Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The Onion | Study Reveals: Babies Are Stupid

Developmental Psychology strides forward once again.

I'm back, from my amazing tour of the city known as Los Angeles. The folk at a2i2 were very kind interesting people, whom I had lots of fun meeting and talking to. Micheal, Richard, Bela', and Peter were very accomodating and I look forward to my collaboration with them in the future. Also, the other applicants, Jeff, and Owen were fun to talk to, and I hope that I may be able to meet or work with them in the future.

In the course of the weekend, I was introduced to their methodology and some of the test environments they work with. It's very interesting and detailed work, and I had to work pretty hard to keep up and ask intelligent questions. I was very impressed with what I saw, in terms of integration, and development. I'm quite confident that they are taking very secure and well researched steps in the direction of their goal. The environment was very encouraging and as the weekend progressed I felt more confident that this was a project that I could really be enthusiastic about and work at full time.

Today, my last day there, I spent some time preparing a bit of a presentation of my strengths, how I saw their project benefiting from my work, and how I thought I could contribute initially to the development of their research, in an attempt to present myself in favorable light and convince them to let me join. The effort seemed to be a little unneccesary, Peter described himself as very enthusiastic to have me join prior to my discussion. Well, I guess having both parties so interested in each other can only bode well. I've been offered a position there, and I'll probably relocate within the next few weeks. Peter was very generous given their shoestring budget and I am proud to say that I will have some equity in the company. I'm quite excited by the prospect of doing such intelligent work for a living. I see many of the problems I will be able to work on at a2i2 as not only fundamental for progress within the artificial intelligence field, but also in terms of self-understanding. It's important to realize how little we really understand about how intelligence operates in a fundamental sense, and how it can be improved.

More to come. Within the limits of Intellectual Property and the interests of the company, I hope to be able to detail some of my experiences and ideas in starting work at a2i2.

One interesting bit is going to be relocating. This has caught me quite unplanned, and moving quickly is going to be a challenge. In addition to the friends and projects and activities I'm leaving behind, I've got to get my belonging organized in some fashion.

I have to say I am quite surprised to be moving to LA. In general, I haven't been able to predict my life with much success, but I would have said with some confidence that such a move could not have served my wider goals. LA is pretty expensive to live in, it's far from most of the people I know, and it contains few of the organizations and non-profits I contribute to and try to participate in. But the prospect of working for Peter Voss changes almost all of that, as working on AI directly is quite central to my longterm aims.

Such work promises to give insights into self and society quite handily, two more arenas I'm quite interested in. Big days ahead, friends mine.

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