how it works. You’ll also walk away with a few tips for how to write code that works well with the platform. … Continue reading Dalvik VM Internals

Dan Bornstein (Google)

Dalvik — the virtual machine with the unusual name — runs your code on Android. Join us to learn about the motivation for its design and get
some details about how it works. You’ll also walk away with a few tips for how to write code that works well with the platform. Be prepared
for a deep dive into technical details. Questions encouraged!

Presentation Slides
Handouts

Go engine

Mastering the game of Go with deep neural networks and tree search David Silver, Aja Huang1, Chris J. Maddison, Arthur Guez, Laurent Sifre1, George van den Driessche, Julian Schrittwieser, Ioannis Antonoglou, Veda Panneershelvam, Marc Lanctot, Sander Dieleman, Dominik Grewe, John Nham, Nal Kalchbrenner, Ilya Sutskever, Timothy Lillicrap, Madeleine Leach1, Koray Kavukcuoglu, Thore Graepel1, Demis Hassabis … Continue reading «Go engine»

Mastering the game of Go with deep neural networks and tree search

David Silver, Aja Huang1, Chris J. Maddison, Arthur Guez, Laurent Sifre1, George van den Driessche, Julian Schrittwieser, Ioannis Antonoglou, Veda Panneershelvam, Marc Lanctot, Sander Dieleman, Dominik Grewe,
John Nham, Nal Kalchbrenner, Ilya Sutskever, Timothy Lillicrap, Madeleine Leach1, Koray Kavukcuoglu,
Thore Graepel1, Demis Hassabis

The game of Go has long been viewed as the most challenging of classic games for artificial intelligence owing to its enormous search space and the difficulty of evaluating board positions and moves. Here we introduce a new approach to computer Go that uses ‘value networks’ to evaluate board positions and ‘policy networks’ to select moves. These deep neural networks are trained by a novel combination of supervised learning from human expert games, and reinforcement learning from games of self-play. Without any lookahead search, the neural networks play Go at the level of stateof-the-art Monte Carlo tree search programs that simulate thousands of random games of self-play. We also introduce a new search algorithm that combines Monte Carlo simulation with value and policy networks. Using this search algorithm,our program AlphaGo achieved a 99.8% winning rate against other Go programs, and defeated the human European Go champion by 5 games to 0. This is the first time that a computer program has defeated a human professional player in the full-sized game of Go, a feat previously thought to be at least a decade away.

https://intelligence.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Superintelligence-Readers-Guide-early-version.pdf

The challenge is daunting. In 1994, machines took the checkers crown, when a program called Chinook beat the top human. Then, three years later, they topped the chess world, IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer besting world champion Garry Kasparov. Now, computers match or surpass top humans in a wide variety of games: Othello, Scrabble, backgammon, poker, even Jeopardy. But not Go. It’s the one classic game where wetware still dominates hardware.

An interview with Martin Müller

David Ormerod: To start with please tell us a bit about yourself and your research interests. How did you learn of Go and how did you become involved in computer Go?

martin mueller computer go picture

Martin Müller: I am a professor in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

My research interests are in heuristic search, studying how to solve large, complex problems using computer searches.

The main application areas studied in my research group are games such as Go, and automated planning.

In recent years, Monte Carlo search methods have been our main focus – both for games and for planning. As part of my game-related activities, I am the leader of the team developing the open source software Fuego, which was the first program to defeat a top professional in an even game on 9×9.

I learned Go when I was 15 years old and played a lot in my teens and early twenties. I am a 5, 6 or 7 Dan amateur player, depending on the country. My biggest success was probably taking 2nd place at the US Go congress open tournament in 1998.

I became interested in computer Go as an undergraduate in my home country of Austria, through my supervisor. This was around 1985. I have stayed with the topic ever since, doing a Diploma thesis, a PhD and a few postdocs, before getting my current job.

What’s Monte Carlo?

Most people with any interest at all in computer Go know that the strongest programs these days use a ‘Monte Carlo’ algorithm, but many people don’t know much more about it than that.

Could you briefly explain where the term Monte Carlo came from and what it means in this context?

The term Monte Carlo refers to an affluent suburb of Monaco which is famous for its Casino. Monte Carlo methods use statistics collected from randomized simulations as a way to analyze complex systems which are too hard to ‘solve’ by other means.

They were first developed for nuclear physics and atomic bomb research in the 1940s. Nowadays they are very widely used, but their application to games such as Go took off just a few years ago.

Now that computers are powerful enough, Monte Carlo methods are used across a wide variety of disciplines.

For example, I’ve used them at work to help with risk analysis. It’s often difficult to explain to people why this approach works though, because it seems so counterintuitive at first.

Do you have a good analogy to explain how a large enough number of random simulations can provide a useful answer to a question?

Statistical sampling, which is at the core of Monte Carlo methods, is a very powerful technique.

For example, think about opinion polls. Any single random person who you ask about their opinion may be completely crazy, but if you ask one thousand people, who are carefully selected to represent the overall population, then you get quite a good idea of the general mood and can use that to make informed decisions.

This is why we keep getting more and more of those pesky phone calls doing surveys at dinner time!

How computer Go programs improved

It’s been more than five years since UCT (an extension of Monte Carlo search) was first applied to Go, but the strongest programs were still at the kyu level not that long ago (at least on 19×19 boards).

In contrast, the strongest programs these days are dan level and they seem relatively sharp, even in tactical situations.

To what extent do they make use of heuristics for shape, tesuji, life and death, the opening and so on?

Many programs use learned local patterns such as 3×3 for simple shape, and they modify the playouts to avoid some bad tactical moves.

Also, when there is a single important fight going on, the full board search will be able to analyze it quite deeply, and do well in the tactics. The problems start when there are several fights going on at the same time.

For the opening, some programs simply use large scale patterns to imitate popular openings played by human experts. But usually those are not absolute rules. These moves simply get a bonus, but the search can override them. So it is better than the hard coded ‘expert systems’ of the 1980s.

What other changes and improvements have helped computers get to their current mid-dan level on larger boards since then?

I think many factors are involved. Better patterns and rules as above, better search, better parallel scaling, several years of testing, debugging and tuning the programs, and better hardware all help.

What are the pros and cons of combining a knowledge based approach with a Monte Carlo approach?

Crazy Stone is a program that plays the game of Go (Weiqi, Baduk), by Rémi Coulom.

It is one of the first computer Go programs to utilize a modern variant of the Monte-Carlo tree search. It is part of the Computer Go effort. In January 2012 Crazy Stone was rated as 5 dan on KGS, in March 2014 as 6 dan.

Coulom began writing Crazy Stone in July 2005, and at the outset incorporated the Monte Carlo algorithm in its design. Early versions were initially available to download as freeware from his website, albeit no longer.[2] Pattern recognition and searching was added in 2006, and later that year Crazy Stone took part in its first tournament, winning a gold medal in the 9×9 competition at the 11th Computer Olympiad.[2] Coulom subsequently entered the program into the 12th Computer Olympiad the following year, winning bronze in the 9×9 and silver in the 19×19 competitions.

However, Crazy Stone’s most significant accomplishment was to defeat Kaori Aoba, a professional Japanese 4 dan, in an 8-stone handicap match in 2008. In doing so, the engine became the first to officially defeat an active professional in Japan with a handicap of less than nine stones. Three months later, on 12 December 2008, Crazy Stone defeated Aoba again in a 7-stone match.[3]

In March 2013, Crazy Stone beat Yoshio Ishida, Japanese honorary 9-dan, in a 19×19 game with four handicap stones.[4]

On March 21, 2014, at the second annual Densei-sen competition, Crazy Stone defeated Norimoto Yoda, Japanese professional 9-dan, in a 19×19 game with four handicap stones by a margin of 2.5 points.

Crazy Stone computer Go program defeats Ishida Yoshio 9 dan with 4 stones

Crazy Stone, a computer Go program by Rémi Coulom, defeated Ishida Yoshio9p with a four stone handicap, as part of the inaugural Denseisen at the 6thComputer Go UEC Cup in Japan (March 20, 2013).

The Computer vs the computer

It was an ironic showdown between the computer and ‘The Computer’.

Ishida was nicknamed ‘The Computer’ in his prime, because of the accuracy of his counting and endgame skills.

Ishida Yoshio

Ishida Yoshio picture

Born in 1948, Ishida is now 64 years old.

However, back in the 70s, Ishida won the prestigious Honinbotitle for an impressive five consecutive years, making him one of the top players of that era.

After the game, Ishida said that he thought the program was a ‘genius’ and marvelled at the calmness and flexibility of its moves.


Zen is a strong Go engine by an individual Japanese programmer Yoji Ojima (cluster parallelism is added by Hideki Kato). On KGS several bots run engine maintaining ranks between 3d and 5d: Zen19, Zen19b, Zen19D and Zen19n. Zen was the first bot to hold a KGS 3d rating for more than 20 rated games in a row, and a blitz version seems to be holding 5 dan ratings in 2011. It was also the first to hold a 2d and 1d rating for more than 20 games, respectively. Hardware used to run Zen19 on KGS: Mac Pro 8 core, Xeon 2.26GHz.

It won the 2009 Computer Olympiad in Pamplona, Spain, running on the slowest hardware among the competitors. It also won the 2011 Olympiad in Tilburg.

Zen was released commercially under the name Tencho no Igo Zenith Go on 18 September 2009. Version 2 release on August 27, 2010 and version 3 release on 30 September 2011. Website for the software (Japanese) [ext] http://soft.mycom.co.jp/pcigo/tencho3/index.html

See latest go software updates for current version information.


In 2011, several different experiments of Zen started playing on KGS:

Name Rating Time Hardware KGS Archive
Zen19N 4D 20 Minutes + 30 seconds Byo-Yomi Mac Pro 8 cores, Xeon 2.26 GHz [ext] Zen19N
Zen19B 5D 15 seconds per move Mac Pro 8 cores, Xeon 2.26 GHz [ext] Zen19B
Zen19D 6D 15 seconds per move Mini-cluster of 6 PCs [ext] Zen19D
Zen19S 5D 20 Minutes + 30 seconds Byo-Yomi Mini-cluster of 6 PCs [ext] Zen19S
Zen19 5D 15 seconds per move [ext] Zen19

The only version active in 2014 has been Zen19S

YouTube 2014

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Noam Chomsky visits Google

Published on Apr 8, 2014 Professor Noam Chomsky visits Google Cambridge to answer the following questions from Googlers: 1. Your early view of the potential abuse of the Internet as a political medium seemed to convey a wait and see … Continue reading

Published on Apr 8, 2014

Professor Noam Chomsky visits Google Cambridge to answer the following questions from Googlers:

1. Your early view of the potential abuse of the Internet as a political medium seemed to convey a wait and see attitude. How has your view evolved and where do you think the balance of power is headed?2:43

2. What is the most interesting insight the science of Linguistics has revealed but that the public at large seems not to know about or appreciate? 13:00

3. In “Hopes and Prospects” you mention your colleague Kenneth Hale and his work with Native Americans. In your opinion, how important is the problem of language extinction? That is, how important is it – for humanity to preserve the current level of linguistic diversity? 18:03

4. Can you comment on the contribution of research in statistical natural language processing to linguistics? 30:00

5. What, in your opinion, are the most effective strategies for building a more just and peaceful world? And in your view, what are the most significant takeaways from Occupy, the Arab Spring, and the Ukrainian “Euromaidan” uprising? 35:11

6. In “Hopes and Prospects” you compare Obama with Bush2. It’s 4 years later now. What would you say today? 41:39


Blogger and Google Docs

  BLOGGER: LINKING TO A PDF OR WORD DOCUMENT IN A POST Blogger does not have a File Manager.  Instead, you can use a free service from Google called Google Docs (http://docs.google.com). http://www.blogsbyheather.com/2009/01/blogger-linking-to-a-pdf-or-word-document-in-a-post.html

 

BLOGGER: LINKING TO A PDF OR WORD DOCUMENT IN A POST

Blogger does not have a File Manager.  Instead, you can use a free service from Google called Google Docs (http://docs.google.com).

http://www.blogsbyheather.com/2009/01/blogger-linking-to-a-pdf-or-word-document-in-a-post.html