Monday 24 June 2013

A Couple of my Fantastical Devices

with the recent news about the Voynich Manuscript, as mentioned in my last post, I thought it opportune to share a couple of pieces of code I'd written. First off, as I mentioned earlier, a couple of years ago I wrote a Python implementation of Montemurro and Zanette's algorithm for calculating the entropy of words in documents. If you're interested in using the technique yourself, you may want to have a look. Secondly, my own attempts to uncover the syntax use a Python library for Hidden Markov Models that I created. It probably still has a few bugs in it, but it's attracted a bit of interest online, and I'm hoping to develop it further. So, if you're at all interested in AI, computational linguistics, or analytics, please have a look at these. Feedback is welcome, as is anybody who wishes to contribute further to these projects.

Saturday 22 June 2013

Exciting Voynich Manuscript News

A couple of years ago, I came across a new technique for analysing documents, developed by Marcello Montemurro and Damian Zanette.  It identifies the most significant words in a document by the entropy of their distribution in the text. I tried it out on subtitles at the BBC, and got promissing early results.

Now Dr Montemurro has applied the technique to the infamous Voynich Manuscript, and discovered that it appears to contain a meaningful language, rather than gibberish. No news yet as to what any of it might mean, but hopefully my own efforts to uncover the syntax with a Hidden Markov Model might eventually bear fruit. I'm convinced it's a conlang.

Monday 17 June 2013

Wherein I Announce my Candidacy

I've spent most of the last two weeks job hunting. There's plenty going in my line of work (artificial intelligence and big data), but I do wonder if it would be a good idea to make a new start and try something completely different. As it, happens, a post's just become available that would be right up my street. Doctor Who There seem to be a lot of reasons why I'd be a good fit for the part. For one thing, I've only ever met one person who loves the show more than me. Second, I've got the right sort of English Eccentric vibe to me, and could pull off what, in honour of the fourth Doctor, I call Tomfoolery like nobody's business. My looks fit as well - nearly good looking but a little odd, with angular features and deep-set, bright blue eyes that give me an intense air. At 39, I'm not too old for the part. I have two children, so I can relate to the younger viewers. With an academic background in physics and experience of artificial intelligence, I can do the best technobabble in the known universe. I can not only reverse the polarity of the neutron flow, I could tell you how to polarize your neutron flow to start with. I even have the title "Doctor". My old college's motto was eadem mutata resurgo, "I rise again, the same but changed", which is very appropriate for The Doctor. Indeed, I can only think of one drawback to me playing The Doctor, and that's that my last acting experience was as Loony Bergonzi in a college production of Bugsy Malone 20 years ago. If you're reading, Mr Moffat, get in touch...