And they say there's shortage of time...

What a waste! Here we are, back at college after a month long hiatus, and now that we do attend our classes religiously...all we get is useless blabber over Reflection by Electromagnetic "Babes" & their various intensities and frequencies!!

This is taking it's toll on our nerves now. It's almost gonna be May, in a few days. The 4th years need to join their companies by June & even their immediate juniors need to complete their summer trainings. Each & every semester's behind the academic calendar by a minimum of 25 working days. And as if all these aren't enough to bruise our asses, there's this 45°C+ heat in this god-forsaken town 0of Jamshedpur. None of us has a clue when we're supposed to appear for the papers and how long are we gonna get to study for them. To top it all, there're practicals, vivas & submissions too. Good Lord, Save us all!!

Snaps & Videos regarding our college liaison with the 'jhingalala' crowd from the surrounding slums are still pending. I'm sure you're gonna get amused to your wit's end when you check us out actually dodging the poisoned arrows cannonballed by the angry tribals. I know, you're itching for a detailed account of what exactly had happened out here. But, I plan to serve out the scoops only after the pictures are here.

Well anyways, the Electromagnetic "Babes" period's almost over and the prof's walking towards the dais, for attendance. Will surely try to write again, as soon as I can make it.

Just 10 things....

Hmm...the time's finally here to be back to college. Won't say I'm too happy, but neither am I too sad. Anyways, just before I left, I thought why not list out a few things about me, just a way of introspection. Do lemme know what you think about these.

10 things I intend to do:
  • Attend classes a li'l more regularly.
  • Be a li'l more diligent in keeping this beloved page of mine updated!
  • Give Dr.Saxena (my ex-HOD) a whack on his back before I get to leave this college.
  • Get a job, so that at least I don't need to ask Dad for money to call up my gf.
  • Create a library of my all time fav English, Hindi n Bong movies.
  • Vanish my ugly double chin.
  • Coax Dad to buy me a comp before next semester.
  • Get my gf a nice li'l present on our 2nd year anniversary. (I couldn't gv her anything on the 1st year & it ached my heart so very much. And all this just 'coz of shortage of funds, Yuck!!)
  • Be good to my parents and give them at least one chance in their lifetime to be very proud of me.
  • Last but never the least, I wanna adhere to each of the above 9 points, as strictly as I can manage!!
10 things I suppose I can do :
  • Hog, hog & hog. You wanna order all the eye candy you can get while I'm accompanying you to any restaurant. Trust me, I won't let your money go waste ;-)
  • Rake up at least 8 CGPA in my next sem.
  • Keep typing hundreds of lines of scary looking code, day & night, provided I get paid good.
  • Play WarCraft & Condition Zero day in & day out, without any need for sleep or rest.
  • Sleep for hours at end. Seriously, if I ever get into the mood of sleeping, I hope u can afford a big enuff band baaja to make me wake up n do some productive work.
  • Write an Autobiography that can rake in quite some money. Seriously, so much has happened in my 20 years of life, I can easily create a minimum of 500 pages of book, with not a single page being drag.
  • Behave in such a way that'll compel almost everybody around me curse in every language you might be able to come across, in this subcontinent.
  • Pass really saucy comments at the gals in my college ;-)
  • Be the most diplomatic guy you've ever met in your life.
  • Love my comp more than I love myself.
10 things I think I can't do :
  • Stay off the internet.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Eat Neem leaves (despite Ma harrowing me on it's huge benefits).
  • Be as romantic as my gal would love me to be.
  • Change the Indian Education System. Despite me being an ardent lover of my country, I hate the system.
  • Be a politician.
  • Spend a day without Heavy Metal.
  • Sing.
  • Stop flirting.
  • Understand the psychology of Women.
10 words I use most :
  • Well...
  • Hmmm...
  • Whatever.
  • What the fuck?
  • May the Devil forbid.
  • I guess.
  • HeHe
  • Wassup?
  • Sweetheart
  • Bloody Bastard
Well, that is it for now, I guess. It was much tougher than I'd expected. Had to think up so bloody much. My grey cells are too tired. I think I'll stop now. Do wish me Bon Voyage..!!

Me - The Eccentric..!!! me, it's no microscopic pic of Spirogyra and neither is it Volvox algae. Coming to layman terms, it's actually just a small plant in my house that I'd clicked with the cam's lense all buried into the leaves, switched off all the surrounding lights and got the night vision on. And well, here's the final effect for you..!!

I'm sure it's a bit easy for you to guess. Yup, they're the pins, all stuck into my stapler. Don't ask me, even I don't know how the idea suddenly struck me :-p !!

I just hope you don't cringe when I tell you what this one actually is :-) It's actually the drain mouth of my bathroom's sink!! LoL...!!!

This one's pretty simple. It's just the torch of my mobile, NOKIA 1108!!!!

Nah...this is no hill station...just a par of this year's Indian Railways Time Table. HeHe...I'm sure I got you on that..!!!

Okay, I won't say what this one is. I leave it on to you to figure it out. (Seriously, I'm just tryin to encourage you to leave something in my page after you go through it. Even a simple word of appreciation soars my adrenaline level sky high!)

This is no Canine's teeth, just the teeth of one of hundreds of humble air clips that belong to Ma! ;-)

And now...the best for the last! I'm sure I don't need to elaborate on what this one actually is, do I??

50% Reservations - No, that's not for the Trains!

Well...for the uninitiated, the MHRD plans to hike the reservation of seats for the "backward classes" (that is, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes & other backward classes) upto 50%. They feel these minority sections of the society are the most undeprivileged and they certainly need a boost by the government to move ahead in their lives!

Well...I have a query here. Why the hell do the folks belonging these so called backward sections need to improve their own lives if they continue to get such obscene level of helping hand from the Government? I mean, c'mon...give the rest of the crowd a break! They've been offered reservations from time immemorial and yet, if they need some more to climb the social ladder, do youreally think they're really worth this advantage?

Okay, exactly what class of people are we trying to help, out here? Is it the underprivileged or the lower economic class or the ones who've already established temselves in the society? Underprivileged - how do we really classify who's underprivleged and who isn't? Is it their social position or the economic condition or how important they are in alloting votes? I agree, owing to reservations, this so called "backward secton" has risen to a much greater level..but isn't that enough? I think it's high time we left casteism behind our back and moved ahead. Let's face it guys, it's hardly helping the society in general. C' know what sorta feeling I'm getting? That the government has divided the very country into 2 sections, one's the forward section & the other backward class. And each of these classes has been given 50% of space to live in their motherland. One must know which half you belong to and better take care not to intrude in the other. This is so bloody incredulous!

I know, this topic is subjected to a very heavy debate whether reservations should b present or not. But here what I'm trying to get into the light is the question whether an obscene 50% reservation's required for the upliftment of the backward sections of the society. I feel the real backward sections of our society are the ones who still have to strive insanely just to have their meals twice a day, they r the ones who can't afford even the most basic neccessities of living. And don't you think such a section doesn't belong to just the so called government stamped backward class but also among the rest? Don't you think it'd have been more feasible and practical if our esteemes government could arrange for financial aids for the needy, built more institutes and tried to market education in the rural sections much fiercer to help the oneswho really need it? Do they think my next door Mr. Marandi, who probably earns 3lacs ina year and drives a Toyota Corrola, needs reservatios for his son to get admitted into a reputed college? Does the government feel that my friend Akshay, who had 3 laptops in his family of four and whom I've never seen coming to school in any transport other than a car, actually deserved the reservations 'coz of which he got Electronics & Telecommunication in NIT Trichy, with an all India rank of 1.2lacs and I deserved to be doing Electrical Engineering in NIT, Jamshedpur with an all India rank of 3,600? Is this what our elected officials call justice for the society?

Brain drain had always been a serious problem for India. Previously, the best of the minds used to go out to work 'coz of higher salaries and better prospects. Such a scenario could be made a thing of past by emerging of MNCs in the country and the standard salary increasing manifold. However, now it seems brain drain's now gonna be much more rampant owing to shortage of seats in the premier institutes such a law is gonna result to. But then again, I guess the government doesn't really care much about that. All they need is votes for their fast drying up vote bank. Kudos to you, mr Arjun Singh. Bravo for taking such an awesome move!

My Love..!!

My Painting!

Hmm...the other day I was just looking at this vase when it suddenly made me remember those preteen years of mine. I still remember it pretty vividly. I was in 7th standard then. I had enrolled myself for the elementary grade state level drawing exam. Alongwith me were two of my best friends, Swapnil Patwa & Arpa Mukhopadhyay. After our class got over, Swapnil asked me to leave with him, but since Arpa had some work in the school, I lied that I had to meet some other teacher and left behind. Now, I wasn't in love with Arpa. Afterall, it was just the time when people start taking interest in the opposite sex. I just liked her & always used to try to be with her as much as I could. Okay okay, I was just infatuated with her. Anyways, while I was waiting for Arpa to return, I just had to pass time. I was scourging my bag when I suddenly found a card Dad had gotten from some colleague. I just took it out, took out my brush and the black chinese ink I had and started to paint. Seriously, I didn't even know how the bloody time passed away. It took me around an hour to finish the painting to my satisfaction and finally, there it was, the very same one you can see above!

Andyou wanna know something else? When I actually returned to my senses...I realised Arpa was long gone! And that very incident made me realise how much I loved to draw. HeHe..!! However, although I did coninue painting till my 10th grade...even organised exhibitions & sales...but had to finally leave it due to time shortage & my new found love in computers!! Welcome to modern age, folks!!!

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is defined as intelligence exhibited by an artificial entity. Such a system is generally assumed to be a computer.

Although AI has a strong science fiction connotation, it forms a vital branch of computer science, dealing with intelligent behavior, learning and adaptation in machines. Research in AI is concerned with producing machines to automate tasks requiring intelligent behavior. Examples include control, planning and scheduling, the ability to answer diagnostic and consumer questions, handwriting, speech, and facial recognition. As such, it has become a scientific discipline, focused on providing solutions to real life problems. AI systems are now in routine use in economics, medicine, engineering and the military, as well as being built into many common home computer software applications, traditional strategy games like computer chess and other video games.

Schools of Thought

AI divides roughly into two schools of thought: Conventional AI and Computational Intelligence (CI).

Conventional AI mostly involves methods now classified as machine learning, characterized by formalism and statistical analysis. This is also known as symbolic AI, logical AI, neat AI and Good Old Fashioned Artificial Intelligence (GOFAI). (Also see semantics.) Methods include:
  • Expert systems: apply reasoning capabilities to reach a conclusion. An expert system can process large amounts of known information and provide conclusions based on them.
  • Case based reasoningBayesian networksBehavior based AI: a modular method of building AI systems by hand.
Computational Intelligence involves iterative development or learning (e.g. parameter tuning e.g. in connectionist systems). Learning is based on empirical data and is associated with non-symbolic AI, scruffy AI and soft computing. Methods mainly include:
  • Neural networks: systems with very strong pattern recognition capabilities.
  • Fuzzy systems: techniques for reasoning under uncertainty, has been widely used in modern industrial and consumer product control systems.
  • Evolutionary computation: applies biologically inspired concepts such as populations, mutation and survival of the fittest to generate increasingly better solutions to the problem. These methods most notably divide into evolutionary algorithms (e.g. genetic algorithms) and swarm intelligence (e.g. ant algorithms).
With hybrid intelligent systems attempts are made to combine these two groups. Expert inference rules can be generated through neural network or production rules from statistical learning such as in ACT-R.

A promising new approach called intelligence amplification tries to achieve artificial intelligence in an evolutionary development process as a side-effect of amplifying human intelligence through technology.

Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence

The strong AI vs. weak AI debate is still a hot topic amongst AI philosophers. This involves philosophy of mind and the mind-body problem. Most notably Roger Penrose in his book The Emperor's New Mind and John Searle with his "Chinese room" thought experiment argue that true consciousness can not be achieved by formal logic systems, while Douglas Hofstadter in Gödel, Escher, Bach and Daniel Dennett in Consciousness Explained argue in favour of Functionalism. In many strong AI supporters’ opinion, artificial consciousness is considered as the holy grail of artificial intelligence.

Ethical Issue of AI

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is a somewhat recent (1960s) development in computer science. If sentient AIs, as depicted in many science fiction movies, became real, many ethical problems would derive from that.
  • Could a computer simulate an animal or human brain in a way that the simulation should receive the same animal rights or human rights as the actual creature?
  • Under what preconditions could such a simulation be allowed to happen at all?
  • Wat are the possible criteria for a computer, whether it simulates a brain or not, to be considered sentient or sapient? Is the Turing test applicable?
  • Can a computer that must be considered sentient ever be turned off?
  • In order to be intelligent does AI need to replicate human thought, and if so, to what extent (eg. can expert systems become AI)? What other avenues to achieving AI exist?
  • Can AI be defined in a graded sense (eg. with human-level intelligence graded as 1.0)? What does it mean to have a graduated scale? Is categorisation necessary or important?
  • AI rights: if AI is comparable in intelligence to humans then they should have comparable rights. (As a corollary, if AI is more intelligent than humans, would we retain our 'rights'?)
  • Can AIs be "smarter" than humans in the same way that we are "smarter" than other animals (Strong Artificial Intelligence)?
  • Designing and implementing AI 'safeguards': it is crucial to understand why safeguards should be considered in the first place; however, to what extent is it possible to implement safeguards in relation to a superhuman AI? How effective could any such safeguards be?
  • Some may question the impact upon careers and jobs (eg. there would at least be potential for the problems associated with free trade), however the more crucial issue is the wider impact upon humanity.
  • Technological singularity
A major influence in the AI ethics dialogue was Isaac Asimov who fictitiously created Three Laws of Robotics to govern artificial intelligent systems. Much of his work was then spent testing the boundaries of his three laws to see where they would break down, or where they would create paradoxical or unanticipated behavior. Ultimately, a reading of his work concludes that no set of fixed laws can sufficiently match the possible behavior of AI agents and human society. A criticism of Asimov's robot laws is that the installation of unalterable laws into a sentient consciousness would be a limitation of free will and therefore unethical. Consequently, Asimov's robot laws would be restricted to explicitly non-sentient machines, which possibly could not be made to reliably understand them under all possible circumstances.

The movie The Thirteenth Floor suggests a future where simulated worlds with sentient inhabitants are created by computer game consoles for the purpose of entertainment. The movie The Matrix suggests a future where the dominant species on planet Earth are sentient machines and humanity is treated with utmost Speciesism. The short story The Planck Dive suggest a future where humanity has turned itself into software that can be dublicated and optimized and the relevant distinction between types of software is sentient and non-sentient. The same idea can be found in the Emergency Medical Hologram of Starship Voyager, which is an apparently sentient copy of a reduced subset of the consciousness of its creator, Dr. Zimmerman, who, for the best motives, has created the system to give medical assistance in case of emergencies. The movies Bicentennial Man and A.I. deal with the possibility of sentient robots that could love. I, Robot explored some aspects of Asimov's three laws. All these scenarios try to foresee possibly unethical consequences of the creation of sentient computers.

Over time, debates have tended to focus less and less on possibility and more on desirability, as emphasized in the "Cosmist" and "Terran" debates initiated by Hugo de Garis and Kevin Warwick. A Cosmist, according to Hugo de Garis, is actually seeking to build more intelligent successors to the human species.

Expectations of AI

AI methods are often employed in cognitive science research, which tries to model subsystems of human cognition. Historically, AI researchers aimed for the loftier goal of so-called strong AI—of simulating complete, human-like intelligence. This goal is epitomised by the fictional strong AI computer HAL 9000 in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. This goal is unlikely to be met in the near future and is no longer the subject of most serious AI research. The label "AI" has something of a bad name due to the failure of these early expectations, and aggravation by various popular science writers and media personalities such as Professor Kevin Warwick whose work has raised the expectations of AI research far beyond its current capabilities. For this reason, many AI researchers say they work in cognitive science, informatics, statistical inference or information engineering. Recent research areas include Bayesian networks and artificial life.

The vision of artificial intelligence replacing human professional judgment has arisen many times in the history of the field, and today in some specialized areas where "expert systems" are routinely used to augment or to replace professional judgment in some areas of engineering and of medicine.

Even though a substantial amount of AI functionality exists in everyday software, some misinformed commentators on computer technology have tried to suggest that a good definition of AI would be "research that has not yet been commercialised". This happens because when AI gets incorporated into an operating system or application it becomes an understated feature.

A li'l indulgence before the New Year!

Yippee...this's awesome! Guess what? Dad got me a band new Sony camcorder for this New Year. Well, it's actually the Bengali New Year & it's on the 15th of April.

Yeah, I'm home now. Some problems had cropped up back in college (will tell you about that some other time) and so we had been sent back home for a few weeks, till the situations get better back there! It's been a long trip. Moreover, hadn't been keepinh good health either, for the past few days. And tot op it, my usual lethargy to update this page. Though it hurts to realise the amount of readership I've lost in the past 3 months, something I'd been working my ass off to improve right snce the first, I just couldn't muster up enuff to sit before my monitor and type out, just like the good ol' days. All I do these days is visit Orkut and read Tech News online. Have been spending mammoth hours in the bed, a concept that had been alien to me for the past 20 years of my life! I can't belive it, my lifestyle has changed so bloody drastically. Shall have to do something about it, it seems.

Oh by the way, here's the pic of the camcorder I got. Yea, it was meant to turn you greener ;-)! Am I not evil? HeHeHe..!!