Five short links


Photo by Brian Schoonover

Understanding genre in a collection of a million volumes – This project achieved 97% precision in identifying whether a book was poetry, prose, or non-fiction. Machines are never going to replace human scholars, but I know they can help them answer questions that would have been impossible to tackle in the past.

OpenAddresses – A wonderful resource for building geocoding tools, and one we’ve needed for a long time, I’m excited to see this collection growing.

Predicting Depth, Surface Normals and Semantic Labels with a Common Multi-Scale Convolutional Architecture – I know I’m a broken record on deep learning, but almost everywhere it’s being applied it’s doing better than techniques that people have been developing for decades. This example is particularly exciting because the results can be fed in to other image processing algorithms, it’s a big improvement in the foundations of our understanding of natural scenes.

Book Review: On the Road – Looking back on my reading growing up, I realize that the underlying appeal of a lot of books was a world where life would be easy, at least for the heroes and by extension me. I’ll always remember the review of Phillip K. Dick’s work that pointed out his protagonist always had jobs, and they were often pretty unglamorous, and how unusual that was in sci-fi.

It’s not an asshole problem – it’s a bystander problem – More food for thought from Cate Huston, talking about some practical ways for men to help our industry’s awful gender ratio without making a big song and dance of it.