My Guest Today

Today I’m joined by cancer researcher, robotics enthusiast, and long-time friend of mine Daniel Snider.

  1. In December 2018 Dan gave 2 talks. The videos are not public but the slides are here:

    1. Reinforcement learning at Toronto Machine Learning Summit:
    2. Standardization of software platforms at PyCon Canada:
  2. Robot Operating System (ROS): middleware that standardizes (many aspects of) writing code for robots. Standards make life easier and let you focus on bigger things. Imagine if US gas stations had a nozzle that was incompatible with your car! I often take for granted that almost everything builds upon some kind of standard.

  3. We speak about computer-controlled, instead of human-controlled, factory machinery. I learned it’s properly known as “numerical control”.

  4. The metric system has been around since the 1700s and was the basis for the International System of Units (SI) that we use today.

  5. We speak about TCP/IP, one of the underpinnings of almost all computers networks, including the Internet. These 2 protocols are the result of the US Department of Defense funding and research. Linus Tech Tips released a great video (~4min) explaining them.

  6. Japan in the 1960s distrusted foreigners, but they wanted to build railways, so they contracted experts to teach their own people how to do it. Japan later lead the world in kilometers of high-speed rail for 30 years.

  7. High speed rail by country since 1976: not including China and including China. Source

  8. The blood vessels in human eyes are on top of your photo-sensitive cells. Guillaume Riesen did a great video explaining this (8 minutes).

  9. Dan speaks about a patient with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and how in this case scientists were able to narrow down exactly what generic mutation caused it in this particular patient.

  10. We speak about Basic Income.

  11. What is LSTM? Recurrent Neural Networks can be composed of Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) units. Some introductory links: from skymind and from Chris Olah of Toronto Hacklab

  12. A geodesic dome looks like this (photo by epicxero).

  13. I want a robot that can deliver beer to me while I’m on the couch. Definitely inspired by the beer launching fridge.

  14. SenseAct: A computational framework for real-world robot learning tasks.

  15. We speak about OpenAI’s massive accomplishment in teaching a robot hand to manipulate a cube using reinforcement learning. Cold Fusion did a great video about this.

  16. You can download a full copy of Wikipedia and it will fit on your phone. Our access to information has never been greater in human history! You simply choose how you want the data.

  17. Daniel talks highly of the website which is the average time someone spends on their career. Created in part by academics at Oxford, this site is packed with science-based articles and they even have a podcast.

  18. Automated buffer overflow exploit generation is apparently not a thing I could find :( I remember hearing this idea from DEFCON 24’s Cyber Grand Challenge CTF tournament where automated systems hack into each other’s services while trying to keep their own from being hacked.