Thursday 5 November 2015

Thursday 5th November - Porridge and Computer Artificial Intelligence

The conversation this morning went something like this...

"The difficulty is in finding the right size cup to measure out the oats and the milk in order to get the right amount for my breakfast. The one I used was about right, but I had to fill it completely full of oats, so it got a bit tricky when it came to adding two and a half cups of milk without spilling it everywhere."

"Which you did you use?"

"The one with the diagonal edge"

"We don't have a cup with a diagonal edge."

"Yes we do."

From which description he was able to correctly identify which measuring jug I used:

After a moment, the conversation turned to how far computer recognition software has to go before it can interpret your average domestic conversation.

This all came back to be this evening when we were discussing the roast carrots (which were delicious) at suppertime:

"They're a bit overdone - I always find it hard to judge how long they take to cook."

"I usually find they take longer than I expect, except when they take less time."


I think it is because real conversations are full of half-sentences, grammatical errors, weird descriptions, stray references to other things. Once we get these computers going, we'll all have to have artificial conversations carefully constructed so that the computer can understand them.

I wonder what kind of poetry and literature computers will generate in years to come?

For me, perfect microwave porridge is 75ml oats, 140 ml water, 220 ml milk. Microwave on high for 2 mins, stir, micro on high again 1 min, tip it into the bowl and wait for it to cool enough to eat.

Current packet is "Rude Health Fruity Date Porridge".

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