Sunday, September 24, 2006

My brain was out for some fun in Southamerica

It's always great to get together with all my old friends from Uruguay.
Other than the personal friends, which I always love to see, I had some great technology related conversations.
During the event, I got to pick on Gustavo Moreira's brain in multiple conversations on Artificial Intelligence, we talked about rule based systems, decision making systems and neural nets as well. He pointed to Weka as an open source tool for data mining and other AI subjects. I definitely need to look into it. After taking to him I came up with a better idea on how to combine rules and bayesian networks for the memory assistant project that still obsesses me. (I'll post an entry with an example of how it'd work soon).
My last night I went to Italo's home (we stayed up to 6:00am, luckily I could sleep on my way back to California on Thu). I got plenty of philosophic ecstasy. Ernesto our dear friend from high school times joined us and Maria from Spain who was visiting Italo was there as well. Italo met Maria when he was doing his Doctor degree in Mechanical Physics in Spain couple years ago. Maria is more into the chemical engineering thing but she's very broad. Ernesto is into IT as well. We covered sooo many subjects from macro-economics, to neural nets, to evolution (a classic). It was awesome. Italo recommended the book "Shiva's dance" by Grompone, got it but not read it yet. At one point the three of them got me against the net in a discussion about how kids today don't know how to do math anymore and they just rely on a calculator. I was arguing that we need to find another way to teach logic to kids other than math alone. It would be cool to introduce some basic pure logic and fun programming to kids in their early years. This reminds me of Alejandro Panizza's blog about teaching his kid Squeak. I got to get back to this as well ... Nicole will love it ...

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