Sibilant Snakelikes - exploring different game options with the basic "Snake" mechanic. Shadow of the Coloussus and Sensible Soccer were especially sssssmart!
Cool, animators brought to life the original Ralph McQuarrie art for The Star Wars - I think someone made a comic adaption of the original outlines too, but seeing things come to life is a trip. Interesting thoughts about when family's just had one "the computer" All my life, all the way back to the early 8 bits (Atari 800XL and Commodore 64) I cut my teeth on, my computing resources were just mine, an only child with non-techie parents. But there was a time, before the rise of the smartphone and cheap powerful laptops, when my main connection to the world of computing (online and off) had its own permanent deskspace - I came to It, it didn't wander around the house with me. Sometimes I see those lovely Apple iMacs and think about that time, when my computer was its own little shrine of sorts - crossing the boundary in space demarcated boundaries in time as well.
A Predictive Keyboard is trained on Harry Potter books and writes a new book in the series: Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash!
Back to vertical monitor land!
(though not my first trip to this rodeo 2011/10/20)
Just testin' out the camera on Melissa's best lil buddy...
"and if you see me first you say hello
and if i see you first i'll say hello"
How our housing choices make adult friendships more difficult Yarr. Sometimes I think my favorite post-college housing was "the big yellow house", 6 or 7 people, some in couples, sprinkled across 3 floors.
via and via
Some random thoughts:
- I was surprised that kids seem to prefer mice to touchpads
- especially in this particular class (4th grade) I was aware of how noisy and attention seeking some of the kids were, and saying things mostly just to look smart or similar - probably more aware because I'm pretty sure I was like that as a kid. And it was mostly just boys, which might be problematic.
- I was happy to see the enthusiasm for checking out books. (the lessons were in the library, serving as a computer lab of sorts)
- "The Paper Bag Princess" seems like it would be a bad story to read to folks living near the wildfires right now.
- Kids are more enthused by Pokemon / Digimon type stuff as a programming lesson theme than Wonder Woman or Star Wars (even though "Code Monsters" seemed buggier and more arbitrary than the other stuff)
- Most of these programming exercises focus on breaking tasks into step by step instructions - which is admittedly a critical part of programming - but I wish more were about ... like, making stuff? I.e. drawing on some kind of canvas vs programming a robot-ish thing. I'm not sure if it's inherently a more complex thing to teach (I guess "Logo" is the mix of those two) A "Star Wars" Hour of Code thing came closest, where rather than telling R2D2 what steps to take you learned event-driven programming and made a game of sorts, setting up a program that then let you drive R2D2 via the cursor keys.
AI AlphaGo Zero started from scratch to become best at Chess, Go and Japanese Chess within hours - This is pretty incredible stuff, and damn near my idea that "I'll be impressed when the same program that wins at Go wins at Chess, and for the same reasons."
I remember hearing about the core idea (setting a game-playing AI against a copy of itself to improve) used in Arthur Samuel's checker playing program back in the late-50s.
All the games AlphaGo Zero plays are "perfect information" games. I wonder how it would do with games of ambiguity and bluff and randomness, like Poker (or Stratego, even.) I suspect when you have a computer play a version of itself, you're vulnerable to the "hill climbing" problem (i.e. if you always head towards the highest ground NEAR you, you might end up stranded on a local high peak, but not the highest in the land) - that you get a certain type of genius at playing another certain type of genius, but vulnerable when playing a more wildcard player, and that vulnerability is increased if you don't know the full state of the game.
Of course, my favorite emergent chess program behavior remains the stories around Atari 2600 Video Chess; the screen would blank as the computer was "thinking", and sometimes when the board returned you'd find some pieces weren't quite where they were before...
UPDATE: better summary The future is here – AlphaZero learns chess