Category Archives: Talks

Phil 11.7.19

7:00 – 5:00 ASRC GOES

  • Dissertation
  • ML+Sim
    • Save actual and inferred efficiency to excel and plot
    • Create an illustration that shows how the network is trained, validated against the sim, then integrated into the operating system. (maybe show a physical testbed for evaluation?)
    • Demo at the NSOF
      • Went ok. Next steps are a sufficiently realistic model that can interpret an actual malfunction
      • Put together a Google Doc/Sheet that has the common core elements that we can model most satellites (LEO, MEO, GEO, and HEO?). What are the common components between cubesats and the James Webb?
      • Detection of station-keeping failure is a possibility
      • Also, high-dynamic phases, like orbit injection might be low-ish fruit
    • Tomorrow, continue on the GPU assignment in the evolver


7:00 – 5:00 ASRC GOES

  • Dissertation – more maps
  • CTO presentation at 2:00
    • Delayed a bit, but I think it went well. A lot of the things that Eric tried to put in place look to be resurfacing. I wonder if it will work this time?
  • Meeting with Wayne? Yep – got his signature! Need to email Nicole and see where this goes – done
  • Starting to negotiate the new-ish “expensive information” paper with Aaron M

Phil 10.28.19


Capacity, Bandwidth, and Compositionality in Emergent Language Learning

  • Many recent works have discussed the propensity, or lack thereof, for emergent languages to exhibit properties of natural languages. A favorite in the literature is learning compositionality. We note that most of those works have focused on communicative bandwidth as being of primary importance. While important, it is not the only contributing factor. In this paper, we investigate the learning biases that affect the efficacy and compositionality of emergent languages. Our foremost contribution is to explore how capacity of a neural network impacts its ability to learn a compositional language. We additionally introduce a set of evaluation metrics with which we analyze the learned languages. Our hypothesis is that there should be a specific range of model capacity and channel bandwidth that induces compositional structure in the resulting language and consequently encourages systematic generalization. While we empirically see evidence for the bottom of this range, we curiously do not find evidence for the top part of the range and believe that this is an open question for the community.

Radiolab: Tit for Tat

  • In the early 60s, Robert Axelrod was a math major messing around with refrigerator-sized computers. Then a dramatic global crisis made him wonder about the space between a rock and a hard place, and whether being good may be a good strategy. With help from Andrew Zolli and Steve Strogatz, we tackle the prisoner’s dilemma, a classic thought experiment, and learn about a simple strategy to navigate the waters of cooperation and betrayal. Then Axelrod, along with Stanley Weintraub, takes us back to the trenches of World War I, to the winter of 1914, and an unlikely Christmas party along the Western Front.
    • Need to send a note for them to look into Axelrod’s “bully” saddle point

7:00 – ASRC GOES

  • Dissertation – Nearly done with the agent cartography section?
  • CTO Rehearsal – 10:30 – 12:00 done
  • ML Dinner – 4:30 fun! 20191028_173214
  • Meeting With Aaron M
    • More thinking about what to do with the paper. We decided to try for the CHI4EVIL workshop, and then try something like IEEE Spectrum. I think I’d like to reframe it around the concept of Expensive Information and Automation. Try to tie together AI weapons, spam filters, and deepfakes
      • Automation makes negotiation more difficult, locks in trajectories
      • Handing off responsibility to automation amplifies opportunities and destructive potential
      • OODA loop could be generalized if you look at it from the perspective of attention.

Phil 6.6.19

7:00 – 3:00 ASRC PM Summit

  • 75th anniversary of D-day 640px-Naval_Bombardments_on_D-Day
  • Research talk today at the conference. Much networking yesterday.
    • The talk went well. More opportunities for networking. Mayne some ML for 3D printing?
  • Copied the CHIPLAY paper to a new GROUP 2020 folder and change to the acm small article format
  • Simplicial models of social contagion
    • Complex networks have been successfully used to describe the spread of diseases in populations of interacting individuals. Conversely, pairwise interactions are often not enough to characterize social contagion processes such as opinion formation or the adoption of novelties, where complex mechanisms of influence and reinforcement are at work. Here we introduce a higher-order model of social contagion in which a social system is represented by a simplicial complex and contagion can occur through interactions in groups of different sizes. Numerical simulations of the model on both empirical and synthetic simplicial complexes highlight the emergence of novel phenomena such as a discontinuous transition induced by higher-order interactions. We show analytically that the transition is discontinuous and that a bistable region appears where healthy and endemic states co-exist. Our results help explain why critical masses are required to initiate social changes and contribute to the understanding of higher-order interactions in complex systems.
  • This is wild: Randomly wired neural networks and state-of-the-art accuracy? Yes it works.
  • This is sad: Training a single AI model can emit as much carbon as five cars in their lifetimes
  • Came home and slept 2 1/2 hours. Very cooked.

Phil 5.24.19

7:00 – 3:30 ASRC GEOS


7:00 – 5:00 ASRC GEOS

  • Saw 4×3000 with David and Roger last night. The VR lab seems to be a thing. Need to go down and have a chat, possibly about lists, stories, maps and games
  • Found the OECD Principles on Artificial Intelligence. I haven’t had a chance to actually *read* any of it, but I did create a “Treaty Lit” folder in the Sanhedrin folder and put pdf versions of them. I ran my tool over them and got the following probe:
    • state cyber cybercrime agree united china mechanism
  • Putting that into Google Scholar returns some good hits as well, though I haven’t gotten a chance to do anything beyond that.
  • JASSS paper
    • Changing “consensus” to “alignment”, and breaking many paragraphs. I think the setup of the space in the introduction is better now.
  • Got caught up on NESDIS. Worked some on the slide deck, which I finally got back. Scheduled a walkthrough with T tomorrow
  • GEOS AI/ML meeting at NSOF. Still trying to figure out roles and responsibilities. I think the Sanhedrin concept will help Bruce formalize our contributions.

Phil 5.16.18

7:00 – 9:00 ASRC GEOS/AIMES

  • Worked on the slides a bit
  • Adding changes to the JASSS paper
  • Waiting for meeting
  • Meeting went well, I think? Funding appears to be solid, and I’m now a “Futurist”
  • Meeting with Shimei’s group. Fatima might be interested in ML summer work
  • Meeting with Aaron. Fleshed out the Sanhedrin-17a concept

Phil 5.14.19

7:00 – 8:00 ASRC NASA GEOS-R

  • More Dissertation
  • Break out the network slides to “island” (initial state), “star” (radio) “cyclic star” (talk radio), “dense” social media
  • MatrixScalar
  • 7:30 Waikato meeting.
    • Walked through today’s version, which is looking very nice
    • Went over tasking spreadsheets

Phil 4.25.19

7:00 – 9:00 ASRC TL

  • Looks like I’ll be giving a talk at the PM Summit in June on misinformation. Need to put together a 30 minute talk
    • Need to come up with a short description. Something along the lines of misinformation happens at all scales, from international news to groupthink leading to the shuttle Columbia launch decision. This talk will show the common patterns that can identify misinformation behaviors and ways to disrupt these “belief stampedes”.
  • Ping Joel and see if I can coordinate him and Wayne…
    • Sent email and made a doodle
  • Continuing with AI whitepaper
  • Walk through webGL classes with Zach – done
  • ML meeting – walked through the differences between heart attack (ischemic insults) and heart failure
  • Meeting with Aaron M. More discussions of how the paper should go. He’s like a section on how things like latent space hacking can wind up in other areas

Phil 4.11.19

7:00 – 9:00 ASRC TL

  • Continuing with the BAA
  • Fixed the acknowledgements section and updated ArXiv
  • Meeting/presentation with Wayne at noon
  • ML seminar, presenting robot stampede
  • Wound up having an impromptu meeting with Aaron M.

Phil 3.28.19

7:00 – 1:30 ASRC PhD 1:30 – 6:00 NASA AIMES

  • Downloaded an amoeba eating a bacteria. Need to edit
  • Fixed some bugs in the analytic code and downloaded some images and text. There is banding in the space name embeddings, which is pretty interesting
  • Worked on the paper. I think I have an entry point now. It seems to be flowing nicely
  • Dungeons & Dragons Single Volume Edition By Gary Gygax & Dave Arneson
  • GOES-R AI Kickoff meeting
  • More work on slides. Incorporated Wayne’s comments (I think?). Also got the video edited

Phil 3.26.19

7:00 – ASRC PhD

  • BBC Business Daily on “essay mills”. Apparently 7% of students use these?
  • Got 8 results on the survey so far!
  • Add query on place/space/channel(?) terms to find post. It could be an iteration until the one post that returns the most terms is found.
  • Evolving place names. Remarkable how few passes it takes for convergence (of at least the first 3 terms):
    • Group 1: (12 new terms)
      • ‘goblin’, ‘fire’, ‘orc’
      • ‘orb’, ‘statues’, ‘see’
      • ‘grogg’, ‘troll’, ‘box’
      • ‘dragon’, ‘grogg’, ‘something’
    • Group 1, tymora1: (2 new terms)
      • ‘goblin’, ‘orc’, ‘see’ – 1
      • ‘orb’, ‘gate’, ‘statues’ – 1
      • ‘troll’, ‘box’, ‘grogg’ – 0
      • ‘dragon’, ‘coins’, ‘something’ – 0
    • Group 1, tymora1, tymora2 (2 new terms)
      • ‘goblin’, ‘orc’, ‘stairs’ – 1
      • ‘rope’, ‘gate’, ‘orb’ – 2
      • ‘box’, ‘troll’, ‘grogg’ – 0
      • ‘coins’, ‘dragon’, ‘something’ – 0
    • Group 1, tymora1, tymora2, tymora3 (1 new term)
      • ‘goblin’, ‘orc’, ‘stairs’ – 0
      • ‘rope’, ‘gate’, ‘orb’ – 0
      • ‘troll’, ‘box’, ‘grogg’ – 0
      • ‘dragon’, ‘coins’, ‘barrier’ – 1
    • Group 1, tymora1, tymora2, tymora3, tymora4 (0 new terms)
      • ‘goblin’, ‘orc’, ‘stairs’ – 0
      • ‘rope’, ‘gate’, ‘orb’ – 0
      • ‘troll’, ‘grogg’, ‘box’ – 0
      • coins’, ‘dragon’, ‘barrier’  – 0
  • Checking to see if changing the order looks different
    • tymora4 (12 new terms)
      • ‘orc’, ‘goblin’, ‘vines’
      • ‘orb’, ‘trap’, ‘statues’
      • ‘grogg’, ‘troll’, ‘box’
      • ‘dragon’, ‘coins’, ‘platform’
    • tymora3, tymora4 (1 new term)
      • ‘vines’, ‘orc’, ‘goblin’ – 0
      • ‘rope’, ‘statues’, ‘orb’ – 1
      • ‘grogg’, ‘troll’, ‘box’ – 0
      • ‘dragon’, ‘coins’, ‘platform’ – 0
    • tymora2, tymora3, tymora4 (4 new terms)
      • ‘goblin’, ‘stairs’, ‘orc’ – 1
      • ‘rope’, ‘gate’, ‘across’ – 2
      • ‘grogg’, ‘troll’, ‘box’ – 0
      • ‘coins’, ‘dragon’, ‘barrier’ – 1
    • tymora1, tymora2, tymora3, tymora4 (1 new term)
      • ‘goblin’, ‘orc’, ‘stairs’ – 0
      • ‘rope’, ‘gate’, ‘orb’ – 1
      • ‘troll’, ‘box’, ‘grogg’ – 0
      • ‘coins’, ‘dragon’, ‘barrier’ – 0
    • Group 1, tymora1, tymora2, tymora3, tymora4 (0 new terms)
      • ‘goblin’, ‘orc’, ‘stairs’ – 0
      • ‘rope’, ‘gate’, ‘orb’ – 0
      • ‘troll’, ‘grogg’, ‘box’ – 0
      • coins’, ‘dragon’, ‘barrier’ – 0
  • Made a really nice map. This is entirely based on data and patterns found by the software, just arranged using a human-assisted layout:


  • JuryRoom meeting. Chris is getting the schema right, and is looking at IBM’s cloud service for hosting. We spent some time walking through the map. Panos is eager to read the paper