Tag: google+

15 Feb 2016

True Artificial Intelligence Closer to Reality

I, for one, welcome our new computer overlord.

I’ve seen enough movies to know that an Artificial Intelligence will rule the planet some day. While these usually end up going pretty poorly for humans (The Matrix, Terminator), I’m hoping that a pro-AI article (most likely being read by the AI) will allow me a position in the new world order. Perhaps bloomfield knoble can be the agency promoting the excellence and benevolence of our wise, yet still humble, AI ruler?

Why the sudden shift on the AI spectrum? It’s because the evil geniuses at Google DeepMind, along with equally evil geniuses at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) at the University of Montreal, have created a machine that beat the European champion at the ancient game of Go and mastered several video games from the Atari 2600. While that may not seem a huge deal (I mean, really, Space Invaders wasn’t that challenging – I totally mastered it after 3 years of constant play), the face that the team just created an artificial intelligence that can navigate 3D mazes (think Doom) is.

According to a recently published article, the team proposes “a conceptually simple and lightweight framework for deep reinforcement learning that uses asynchronous gradient descent for optimization of deep neural network controllers. The best performing method, an asynchronous variant of actor-critic . . . succeeds on a wide variety of continuous motor control problems as well as on a new task involving finding rewards in random 3D mazes using a visual input.” In plain language, they just invented a machine that can play a game by looking at the screen. This really should be written like, JUST BY LOOKING AT THE SCREEN!

From a science perspective, this is a big deal because it was generally believed that the combination of simple online reinforcement learning algorithms with deep neural networks was fundamentally unstable. Most research in this area focused on the idea that the sequence of observed data encountered by an online reinforcement learning agent is non-stationary and online reinforcement learning updates are strongly correlated. By storing the agent’s data in an experience replay memory, the data can be batched or randomly sampled from different time-steps. Aggregating over memory in this way reduces non-stationarity and decor relates updates, but at the same time limits the methods to off-policy refinfocement learning algorithms. The authors instead present a very different paradigm for deep reinforcement learning. Instead of experience replay, they asynchronously execute multiple agents in parallel, on multiple instances of the environment. This parallelism also decor relates the agents’ data into a more stationary process, since at given time-step the parallel agents will be experiencing a variety of different states. This simple idea enables a much larger spectrum on fundamental on-policy reinforcement learning algorithms to be applied robustly and effectively using deep neural networks.

From a still-kind-of-science-but-what-does-that-mean-to-me perspective, this is a big deal because the results show that stable training of neural networks through reinforcement learning is possible with both value-based and policy-based methods, off-policy as well as on-policy methods, and in discrete as well as continuous domains. The experiments tested for the paper were just to show the proof of their concept. By combining other existing reinforcement learning methods or recent advances in deep reinforcements learning with asynchronous framework presents many possibilities for immediate improvements to the methods they presented. Basically, the team just made AI go from a pre-teen to a teenager and gave the blueprint for how it can head off to college to grow into a gracious and generous AI ruler who remembers, and rewards, the people that spoke positively about it during it’s awkward stages of puberty.

PS – In analyzing the data results in the paper, several data points were measured against a human (how well the human scored vs. the machine plotted over time) and it occurred to me that someone’s job at Google DeepMind is to play Atari 2600 video games for many, many hours on end. This really should be written like, GETS TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES. On the incredibly off-chance that anyone at Google DeepMind reads this, please keep me in mind for future reinforcement learning projects that involve humans playing video games. I assure you that I will put in as many hours as necessary to help you in the name of science. Thank you.


 About The Author

thomas-thompson-headshot

A STEM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) graduate and COO of bloomfield knoble, Thomas exemplifies the view that advertising is becoming an engineering discipline. He leads the integrated insights and strategic planning group in a way consistent with bloomfield knoble’s goal of bringing a strong analytical foundation to uncover fresh and innovative insights and business opportunities.
Connect With Thomas J Thompson
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

29 Apr 2014
Google+-blocked-01

Is the Writing on the Facebook Wall (er, Newsfeed) for Google+?

When Google+ first launched, my feelings about it were more or less the same feelings I have about another Star Wars movie. I feel like I should get behind it and try to support it because it seems like a good production team, and I do love the others that came before it. However, I couldn’t help but ask, “Is it really necessary?”

Google_StarWars_Droids
These Stormtroopers – and you – may soon not be able to log in to their Google+ accounts.

With Google+ reportedly raising the white flag and disseminating its team into other parts of the company, Google has admitted what most of the world knew all along: there’s just not room for another major social network in people’s lives.

Many of us were skeptical of the odds of success for Google+ from the get-go. Simply put, it was just too similar to Facebook. Honestly, everyone had invested so much time and energy to build Facebook friends, photo galleries, groups and more, why would anyone jump ship? Or why would anyone take the time to manage two major social networks?

Besides, in the meantime, another dynamic emerged. It gets a little old seeing photo after photo of other people’s vacations, food and babies. Interacting and posting on your Facebook account has become something of a chore for many users. Hence, the rise of Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other more immediate, hit-and-run style social networks.

Using Facebook – and Google+ – requires users to invest time that the other social platforms do not. To Facebook’s credit, users spend much more time on Facebook than any other site. The flip side of this for many is a certain level of exhaustion.

This exhaustion means that users rolled their eyes at the idea of logging in to another social site. Google tried to alleviate this hurdle by integrating Google+ with every single part of their ecosystem – YouTube, search, Gmail – so you couldn’t avoid it.

But people did avoid it. In fact, this integration often resulted in users needing to create new logins for platforms like YouTube – often inadvertently winding up with multiple accounts and, in some cases, no idea how to access the channel they had curated for years. Maybe I’m speaking from personal experience. Maybe I’m not. Either way, it wasn’t as seamless of a process as Google was hoping it would become.

Some companies jumped on it immediately and whole-heartedly. Indeed, somewhere out there, there’s a bloomfield knoble Google+ page, as well as one for all of our clients. It was a land-grab. But we adopted a wait-and-see approach on behalf of our clients because our assessment was that the platform needed to reach a critical user mass before it would be of any use to anybody or pose any semblance of a threat to Facebook.

I realize that created a chicken-and-egg scenario, but why waste our time and our clients’ time just for the sake of early adopter bragging rights?

Eventually, with Google favoring Google+ mentions in its search, that became the only reason to set up a page. That said, many felt like that was a form of bullying by a company increasingly becoming more involved in every aspect of our lives.

The point is, social media moves and changes fast. Even the established players like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn change interfaces, algorithms and design often enough that it can be hard for the every day user to keep up. (Did you know that within the last week both Facebook and Twitter made major updates to business management and design, respectively?)

Assessing these changes and the need to jump on board, and when – especially something huge like an entirely new platform – is key to making the most use of your resources. As Google possibly prepares to put Google+ out to pasture, our clients can look back and know we made the right recommendation to them. They asked and we responded to save some money and wait for the necessity. It paid off, literally.

Now let’s keep our fingers crossed about that Star Wars movie.

 


 About The Author

jeff-carrington-headshot

Thanks to the shortening of attention spans and his inability to finish a novel (phenomena that are unrelated, he assures us), Jeff Carrington has found the perfect job for himself as director of communications and social media at bloomfield knoble. When he’s not developing social strategies for clients in 140 characters or less, he’s tweeting about dive bars and dog parks, both of which he frequents with his Spitz-Terrier mix buddy, Ben, and other random humans.
Connect With Jeff Carrington
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

10 Jan 2012

Google+'s Much Needed Shot in the Arm

bloomfield knoble has been watching Google+ with a skeptical eye since its launch last summer. As we stated at the time, where do people have room in their lives for another social network? We still stand behind that statement. It’s not like Facebook is doing anything wrong. They’re not driving away the masses, making them clamor for another outlet on which to post their Farmville needs. In fact, Facebook just launched their most popular overhaul yet, the Timeline. So gaining a foothold has been hard for Google+.

(more…)

10 Jan 2012

Google+’s Much Needed Shot in the Arm

bloomfield knoble has been watching Google+ with a skeptical eye since its launch last summer. As we stated at the time, where do people have room in their lives for another social network? We still stand behind that statement. It’s not like Facebook is doing anything wrong. They’re not driving away the masses, making them clamor for another outlet on which to post their Farmville needs. In fact, Facebook just launched their most popular overhaul yet, the Timeline. So gaining a foothold has been hard for Google+.

(more…)

21 Sep 2011

The Epic Battle Begins

Now that Google has unchained Google+, it’s time to see which social media behemoth will win the ultimate social media cage match. Can the more experienced and deservedly self-assured Facebook ward off the young upstart with the cool new features?

Mashable has a good write up about the pending war between Circles and Newsfeeds.

Who do you think wins the war?

20 Jul 2011

A bloomfield knoble Opinion: Google+

What is the Impact of  Google+ for Businesses?

Overview:
bloomfield knoble, inc., continuously provides its clients positions and recommendations on the latest trends in social media, focusing on how best to implement those tools for their benefit.
Executive Summary:
Google+ is a social networking tool geared toward individuals making connections and communicating with each other, much like Facebook.

 

Position:

Google+, currently in invitation-only trial mode with approximately 20 million users, shows promise as a major social media destination in the future. It is bloomfield knoble, inc.’s, position that it will take at least one full year to build a user-base that can threaten Facebook’s dominant position in the market.

(more…)