communication

2017 Will Be A Big Year For Artificial Intelligence

Jarvis AI

Earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg shared his thoughts on his most recent personal project, Jarvis, which is an AI program he created himself.  The note is a great read for anyone interested in artificial intelligence, or even those who have ever just been curious how Siri, Alexa, or their Google Assistant works.  

In the coming year, it seems there will be a lot of focus on making machines more intelligent.  Where the head of a technology company chooses to spend their time is often a good indication of where the resources under them will flow.  At Crushh, we're focused on the same thing, but with the specific goal of helping people understand each other.  There's a good amount of work to be done, and the challenges are well captured in Zuckerberg's own words below.  We're excited for the work ahead!

I’ve previously predicted that within 5-10 years we’ll have AI systems that are more accurate than people for each of our senses — vision, hearing, touch, etc, as well as things like language. It’s impressive how powerful the state of the art for these tools is becoming, and this year makes me more confident in my prediction.

At the same time, we are still far off from understanding how learning works. Everything I did this year — natural language, face recognition, speech recognition and so on — are all variants of the same fundamental pattern recognition techniques. We know how to show a computer many examples of something so it can recognize it accurately, but we still do not know how to take an idea from one domain and apply it to something completely different.

To put that in perspective, I spent about 100 hours building Jarvis this year, and now I have a pretty good system that understands me and can do lots of things. But even if I spent 1,000 more hours, I probably wouldn’t be able to build a system that could learn completely new skills on its own — unless I made some fundamental breakthrough in the state of AI along the way.

In a way, AI is both closer and farther off than we imagine. AI is closer to being able to do more powerful things than most people expect — driving cars, curing diseases, discovering planets, understanding media. Those will each have a great impact on the world, but we’re still figuring out what real intelligence is.
— Mark Zuckerberg

The Many Flavors of "Okay"

When ‘k’ isn’t okay...

It’s 2016, when ‘k’ is no longer ‘okay’ or even okay.  We’ve all been texting long enough now to know good texting is all about showing effort, so anything too short comes off as snippy.  Text ‘k’ to someone and be prepared for anything.

For those of you who aren’t fluent in the many flavors of ‘okay’, you might want to read on.

How someone reads your single word ‘k’, ‘ok’, ‘okay’ or ‘okay..’ text usually depends on the person.  So firstly, know your audience.  Generally, the younger the person you’re texting, the worse things sound.  Same rule applies the closer that person is to being a girl you’re wooing.  So, text “k” to a college-aged girl making date plans, and you could expect an internal diatribe like the one above.  On the other hand, text that to your middle-aged father and he’ll probably appreciate your succinctness.

There’s no surefire route through this minefield of potential miscommunication.  Much depends on personality and context, like what the exchange leading up to this conversation killer looked like.  But below are some rough translations…

That’s all for today’s lesson…mmkay?

5 Emojis We Need to Stop Using IMMEDIATELY

  1. “Face With Tears of Joy”
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What it is: Presumably, the face one makes after winning the lottery, or watching a particularly hilarious comedy, or whilst sobbing uncontrollably and under the influence of nitrous oxide.

Why it’s egregious: This is probably the most overused expression in the emoji canon. I’ve seen far too many unfunny memes, recycled text posts, and Vine compilations accompanied with some inane caption and an unending chain of these crying faces. When was the last time you honestly laughed so hard that you CRIED at the sight of a litter of puppies, or some twelve-year-old lip-syncing to hardcore rap, or some wannabe Wilt Chamberlain wiping out on the basketball court? This face is the poster child of lowbrow Internet humor. This face haunts my dreams. This face must not be used unironically in conversation with ANYONE, or your texting partner will be running for the hills. Branch out, people.

  1. “Information Desk Person”
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What it is: Surprisingly, a pseudo-secretary/receptionist type holding up an invisible tray of drinks, NOT a sassy bellhop or snarky woman intent on correcting your grammar. This young lady is engaging in some super fun pantomime!

Why it’s egregious: It’s blatantly misused. Far from an expression of flippancy or cheek, this emoji actually connotes a mindless willingness to serve that is totally antithetical to the self-reliance associated with White Girl Sass. I would avoid using it casually over text, lest your texting partner call you out for being too "basic" or "servile." Unless you meant to say, "How may I help you?," steer clear of this tired cliché.

  1. “Weary Face”
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What it is: An expression of tiredness, dissatisfaction, and/or grief. Its pain resonates almost viscerally. I want to give it a hug, and tell it that it's all going to be fine.

Why it’s egregious: Like the aforementioned crying/happy face, this old chestnut is overused as accompaniment to generally unfunny web content. Its misuse has been so widespread that Weary Face has now become associated with a highly charged sensual pleasure. We all have that one friend who can't post, tweet, or text about pleasures ranging from chicken nuggets, to devil's food cake to Kate Upton without tacking this face on, too. Its cries have become your yearning moans. Terrifying. Make it stop.

  1. “See-No-Evil Monkey”
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What it is: Mizaru, the first of the three wise monkeys/mystic apes. If you're into Japanese maxims or don't live under a rock where no capital-C Culture can possibly reach you, you're probably well acquainted with this willfully blind macaque.

Why it’s egregious: It's constantly being used to represent a mushy unwillingness to not look at or admit to something. ("I'm such a fragile little creature; I don't want to see that!") Not only will your texting partner immediately call you out on your tackiness upon incorrectly using our old pal Mizaru, but you'll end up feeling like a fool. There is nothing endearing about a misuse of a Japanese proverb just so you could feel cute for a hot second.

  1. “Clinking Beer Mugs”
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What it is: The Convergence of the Twain: two beer steins become one. The happiest of unions. The consummation of a toast, no doubt. A light "ding" for the ages. Both cups runneth over with foam. Cheers indeed.

Why it’s egregious: Usually people text me this emoji even though I know they're just drinking alone. Sad. Avoid such an impulse; be truthful with your texting partner and send them the solitary Beer Mug instead.

Happy texting, and don't forget to #GetCrushhed!