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February 7, 2009

The Coolest Super Powers

Michael Sherrin wrote a series of posts at his blog, Prodigeek, where he listed what he thinks are the 28 coolest superpowers. I think he got most of the important ones, although I don't completely agree with the rankings. His top three superpowers were:

1) Telekinesis
2) Telepathy
3) Super speed

My top three would have been:

1) Control Machines - I can't help it. I'm a computer scientist. This would make my life way easier.
2) Telepathy - This would provide endless hours of entertainment. (We did agree on this one.)
3) Shapeshift - Excellent way to hide acne.

You can look at the whole list by following these links:
28-22
21-15
14-8
7-1

So what are your favorite super powers?

December 2, 2008

Get Your Favorite Comics In You RSS Feed

I love comic strips. I even had a week in this blog dedicated to them. That is why I am so happy to know that Comics.com is now offering comic strips in personalized RSS feeds free of charge! This is great news. Now I can read F Minus and Pearls Before Swine from the comfort of my RSS reader. So go ahead and register for an account, choose your favorite comic strips, and enjoy!

July 13, 2008

Paper Week: Usability Evaluation Harmful?

Today is the last day of this week of research papers and comic strips. The paper I chose for today is very different from all the others we read in class. It was described by the authors during the conference it was presented at as the most controversial paper of such conference (CHI 2008). Just to give you a quick background, usability evaluations are a very useful type of experiment used extensively in HCI where interfaces and devices are tested with users to find out how “usable? they are. On to the paper then!

Paper: Usability Evaluation Considered Harmful (Some of the Time) (reference at the bottom of this post)

What in the world did they do?

Usability evaluation has become so important in the HCI field that lately it is very hard to publish any research if you don’t do a usability experiment. The authors of this paper argue that although usability evaluation is very useful, it “can be ineffective and even harmful if naively done ‘by rule’ rather than ‘by thought’?. According to the authors, sometimes usability just isn’t what you need.

What’s so cool about that?

This paper is basically a critique. It was called “controversial? because it is going against the currently accepted notions that good HCI research has to have usability experiments.

Did anything worthwhile come out of it?

They came up with various cases where usability evaluation can be harmful. One of these is when prototyping a really innovative idea. Sometimes, new ideas just aren’t ready for users at first. It takes many iterations to arrive at the final, polished version that really does make a difference in users’ lives. If usability testing is done on these early prototypes, a good idea could be quashed before it has a chance to mature. It’s up to the rest of the research community now to decide if they want to do a better assessment of whether this technique is helpful for their experiments or if they just want to keep going at it with usability evaluations, regardless of its usefulness.

Why should I care?

Although many readers of this blog probably won’t be doing usability evaluations in the near future, this affects all of us. The better HCI researchers do their stuff, the better and faster new technology reaches the rest of us.

We can even take this a bit further. How many times do we follow patterns and methods mindlessly just because they have worked before? Or because we are lazy? Or because it’s what others expect us to do? Take some time to assess why it is that you do things the way you do.

Now, on to today’s comic strip. (Click on the image to enlarge it)

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Reference: Greenberg, S., Buxton, B., Usability Evaluation Considered Harmful (Some of the Time), Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems, April 5-10, 2008, Florence, Italy

July 12, 2008

Paper Week: Alone Together in World of Warcraft

One cool thing about the HCI field is that we can justify playing games as research. It’s all for the noble goal of understanding how humans interact with computers after all. Today’s paper is about such type of research. Don’t forget the comic strip at the end of this post.

Paper: “Alone Together?? Exploring the Social Dynamics of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (reference at the bottom of this post)

What in the world did they do?

The authors of this paper basically played a lot of World of Warcraft. In their spare time, they studied the social interactions between players, relying more on empirical data than on subjective data.

What’s so cool about that?

Getting research done while playing video games is awesome. It’s also interesting to see how people interact with each other in a virtual world.

Did anything worthwhile come out of it?

They found out some interesting stuff while play… while researching World of Warcraft. Games such as World of Warcraft attract players because of their social aspects. But what these researchers found out was that most players play outside of groups for most of their stay in the game. Still, there were some social aspects that attracted players to the game. The authors of the paper described them as the following:

- Interacting with an audience – Reputation plays a big role in this game. Many players just enjoy the fact that they can show off or have an audience during their play. The authors compare this to playing pinball in a crowded arcade, where spectators gather around the machine to observe the best players.
- Being surrounded by others – People simply enjoy the sense of social presence. It’s sort of like hanging out at a café reading a book, where you barely interact with anybody, but you still enjoy being surrounded by people.
- Laughing at and with others – This is the “spectacle? factor. Other people are simply a constant source of entertainment.

So in the end, what the authors concluded was that players of World of Warcraft like to play “alone together?, by themselves but surrounded by others.

Why should I care?

As online communities become more common, it’s helpful for designers of these communities to understand why it is that people want to be surrounded by others. Sometimes it’s for the socializing, but other times, such as with World of Warcraft, the motivations are different. If designers can understand these differences, they can better understand the needs of the users and can design communities that are a better fit to their members.

Extra

I just wanted to show one paragraph of their paper that shows just how much effort they put into playing the game:

“We began our study of WoW by observing the game from the inside and started playing right after its launch in November 2004. All authors created a main character and several “alts? (secondary characters on different servers). We picked different character classes to get as broad an overview of the game as possible. We joined guilds, and participated in the community’s regular activities (quests – alone or in groups, guild raids, player-versus-player combat, etc.). This provided us with a rich qualitative background to frame our analyses.?

Without further ado, the comic strip for today. (Click on the image to enlarge it)

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Reference: Nicolas Ducheneaut , Nicholas Yee , Eric Nickell , Robert J. Moore, "Alone together?": exploring the social dynamics of massively multiplayer online games, Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems, April 22-27, 2006, Montréal, Québec, Canada

July 11, 2008

Paper Week: Direct Video Manipulation

Today’s paper is one of those papers where you just have to say “awesome?. So I hope you enjoy it together with the new comic strip.

Paper: Video Browsing by Direct Manipulation (reference at the bottom of this post)

What in the world did they do?

These guys wrote an application that allows for direct video manipulation. This is a video browser that lets you navigate through the video not only using the traditional timeline, but also by dragging objects along their course of movement throughout the video.

What’s so cool about that?

Everything.

Did anything worthwhile come out of it?

Their video browser, called DimP (Direct Manipulation Player).

Why should I care?

As online videos become more and more popular, we start encountering more often situations where a video browser like this one might be useful. Maybe we just want to skip to a specific part of a scene (I’ve seen a few launch videos where I just want to get to the part where the rocket/airplane blasts off). Or maybe we just want to study some complicated motions (like dance moves or a pool shot). Either way, simply having an alternative way of browsing a video is definitely useful.

Now, comic strip time! (click on the image to enlarge it)

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Reference: Dragicevic, P., Ramos, G., Bibliowicz, J., Nowrouzezahrai, D., Balakrishnan, R., Singh, K. Video Browsing by Direct Manipulation, Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, April 05-April 10, 2008, Florence, Italy

July 9, 2008

Paper Week: Website Credibility

How would you feel if this blog had more ads than content, opened every link as a popup, and had grammatical errors roaming like wild beasts freely in my posts? I wouldn’t seem credible to you, would I? Today’s paper deals with just that: credibility. Don’t forget the comic strip at the end of this post. Also, if you’re interested, I’m listing references to all the papers at the end of the posts (below the comic strips). Feel free to look them up (Google Scholar is a good place to start).

Paper: What Makes Web Sites Credible? A Report on a Large Quantitative Study (reference at the bottom of this post)

What in the world did they do?

The authors surveyed hundreds of people to find out what they thought made a website more credible or less credible.

What’s so cool about that?

These guys came up with dozens of items relating to website credibility for users to rate. It was cool to see which items people perceived as making a site more or less credible.

Did anything worthwhile come out of it?

The authors gave some guidelines at the end of the paper on how to design credible websites. They were:

- Design websites to convey the “real world? aspect of the organization (let people know you actually exist).
- Make websites easy to use (unless you’re a government office).
- Include markers of expertise (people may actually believe you).
- Include markers of trustworthiness (linking to and getting linked by other credible websites seems to be helpful).
- Tailor the user experience (makes people feel that the experience is more personal).
- Avoid overly commercial elements on a website (awh… I was thinking that 10 more ads would have made this blog livelier).
- Avoid the pitfalls of amateurism (OMG UR NOT SERIOUZ, ARE U?).

Why should I care?

There are a lot of shady websites out there. And sometimes it’s just sad to see some perfectly legitimate websites being avoided because their design does not make them look credible. If you’re a designer, make sure to remember these guidelines. If you’re just a web surfer, be on your guard when you visit websites that stray far from these guidelines.

Now on to the comic strip! (click on the image to enlarge it)

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Reference: B. J. Fogg , Jonathan Marshall , Othman Laraki , Alex Osipovich , Chris Varma , Nicholas Fang , Jyoti Paul , Akshay Rangnekar , John Shon , Preeti Swani , Marissa Treinen, What makes Web sites credible?: a report on a large quantitative study, Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, p.61-68, March 2001, Seattle, Washington, United States

Paper Week: Designing for Micro-credit Groups in India

This is the third post on papers that I got to read during my HCI class last semester. Each post is accompanied by a new comic strip at the bottom. I chose today’s paper because the style was very different from most of the other papers we read in class. Enjoy!

Paper: Design Studies for a Financial Management System for Micro-credit Groups in Rural India (reference at the bottom of this post)

What in the world did they do?

These guys wanted to create a system to help micro-credit groups in rural India manage their financial aspects. They did a lot of user interviews, prototyping, and user tests to get their design right.

What’s so cool about that?

There are two cool things about this paper. First, they had one big challenge. Many of the potential users for this system were uneducated, hadn’t used or seen a computer before, and some were even illiterate. So their system had to be easy to use for these people.

Second, the way the paper is written is almost like a story. They went through all the steps of their design process. It reminded me of a User Interface Design class I took, where we had to go through user interviews, paper prototypes and usability testing. It was cool to be able to follow these steps in their paper.

Did anything worthwhile come out of it?

Well, they came up with an interesting design that seemed usable. The only problem was that most of these organizations couldn’t afford the computers anyway. I believe the authors went on to try using mobile devices in future research.

Why should I care?

Okay, there are probably not many reasons why you should care about this paper. I’ll give it a try anyway. Even if the resources are not always there yet, I think it is a noble effort to try and bring technology to where it is needed most. Also, I think this paper is probably an interesting read for those of you who wonder what the design process is like for a user interface.

That’s it for today’s paper. On to the comic strip!

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Reference: Tapan Parikh , Kaushik Ghosh , Apala Chavan, Design studies for a financial management system for micro-credit groups in rural india, Proceedings of the 2003 conference on Universal usability, November 10-11, 2003, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

July 7, 2008

Paper Week: Social Psychology Applied to Online Communities

Today is the second day in a week of HCI-related research papers, together with new comic strips. Today’s paper proved to be a popular one in the HCI class I took last semester. Give it a search on Google Scholar when you have a chance!

Paper: Using Social Psychology to Motivate Contributions to Online Communities (reference at the bottom of this post)

What in the world did they do?

The authors of this paper tried to apply some social psychology theories to MovieLens, an online community where users rate movies. The goal was to see if they could motivate users to rate more movies by:

- letting them know their contribution was unique
- letting them know their contribution was beneficial (to others and to themselves)
- giving them specific goals (rate X number of movies)

What’s so cool about that?

These guys took a bunch of theories from one field and brought them over to HCI. It was cool how some of them stood their ground and others just didn’t cut it. It’s also pretty cool to find out what makes us contribute more or less online.

Did anything worthwhile come out of it?

They confirmed that when you let users know that their contributions are unique (not redundant with other users’ contributions) they contributed more. They also confirmed that giving users specific goals (not just “do your best!?), they also contributed more.

Interestingly, not telling users that their contributions were beneficial to others or to themselves made them contribute more than telling them. Also, users contributed more when assigned to groups than when working individually. This was not expected according to social psychology theories.

Why should I care?

Online communities are everywhere. From Wikipedia to Flickr to YouTube. We all like to use them, but we don’t always contribute. Yet these communities only work because of the people who contribute to them, not because of the people who just use them. Community designers must therefore look for ways to get more of us to do something of value for sites like these. In the end, we all benefit. The more people contributing, the better content we all get.

Now, to today’s comic strip. Enjoy!

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Reference: Gerard Beenen , Kimberly Ling , Xiaoqing Wang , Klarissa Chang , Dan Frankowski , Paul Resnick , Robert E. Kraut, Using social psychology to motivate contributions to online communities, Proceedings of the 2004 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work, November 06-10, 2004, Chicago, Illinois, USA

July 6, 2008

Paper Week: Conflict in Wikipedia

Today starts a week of research papers! Sounds boring, doesn’t it? I know it probably does, especially for people outside the field of HCI (Human-Computer Interaction). That is why I’ll try to make this as fun and easy to read as possible. As part of this effort, I’ll end each post this week with an original comic strip. So let’s just get right to it.

Paper: He Says, She Says: Conflict and Coordination in Wikipedia (reference at the bottom of this post)

What in the world did they do?

You’ve most probably heard of Wikipedia, the encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. You can probably guess that people don’t always agree as to what should go in each article. Well, these researchers studied how conflict and coordination occur in this environment.

What’s so cool about that?

Wikipedia by itself is awesome. But as for this research, it’s cool that these guys tried to understand when and how often people argue on Wikipedia.

Did anything worthwhile come out of it?

These researchers found out that as time passes, there are less people editing articles and more people discussing what should be in the articles.

They also came up with a simple, but cool algorithm to detect articles which had conflict going on. They used stuff like number of revisions and number of editors to figure this out.

The last thing they did was group together editors of an article. The resulting groups usually had people on the same side of the issue.

Why should I care?

When you’re searching for information on any topic on Wikipedia, you expect the information to be sufficiently accurate. And with so many different opinions floating around, how can you expect to find information that is not too subjective or wrong? Well, if we can understand how conflict and coordination occur in Wikipedia, we can pay more attention to articles in which people are having trouble deciding what should be included in the article and look for ways to work it out. In other words, dealing with conflict in Wikipedia means better articles for you.

Now, as promised, here is today’s comic strip. Enjoy! (Click on the image for a larger version.)

Reference: Kittur, A. et al. He says, she says: Conflict and coordination in Wikipedia. In Proc. CHI. 2007

April 30, 2008

The Amazing 100th Post

About eight months ago I decided I wanted to start a blog and actually keep it alive. So far, I've been able to manage that. In less than eight months, I have published 100 posts. And I'm very excited about it. So excited in fact that I decided to celebrate with a review of some of my favorite posts, a new comic strip, and a totally new design. I have been working on this design for a while and I'm happy with the end result. Let me know what you think!

In these eight months, I have been trying to define what this blog is actually about. Why is it called Superficial Intelligence? I don't think I'm there yet, since I am still at the beginning of this growth process, but it's starting to come into focus. And I think the new subtitle is a part of this. I have recollected some of my favorite posts and some which I believe are representative of what this blog is about (whatever that may be). Here are my 10 picks (in chronological order):

Leaving Cuba
A.I. Comic Strip - Search
My Experience as an Intern at IBM
Never Eat More Than One Fortune Cookie
Quiz Kong Paper Prototype
Vending Machines and User Interfaces
Celebrating Six Months
Old Drawings: Dinosaurs
Old Drawings: Copying Other Drawings
On Which Side of the Sidewalk Do You Walk?

Finally, here is a long due new Superficial Intelligence comic strip. Enjoy! (Click on the picture to view a larger image)

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog! Let's hope these first 100 posts are just the beginning. Thanks!

April 6, 2008

Old Drawings: Comic Strips

One aspect of drawing I have always liked is being able to tell a story. Ever since I was a little kid, I would draw stories (with my limited English vocabulary I would come up with names for characters such as Mr. Monkey and Mr.Squirrel). The stories were never really planned, so most of them took crazy turns or simply never got finished. Unfortunately, the older drawings are at my parent's house in Puerto Rico, so I will show ones from middle school and later. You may notice that the drawing quality is much lower. I would usually sacrifice quality for speed when drawing comic strips. If I tried too hard to make it look perfect, I would get discouraged before finishing the first page.

This first image is the first piece and chapter of a comic strip I drew during middle school featuring every one of the guys in my class (except for two that I was just never satisfied with how I drew them). This one lasted for about 6 pages. Bear in mind that the text is in Spanish.

In high school, I had to live at the during the week and had four roommates. I made up a comic strip while I was there where my roommates and I escaped from the school and some faculty members went after us. The chase took us through the mountains, to an underground secret base, and even to outer space. Once again, I made the story up as I drew, often not knowing myself what would happen next. Other students enjoyed reading my comic strip notebook and would especially enjoy seeing the faculty in action (always a reason for laughter). The first pages had horrible quality, but as people started asking for more, my drawings improved a little bit. Here is one early scene of "Room #4 Comics" (Cuarto Cuatro Comics, in Spanish, named after our bedroom's number), where we see our first confrontation with a teacher:

This scene has us in an elevator in an underground secret base:

Here is the faculty in a battle pose:

And this is where we escape to outer space (you may recognize the spaceship from a previous post):

The comic strip went on to have around 50 pages and nine chapters before the school year ended. I tried to continue on subsequent years, but I had lost the momentum I had gained with the original one. And the fact that half of my roommates had graduated and didn't bug me to read it everyday helped too.

I did, however, draw some single panel cartoons that next year of high school. I would post these weekly at the library's entrance. Here is an example. The residential teacher is making sure that no one is in other rooms after bedtime, which was a very common event at that school:

In college, I did not draw as many comic strips as I did in high school, but managed to squeeze one in every once in a while. Here is half of one I did as part of a handout for a school organization:

I hope you have been able to see at least some improvement over time. The ones I have drawn for this blog were pretty simple, but hopefully not too bad. I'll try my skills again for my 100th post which is coming up soon!

December 11, 2007

A Small Gesture of Appreciation

It's amazing how a small gesture of appreciation, even if not on purpose, can lift your spirits. I received an e-mail this weekend from a member of the Poker Research Group in my CS Department. He asked if he could borrow two of my comic strips (the ones relating to Poker of course) to put in his group's website. To me that was a way of showing appreciation for my work. And that made me feel happy. Let people know that you appreciate their work. It really means a lot and can turn a bad day around.

December 8, 2007

Comic Strip: Data Mining

As promised, here is an original comic strip to officially end comic strip week. Right now I am working as a research assistant in a data mining lab, so I just had to draw something about it. I hope you enjoy the comic and hope you have enjoyed this special week!

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December 6, 2007

Comic Strip Week: Honorable Mentions

Today, the last day of this comic strip week, I have more than one comic strip. These are comic strips that I have either begun reading recently or that I consider almost a different category.

First off is Penny Arcade. This strip has been around for a while, but it wasn't until recently that I subscribed to it and started reading it more regularly. Its focus is video games and they do a pretty good job of satirizing current events in the video game world. If you're a fan of video games, go check them out at www.penny-arcade.com/comic.

Second in the list is xkcd. This comic is, well, unique. If your interests lie in romance, sarcasm, math, language, and stick figures, this is the comic strip for you! Go check it out at xkcd.com.

Finally, a comic strip with a unique style that doesn't really fit the convention. Superest is a sort of battle between two artists. Each artists draws a hero that can defeat the previous hero drawn by the other artist. They really come up with some creative characters. Find out who the current champion is at www.thesuperest.com.

Later today, I will try to upload a new Superficial Intelligence comic strip. I already drew it and scanned it. I still have to do all the computer editing, which can take me about an hour or two, but it shouldn't be a problem to fit that into my schedule. Expect it maybe later tonight.

Comic Strip Week: Basic Instructions

One recent comic strip I have discovered is called Basic Instructions. Scott Meyer does an excellent job with it. The drawings aren't the focus of this strip. He repeatedly uses the same images (although I think that it somehow adds to the humor). The idea of the comic strip is to give advice. It's a comic-style how-to, where each strip gives humorous advice and instructions on a certain topic. The dialogues between the characters are particularly funny. In just a short time, this strip has become one of my favorites. You won't find it in newspapers for now, but you can visit Scott Meyer's site and even register to receive the comic strip on your feed reader at the link below.

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December 5, 2007

Comic Strip Week: F Minus

Tony Carrillo's F Minus is a hilarious, sometimes bizarre, comic strip that brings up the most unlikely situations. His strip barely has any recurring characters, focusing more on improbable and funny situations, much like The Far Side. The drawing style may not look top-notch, but I give F Minus an A Plus in creativity. To read the latest comic strip, just click on the picture below to follow the link.

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December 4, 2007

Comic Strip Week: Working Daze

Today's comic strip comes once again from www.comics.com. Like Dilbert, this is a workplace-based strip. John Zakouris and Kyle Miller are the authors of this strip (and I just found out Kyle has another strip at www.gamecreature.com). Although this comic strip has many elements that are similar to Dilbert, the style is very different. Some characters and jokes seem a bit generic, but others, like Roy, the resident geek, are quite memorable. It is a light strip, but always enjoyable. The link to the comic strip is below.

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December 3, 2007

Comic Strip Week: Pearls Before Swine

Today's featured comic strip comes from artist Stephan Pastis. Pearls Before Swine is witty, strange, and of course funny. The title comes from the New Testament, from the phrase, "Don't cast your pearls before swine." Thus, one of the main characters of the strip is called Pig. The other main character is a selfish, egotistic rat called, well, Rat. The site where this comic strip can be found says, regarding the title of the strip, "In this case, Rat believes that he is an endless source of wisdom, and that it is wasted upon Pig, who is rather slow." Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, manages to describe what Pearls Before Swine is about in just one word: stupidity. This comic strip is about the stupid things people do and the stupid situations we find ourselves in. You are definitely in for a laugh with this comic strip. To read the latest comic strip, just go to www.comics.com/comics/pearls/index.html.

December 2, 2007

Comic Strip Week: PHD Comics

As a PHD student, this comic strip is a must. Author Jorge Cham does a great job of capturing the woes of being a graduate student. If you are a graduate student, you will definitely see yourself in many of the same situations, but even if you are not, you will still be able to feel our pai... I mean, joy. The characters are also enjoyable. There is the smart, chocolate-loving Cecilia, the lazy, eternal graduate student Mike Slackenerny, the Humanities student Tajel, the nameless, average main character, and, of course, the research advisor. The comic strip is actually called "Piled Higher and Deeper", which is an alternative meaning to the PHD acronym and a pretty good descriptor of graduate life. If you are interested in this comic strip about life (or, as the comic strip site says, the lack thereof) in academia, just go to www.phdcomics.com. The site even has an RSS feed to get new comic strips directly in your feed reader! Enjoy!

December 1, 2007

Comic Strip Week: Dilbert

Today is the first day of seven dedicated to comic strips. I'll be presenting some of the comic strips I enjoy the most throughout the week. All of them can be read online, so you don't have to worry about finding a newspaper to catch them.
Today's comic strip is Dilbert, the cubicle-dwelling engineer drawn by Scott Adams. I used to say that this was the comic strip for engineers. My dad used to buy the books and I would spend hours reading them, even if I couldn't understand half of the jokes (I still hadn't developed enough industry lingo). Although I probably enjoy older strips more than new ones, Scott Adams still manages to make me laugh often. The strip has an excellent cast of characters, from the pointy-haired boss to the lazy co-worker and from the gullible intern to the dog bent on conquering the world. If you're looking for workplace humor, this strip is a must. Go to the strip's site at www.dilbert.com and subscribe to get this strip daily in your e-mail!

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November 29, 2007

Startup Sound Video

Today I have a funny video from Prangstgrüp. For some reason, I just laugh every time I see it. By the way, I am going to try something new for the blog. Beginning in December, I will designate one special week each month which will be dedicated to a particular theme. The first such week will begin this Saturday, December 1st. Since I have been trying to draw comic strips lately, I will dedicate the week to comic strips. Each day during that week I plan to blog about one of the many comic strips I read online. Time permitting, I will upload a new Superficial Intelligence comic strip the last day. Now, enjoy the video!

November 14, 2007

A.I. Comic Strip - Poker Part 2

After stalling for a few days, here is my fifth comic strip, which is a continuation of the last one. On a non-related note, my blog has been enjoying a slow, but steady, increase in traffic. I am now at more than 200 visits per month and have reached record numbers for daily visits twice in the last week. Of course, 200 visits per month averages to about only 7 visits per day, but I think this is good enough for a blog that I haven't really promoted much yet. Yesterday I also got a visit from the 25th state to visit my blog. That means I've had visits from half of the states in the US already. Let's see how far I can take this blog. Anyway, enjoy the comic strip!

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November 10, 2007

A Minesweeper Movie While I Finish the Next Comic Strip

I have been working on a few projects and homeworks this week and was finally able to start drawing the next comic strip yesterday. I should be able to post it in one or two more days. Meanwhile, I will stall with a very funny fake trailer from collegehumor.com. This goes to all of us which at some point in our lives have been addicted to Minesweeper:

October 21, 2007

A.I. Comic Strip - Poker

Here it is. Finally! A fourth comic strip! Once again I end up drawing three characters per panel, which is really time-consuming. I have also been experimenting a little with the proportions. It's kind of hard to get them right. This time, my inspiration came from all the attempts to use computers to beat humans at games such as poker. So far, even with their perfect poker faces, computers still find it hard to beat the top human players. Maybe the taunting could actually help...

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October 5, 2007

A.I. Comic Strip - Memory

Here is my third attempt at a comic strip. I found out by drawing this one that it can be very tiresome to draw three characters per panel. I am still trying to narrow down a theme or focus for the comic strip. I am starting out with only A.I. and computer themes for now. I have enough ideas for a while right now. I just wonder how long that will last. Anyway, here is the comic strip (click to enlarge):

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September 23, 2007

A.I. Comic Strip - Search

Here is my second comic strip. This time it is about search, one very important and broad topic in artificial intelligence. It took me some time to get the character to look good enough sideways. I hate having to draw them sideways, but if they're using a computer, the characters usually look better that way. Enjoy!

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September 16, 2007

A.I. Comic Strip

Here is my attempt at a comic strip. If you haven't heard of Turing's test, it is a very famous test in Artificial Intelligence where a user has to be able to tell if the other user he is chatting with is a computer or a human. If a computer can fool the user into believing it's a human, then that computer (i.e., the A.I. algorithm) passes the test. Let me know what you think of the comic strip.

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