Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 -- A year of change




2014 was for me a year of change, actually many changes...  I have written less in this Blog this year, average of one post per week, while in the past I used to post every couple of days..  Made a note to myself to get better at this in 2015...    

The main nominal change was the change.  In February I wrote a post in this Blog entitled "moving on"  where I reported on career change, after long period in IBM Research I have taken a position to lead societal-academic initiative called "The Institute of Technological Empowerment".  This is a different world,  different in mentality, different in content, and different in the surrounding environment.    The lifestyle is different. I used to go to the office in the morning, spend all day either in my own office or in conference room and get out of work while it is dark outside.  Today there are not two similar days:  I have a nice office (which looks like a combination of a library and art gallery), but I don't go there every day.  I spend a lot of time in meetings outside. I am travelling a lot and driving a lot.  Meeting new people of types I never met -- politicians, educators, artists, media people, subject matter experts in various areas such as agriculture, gerontology, traditional industries etc...  Gaining a new work partners, some of them are amazing people very different from the people I used to work...    

Working now on things related to education and activities to enrich high-school students in the Israeli periphery, something quite remote from what I've done, and getting to some new ideas in multi-disciplinary research...  

Many starts, and 2015 will be a year to accomplish many of the starts....  very curious to read what I'll write a year from today... 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

CEP Market players - end of 2014 - from Paul Vincent


Paul Vincent published the new instance of his series on the genealogy of event processing players, as seen in the picture above.   Note that it includes also streaming platforms like STORM which is not an event processing tool per se, but a platform on which event processing functionality can be programmed.  Such platforms are indeed the most notable shift from previous versions.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Starting my own radio show

When asked what do you want to do when you grow up, some people say they want to be pilots, and some say they want to be firefighters.  I was a strange kid and said: I want to work in the radio,  

The years passed and I have gone into computer programming and then into other areas around information technology and gave up my childhood dream, but did not forget it.

A few months ago I discovered that there is a regional radio station located in the campus of the college I am working in. I approached the station manager with the idea to have my own radio show in which I am hosting interesting people talking about technology, societal activities, and the bridge between them.   She agreed to record a pilot and take it from there.    I have recorded three  sessions, and then an opening session, interviewing me (in the picture), and then this week the program went live.    Until this year I have never participated in a radio program, neither as host nor as a participant. Earlier this year I have been interviewed twice in two different radio stations about the activity of the Institute of Technological Empowerment,  Actually I prefer the role of host, it is a lot of fun!. 
Here is a picture in which I am hosting my first interviewer, Rami Gazit.


It is never late to fulfill the childhood dreams....

For those who can read Hebrew, all details are in the Facebook page of the program.    

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More on storytelling



Ramesh Jain has uploaded his presentation on objective storytelling from the ACM multimedia conference last week.    Ramesh introduces the notion of personicle as "personal chronicle". This notion stands for a collection of events that describe the story of a single person in a specific time context (day, year etc...).  A story is a collection of events that are represented in multimedia fashion, where currently digital pictures are the dominant way of representation.    The objective story is the collection of events documenting the story.  

This is an interesting concept, and I intend to look at the notion of events creating stories also in other areas where events, the interaction between events, and stories interact.   For example: creative adaptive stories using event flows.   I'll write more about this topic at a later phase. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

On the huevent'14 workshop at ACM Multimedia 2014


This is me looks small standing near a slide from my presentation at the huevent'14 workshop.  This was kind of a keynote talk so I could talk for an hour (which is better than a typical conference talk of 20 minutes).  My talk is similar to some recent talks and can be found on slideshare

One new thing is that  I have cited a recent post by Chris Curan entitled: "12 hurdles hampering the Internet of Things".    There is also a position paper co-authored with Fabiana Fournier that is available through the ACM digital library

An interesting keynote given by Ramesh Jain on storytelling.  Ramesh views a story as a flow of events. This is an interesting concept. I guess that the relationship among events is a function of the genre.  For documentary  story events are coming in a sequence of chronological order, in a detective story, the crime is an event, and later events are relating backwards to previous events in the way to solve the mystery.   Other stories have other patterns.  This is an interesting topic to investigate further, and I'll continue to do so in the framework of the work on creative skills which is part of the agenda of my institute.      More about this - later 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Institute of Technological Empowerment -- Newsletter in English


The start of the school year marked also the launch of eight projects within the framework of the institute of technological empowerment.  Typically we report on the activities in Hebrew since most of the stakeholders are in Israel, however it is time to issue a newsletter in English for all the international readers who might be interested in this.  The newsletter reflects the current status at the beginning of November 2014.   

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Michael Jordan on the delusions of big data

Michael Jordan (the one from Berkeley, not the basketball player) gave an interesting interview to IEEE Spectrum.  it is recommended to read his own words. 

Some of the highlights of Jordan's opinions are:


  1. Using brain metaphors for computing is misleading:   computing does not work like the brain, this is also includes one of Jordan's expertise areas - neural nets.
  2. He says that the advances in computer vision lead us to be able to solve some kind of useful problems, but we are very far from giving machine the vision capabilities of a human
  3. "Big Data" is over-promising.  One can prove many false hypotheses using big data methods.  This is similar to building bridges without a theory of how to build bridges,  some may  survive, and some will collapse... 
  4. If he will have $1B to spend on research, he will invest in natural languages processing...


I think that it adds to some other observations about the overhype of "big data" (for example, see my posting on Noam Chomsky's opinion couple of years ago, or Tim Harford's recent article).