Google wants Voice Search to master the Tower of Babel. So Linne Ha travels the world, gathering the language samples used to train it.
TRUTH is hard to come by, as personal lives and politics readily illustrate. Since science lays claim to providing some form of truth, it is bound to draw criticism on that count. Surprisingly, one of the sharpest attacks came from within, and from one of the giants, Harvard University's Stephen Jay Gould.
The Incas never developed the arch, either—another common hallmark of civilization—yet the temples of Machu Picchu, built on a rainy mountain ridge atop two fault lines, still stand after more than 500 years while the nearby city of Cusco has been leveled twice by earthquakes. The Inca equivalent of the arch was a trapezoidal shape [...]
How many of Einstein’s 300 plus papers were peer reviewed? According to the physicist and historian of science Daniel Kennefick, it may well be that only a single paper of Einstein’s was ever subject to peer review. That was a paper about gravitational waves, jointly authored with Nathan Rosen, and submitted to the journal Physical [...]
A great quote from a hugely influential paper:
"Some reviewers of this paper felt that the message was "rather nihilistic," and suggested that it would be much improved if I could present a simple and robust method that obviated the need to have an accurate knowledge of phylogeny. I entirely sympathize, but do not have [...]
The story of the evolution of modern humans can be a bit confusing, species-wise, with many early hominins co-existing without an obvious linear succession. But, geographically, all the action has appeared to take place in Africa, at least until the appearance of Homo erectus, which left Africa and spread globally, only to be replaced by [...]
In the first century AD, a Greek geographer and historian named Strabo noted that a peninsula just south of Athens called Piraeus had, at one time in the past, been an island. It's unusual for landforms to change so quickly that humans can take notice, even over generations, so that's a pretty interesting claim. The [...]
What is a statistical model?
How successful are statistical language models?
Is there anything like their notion of success in the history of science?
What doesn't Chomsky like about statistical models?
In this essay I will consider each question in turn, and atempt to show that statistical, probabilistic models are not only [...]
A few years ago, when I was still teaching at Yale, I was approached by a student who was interested in going to graduate school. She had her eye on Columbia; did I know someone there she could talk with? I did, an old professor of mine. But when I wrote to arrange the introduction, [...]