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Understanding and Intelligence

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Futurism, Innovation, Technology by chandanscorner on October 15, 2012

“Understanding” and Intelligence

Yes what a title for a post ! Well you will need to read a bit more to “understand”.

The “U” word, i believe will have more significance in the next 20 years of technology development that any other word in the English dictionary. Have you ever been told to try understand what you are reading and not just memorize it. Have you been told that you can recall things better if you
relate it to something.

For instance you can recall planets in order by memorizing this phrase. “My very educated mother just serves us nasty pickles” Where the planets are related to the words. “my = Mercury, very =Venus, educated =Earth, mother =Mars, just =Jupiter, serves =Saturn, us =Uranus, nasty =Neptune , pickles =Pluto.”

You may have used several such phrases while in school to remember bits of information that would have been hard to memorize. My 2 year old kid today heard me saying 2 lines in order and then he formed the 3rd line which was actually made sense.

What is happening here? Have you wondered.
What does it mean to understand, what does it mean to makes sense of something, what does it mean to figure out some thing. All these word/phrases are related to showing signs of intelligence. So the U word is probably the very basis of Intelligence and Intelligent beings. And we are at the beginning of a decade or two where this can be harnessed and put to use .

So what does the “U” word mean. Let me take a few examples

  • Do you understand how this works
  • Did you understand this email
  • Can you make sense of this equation
  • Do you understand how the human heart works
  • Do you understand how the combustion engine works
  • Do you understand Italian

As you can see here, The U word means the ability to identify patterns in the information presented to us.

So what is a Pattern?

A pattern is “a type of theme of recurring events or objects”. Once you have identified the theme of recurring events or objects. You can create a model of the same. The model can then be used to relate to other bits of information that you encounter.

For instance when you see 1+2=3 , you create a pattern like this. [ Something + Something = Sum of all somethings ] . You can now you this pattern to 2+3 or
1 apple + 2 apples etc and arrive at an answer that is accurate. You can apply this pattern to millions of such scenarios you would encounter in your day to
day life, and you don’t need to have separate patterns to add numbers or apples . This is an incredibly important concept. It means that you are able to
reduce the amount of information you need to capture and store and use. And you can us the information that you know to other bits of information that you
have never encountered before. This is Intelligence.

Over time we create thousands or millions of such patterns in our minds. These patterns help us make sense of new information by relating to it to what you already know. And that in turn creates new patterns. Without formal schooling we still can do regular chores. And we are able to learn patterns that we have encountered in our daily lives. However a formal schooling process ensures that we are able to assimilate new patterns much faster than we would have encountered in our daily lives and there by increasing the rate at which we are able to create patterns in our minds and there by increasing our Intelligence.

Intelligence and Patterns

So Intelligence itself must be

  • A measure or the number of patterns we have stored in our minds,
  • The ability to identify patterns in new information and
  • The ability to relate these patterns to the existing patterns in our minds.

Popular tests like GMAT or CAT test exactly these areas like Analytical writing, Quantitative and Verbal skills. So in-order to emulate or show signs on Intelligence you will need to be able to Understand information or in other words. Identify patterns, store and retrieve patterns and apply it to new information.

I believe we will see new products and solutions in the market over the next few years that will address this field. And has the potential to be the next big leap in technology.

The Value of Experience

Posted in Startup Lessons by chandanscorner on August 20, 2012

This blog post has been published from a mobile device as a test

Get Ready To Generate Your Own Energy with the Bloom Box

Posted in Startup Lessons by chandanscorner on February 24, 2010

The Bloom Box a new kind of energy production device is to be unveiled very soon. With over $400 million US dollars in  investments and investors like Vinod Khosla  and John Doerr this start up is hot. Really Hot.

What makes this startup hot? Why is it important ? How it could change the status quo are few of the questions we will try to address in this article

What is Bloom Box

Bloom Energy is the company behind the Bloom Box. http://www.bloomenergy.com. The Bloom Box is based on fuel cell technology and is capable of generating enough power for 1 US household with a box the size of a bread loaf. The same box could serve 2 European households or 4-6 Asian households. The box costs about $700,000USD today but Sridhar expects the cost reduce to about $3000 per household in 5-10 years. Companies like Ebay and Google have been testing it out for some time now . Ebay has saved over $100,000 in energy costs over the past nine months.

Why is this  an Important Development

The generation and consumption of energy has followed the hub and spoke model for long time. Energy is produced in a far off places and distributed over hundreds of miles to the point of consumption over a grid. This model has some inherent issues. There are huge power losses in distribution. There is dependence on the grid and the individual consumers of energy are completely depend on it. And when there is a problem with the grid the whole infrastructure comes down. An alternate solution could be distributed generation where consumers of energy can generate their own . The Bloom box brings the promise of being able to let users generate their own energy. This is a huge paradigm shift in the way energy has been approached over the years. And make his an important development

How it could change the status quo?

Energy has been known for a few large companies that control the energy. The space is not open for smaller players and alternative sources have been a pipe dream and have not gone beyond the initial test phases . The Bloom box and other such inventions could change all this with users being able to generate their own power. This could also change market and allow smaller companies to enter and create their own versions of the bloom box.

Good luck Bloom Energy !

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