The Five Weirdest Episodes of the AI Podcast in 2018

by Brian Caulfield

Think of it as a chance to rest your eyes up ahead of the New Year’s Day college football frenzy in front of that new big screen TV.

Simple story: our podcast does best when, and where, other media don’t — while listeners are trapped in a commute and catching up on the latest episode of Jack Ryan isn’t just dangerous, it’s illegal.

In other words, if it’s a slow time for you, it’s a slow time for our podcast. Still, if you’re tooling around town picking up supplies for New Year’s festivities, or just looking to stick in your earbuds and chill out amidst the bustle of the season, we’ve had more than a few episodes over the past year that entertain — as well as enlighten.

Sarcasm Detector Uses AI to Understand People at Their Funniest, Meanest

Sarcasm? On the internet? You’re kidding. But sarcasm is no joke. Long before today’s sentiment analysis systems struggled to accurately understand human communication, people struggled to understand one another’s sarcasm. Now, thanks to the work of Pushpak Bhattacharyya and his team, computers are beginning to understand one of humanity’s most challenging, and amusing, modes of communication.

This Astrophysics Grad Student Doesn’t Always Make Memes … But When He Does, He Uses Deep Learning

What’s a meme? And what makes a meme dank? Lawrence Pierson, a Ph.D. student in theoretical astrophysics at Stanford University, will answer these questions, and more. He’s the author of a paper detailing how he and a classmate built a neural network to generate memes. Some of them are even funny.

Cycle of DOOM Now Complete: Researchers Use AI to Generate New Levels for Seminal Video Game

DOOM, of course, is foundational to 3D gaming. 3D gaming, of course, is foundational to GPUs. GPUs, of course, are foundational to deep learning, which is, now — thanks to a team of Italian researchers, two of whom we’re bringing to you with this podcast — being used to make new levels for … DOOM.

A USB Port for Your Body? Startup Uses AI to Connect Medical Devices to Nervous System

Think of it as a USB port for your body. Emil Hewage is the co-founder and CEO at Cambridge Bio-Augmentation Systems, a neural engineering startup. The U.K. startup is building interfaces that use AI to help plug medical devices int our nervous systems. This is for real: CBAS was named one of the top startups at Y Combinator’s Winter ‘17 cohort by TechCrunch and won the top prize with accelerator MassChallenge UK 2015.

Good News About Fake News: AI Can Now Help Detect False Information

With “Fake News” embedding itself into, well, our news, it’s become more important than ever to distinguish between content that is fake or authentic. That’s why Vagelis Papalexakis, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Riverside, developed an algorithm that detects fake news with 75 percent accuracy.

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