Samiur Rahman

Machine Learning Engineer at Mattermark. Lover of literature, music and science.

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Artificial Intelligence: No, we’re not there yet.

Recently, I’ve seen an accelerated growth in media hype about Artificial Intelligence. Normally, I’d ignore this kind of hype as science’s version of TMZ, but I’ve had to explain to quite a few people how our recent developments in Machine Learning isn’t the Artificial Intelligence that people make it out to be. It doesn’t help that people like Elon Musk say things like:

“The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe” - Elon Musk

It also doesn’t help that pop-technology media like Wired put out articles claiming that “AI has finally been unleashed on the world”.

 What is AI?

We’ve used the phrase Artificial Intelligence colloquially for a lot of things, and there’s nothing wrong with that. When we’re playing Left4Dead, it’s totally appropriate to scream obscenities at the game AI for cheating. Sometimes people even name their Machine Learning

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Snapchat, another example of the hubris of privilege

A lot has been written about Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel‘s decision to turn down a $3 billion offer from Facebook and then a $4 billion offer from Google to acquire their smartphone app. A lot has been said about the lack of business acumen on both sides. But, after Snapchat was recently hacked, it was Evan Spiegel’s interview on NBC Today that sealed it for me: Evan Spiegel is just another talented but arrogant, unaware-of-his-own-privilege guy.

Let’s briefly discuss the turning down of the $4 billion. The only reasonable business explanation of this action is that Evan Spiegel thinks that Snapchat will be bigger than that, perhaps even bigger than Facebook and Google. While this might seem to most as just stupid but harmless, I see it as a problem with Evan’s priorities. I would be hard-pressed to find someone who thought Snapchat was actually useful to the world. Popular, yes, and

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SAFE term sheets with LaTeX

Recently, I had the fortune of having to draw up a few term sheets for my startup Jobsuitors. This was my first time doing anything of the kind, and I wanted to do it right. I had just read Paul Graham’s post on SAFE, and I was convinced that this was certainly the most appropriate financing instrument for us at the moment.

The term sheet templates, however, were written up in Microsoft Word, and distributed in the docx format. Apart from my own personal misgivings in using MS Office products, I also thought that the templates were difficult to edit in place and did not produce an all-together professional looking document. Given all this, and my penchant for using LaTeX for documents, prompted me to create LaTeX templates for everyone (including us!) to use for SAFEs. Compare the PDF output for this sample SAFE vs one from the docx.

Find the project on GitHub: https://github.com/sami

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