Everybody’s working for the weekend. Me, I’m working for what What I’ve Been Reading.

  • The future of artificial intelligence is “deep learning,” where an AI is given large amounts of data to learn from. We could train AIs using real-world data, but the real world is harder to control and characterize. The solution: get AI to play video games! (Courtesy of Jake Muncy of Wired.)
  • Meagan Fitzpatrick of CBC News writes about Andreas Rutkauskas, a photographer who travelled along the U.S.-Canada border, taking photos of obscure points along it. Surprisingly, the border guards were quite friendly to him.
  • Wolfman_J of Source Gaming discusses the “canon” of Nintendo games, especially the Mario franchise. They argue that “canon” does not necessarily encompass nor is encompassed by narrative continuity; it’s rather a somewhat subjective notion of what “matters” to the franchise. Perhaps the Zelda Timeline is the wrong approach.
  • Finally, Emmett Rensin of Vox has a lengthy piece on smugness in American liberalism. I don’t endorse the entirety of the piece, and I certainly think satire and ridicule are useful tools. However, I agree wholeheartedly that mockery is not sufficient for effecting social change; in particular, mockery isn’t a substitute for help.

That’s all for now. See you next week!