Secret Sauce

Jul. 13th, 2017 08:47 am
tensegrity: (Default)
[personal profile] tensegrity
One of the cool things at WWDC this year was machine learning. Is it a hot dog? Is it a rose? I saw a number of demonstrations and sat through several presentations about how iOS will be able to import a variety of models. Very cool and exciting. But you need to have a trained model to import and creating one is in an entirely different scope. And honestly, every time I've dipped into the programming literature, the math quickly went beyond my comfort level in terms of being able to understand what the heck was going on.

But then I found a pointer to the TensorFlow project, and decided to give it another try. Reading through their tutorials, I started to have a suspicion that I might actually understand what was going on. And then I tracked down this article,, and suddenly it all started making sense. Machine learning is applied statistics, and in its simplest form, it's not even very complex statistics. Which also explained why the trained models they were adding to iOS projects were so very small; the models are just equations. Now, they can be fairly complex equations, but they're just equations.

When they call it machine learning, it's easy enough to assume that the model continues learning as you use it, giving it more data. No, by the time you begin using the model, all the learning is done, at least with the systems I've looked at. The learning part happens when you let the code tweak the equation to better fit what you want to see as a result, and that's where the dangerous part is. There are a number of decisions the model binder has to make and they all influence the outcome of the model, and that's not even touching the quality of the data set or whether the assumed correlation is real enough to be useful. And even if you don't make a wrong step in making and training and tuning the model, it's still dependent upon past data. If the nature of the correlation changes, it will invalidate the model.

All of which is a fancy way of saying that if someone comes to you with a fancy machine learning model, don't treat it like a magical black box, because it isn't. Also, brush up on your statistics if r-squared is still greek to you. Really, it's not that bad, and it can come in handy when reviewing scientific studies or listening to economists.

Fiction Output, January-June 02017

Jul. 6th, 2017 01:33 pm
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
[personal profile] silveradept
Because maybe you are interested in it. Or not, if you like.

  • Hermione Granger and the Two Boys (5838 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
    Rating: Explicit
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Relationships: Hermione Granger/Harry Potter/Ron Weasley
    Characters: Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Harry Potter
    Additional Tags: BDSM

    Ron invited Harry to go to a club. Ron forgot to tell Harry what kind of club it was, much to Hermione's annoyance. Harry gets a lesson. Ron gets a punishment.

    Because when the wheel of prompts stops on the Trio, you write something about their adult lives afterwards.

  • The Gold Curse (1193 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Once Upon a Time (TV), Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Characters: Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Rumplestiltskin | Mr. Gold
    Additional Tags: Crossover

    The curse hit Hogwarts, and only Hermione knows anything about what happened. So she goes to confront the source. Not that Gold is telling anything.

    A scribble I'd put down that is only really notable in that it establishes that TRUTH SHOP is not just in one story.

  • Retreat (1357 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: The Princess Bride - William Goldman
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Relationships: Buttercup/Westley
    Characters: Buttercup (Princess Bride), Westley (Princess Bride), Original Character

    Buttercup needs a break and a change of location before the task of being Princess causes burnout before her wedding.

    A Poetry Fiction prompt. Nor a great work, in my opinion, because it doesn't have the zip of the original, but the original is hard to duplicate.

  • The Oncoming Swarm (600 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Bone (Comic)
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Relationships: Rose Harvestar & The Great Red Dragon
    Characters: Granma Ben, The Great Red Dragon

    The Great Red Dragon comes to warn Gran'ma Ben about what is to come.

    Exactly what it needed to be and no longer, and thankfully, I didn't need to clear a thousand words to post it. Still well-received.

  • Opposing Powers (2095 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Dragonriders of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
    Rating: Not Rated
    Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
    Relationships: Lessa/Kylara
    Characters: Lessa (Draongriders of Pern), Kylara (Dragonriders of Pern)
    Additional Tags: Dubious Consent, Hate Sex, Mind Control

    Lessa chases a familiar feeling and finds a familiar foe.

    It was clearly inevitable that I'd end up writing the words I've been giving so much grief to. And on a pinch hit, no less. That said, I really do like how this one turned out, and I think I got my characterization correct.

  • A Little Blue Bottle (2219 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Once Upon a Time (TV)
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Relationships: Captain Hook | Killian Jones/Emma Swan
    Characters: Emma Swan, Captain Hook | Killian Jones, Henry Mills (Once Upon a Time), Evil Queen | Regina Mills, Rumplestiltskin | Mr. Gold, Violet (Once Upon a Time), Prince Charming | David Nolan, Snow White | Mary Margaret Blanchard

    Emma and Killian go on a date, but something gets in the way of enjoying it fully.

    This one got away from me just a bit, and it was mostly in the bridge in between the start and the ending I had in mind. I persevered and put something together that works, but it didn't flow as easily as some others have.

  • To Create Life Without Taking It (1381 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Tenkuu no Escaflowne | The Vision of Escaflowne
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Relationships: Eriya & Naria & Folken Fanel
    Characters: Eriya (Escaflowne), Naria (Escaflowne), Folken Fanel

    Folken summons his two Luck Soldiers to gift them a present and explain a secret.

    This one wanted to be shorter, but it helps when you have a reader who asks great questions about what's going on, so that that's extra words to be mined in answering them. Plus, I liked getting to write from one of my earliest fandoms.

  • Brother Setzer's Traveling Salvation Show (and Casino) (2679 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Final Fantasy VI
    Rating: Mature
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Relationships: Celes Chere/Locke Cole/Setzer Gabbiani
    Characters: Celes Chere, Setzer Gabbiani, Locke Cole
    Additional Tags: Light Bondage, Sensation Play

    Celes wants to go to bed after her last performance. Setzer has other ideas for the evening, but it turns out very different than anyone had planned.

    This one worked out great. I like the pacing and the way that it all goes a-jumble and gets brought back down to a manageable situation.

  • The Boy Who Wrote Cats (2509 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: 絵猫と鼠 | The Boy Who Drew Cats (Mukashibanashi)
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Characters: Joji XVI, Mr. Bubbles, Jason (The Tourist)

    A tourist stops by the shrine for the family who drew cats with a strange story. The keeper of the shrine offers to help, even though he hasn't yet manifested the family talent.

    This one was a delight to write, inspired by a different fic in the same fandom. It also suffered some from a bridging problem until I figured out the right way to show how the action happened.

  • The Lost Mixtape Mashup (5511 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Leverage, Psych
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Characters: Parker (Leverage), Alec Hardison, Eliot Spencer, Shawn Spencer, Burton 'Gus' Guster
    Additional Tags: Background Relationships

    Shawn and Eliot don't get along, despite being cousins. Parker investigates why there was a falling-out, but nobody seems to agree on the story, much less the details.

    I took Rashomon as the idea of the story, where everyone would tell their perspective, they would all be different, and nobody would necessarily be right. And then added bickering and boasting cousins to the mix, and let it pop out some comedy. It went well.




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