AlphaGo: Hook, Line and Sinker!

‘Go’ simple yet profound!

Rick Rubin’s ‘The Creative Act: A Way of Being’ was instrumental in AlphaGo coming into my horizon and I have mentioned this before, while consuming content on creativity or for that matter any content, the messages and informations communicated in between the main content form this beautiful layer or web of information that can trigger a creative endeavour on its own!

I came across this documentary titled ‘AlphaGo’ on the YouTube university and I must proclaim without any inhibitions, it has you gripped from the word go. It captivates you ‘ Hook, line and sinker!’

It’s about this ancient Chinese board game ‘Go’ that looks extremely simple however in terms of its endless feasibility of layering of strategies aimed at capturing territory on the board, it is said to be the reflection of the person playing the game! ‘Go’ is treated like a creative art in the parts of the world where it is interwoven into their culture. It is famously said and not very far from truth that this game has possible configurations more than the number of atoms in the known universe!

Enter ‘Deep Mind’ with their computer program ‘AlphaGo’ try and capture this intuitive essence of the game which allows it to compete with human players and eventually with champions of the game!

This documentary is ever so relevant when we are faced with an AI revolution in the form of ‘chatGPT’ and Image generating Stable diffusion modules etc.

Highly recommended! Must watch….

Link that you must check:

https://www.deepmind.com/research/highlighted-research/alphago

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Björk- music of AI age!

If ever there was a dearth of inspiration to create an AI app that can convert sound to 3D visuals, then we needn’t go far for the most compelling inspiration there ever was: The Björk Sound!

Ever heard that in future the human race will be able to communicate at a non- physical level,..through thoughts or dreams, well unbelievable enough but something worth munching on if we don’t reject the notion outright like many people did to the notion of flying machines(aircrafts)! The context here is so broad with so many new possibilities- we have felt it sometime or the other when you needed something to happen and it happened or got arranged. Typical example is from our college days when we hadn’t worked for certain submission and were unable to finish it on time and wished somehow it got postponed! And alas! it happened exactly the way we wanted it. There are many books available that tell us in specific words, ” Thoughts are things!”

More on this interesting topic in detail some other time but let me elaborate why I thought(pun intended!) of this while discussing some artist. Well, Bjork is such an artist who defies boundaries of known ways of composing/ singing/ writing/ visualizing in a way that takes you levels beyond what reality is and transports one to what ” reality can be”. The sound produced is unlike anything we would have heard so far(generalizing for the convenience of expression, not denying many of us would have heard even more unusual sounds!) in our lives by virtue of its truly being ” different” ! I first noticed her on the soundtrack of first instalment(!) of Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible and was in awe of the sound that she produced. The music was unlike anything that we assume to be music. But still provoking and compelling enough to make one think isn’t this what music should aim to achieve? Making the listener think beyond the realms of ” present”, opening new avenues of imagination,…if anything deserves to be called “music” then this is it!

If ever there was a dearth of inspiration to create an AI app that can convert sound to 3D visuals, then we needn’t go far for the most compelling inspiration there ever was: The Björk Sound!

Funnily enough, I haven’t yet been able to assume that my pronunciation of her name is correct; I have presently resolved to pronounce it as ” BE-YO-RK ” for the time being, which remains open for correction! The music described here will surely work with people with open minds and creative bend and as far as my limited understanding goes, all of us are creative! Surely we are in our own unique ways! So, go ahead, enjoy the music and plug in the remaining warps and wefts of the ever expanding fabric of musical experience that we are attempting to weave!

Note: Image used here is only for representational purposes.

Tracy Chapman: Eternal beauty of simplicity in music!

I want a ticket to anywhere

Maybe we make a deal

Maybe together we can get somewhere

Anyplace is better

Starting from zero got nothing to lose

Maybe we’ll make something

But me myself I got nothing to prove”

Just a sample of lyrics of her most popular song. ” Fast Car” is enough to describe what I would be going berserk about for the rest of the article!

This is sheer magic personified in simplest of words. When she travels, she is sure to take you along. No extravagance of orchestration, no out of the world sounds, she relies on the power of her soulful sound and strumming of guitar that builds the structure of her songs.”Fast Car” was the album that I noticed for its soulful sound. I believe it was 1988 when I heard her in a collection of Grammy nominations. Luckily enough Doordarshan( India’s National network) also broadcast her video during their annual Grammy telecast. The love continues to grow deeper with every new song of hers that I get to hear.

The album ” Fast Car” contains songs like ” Talkin’ Bout A Revolution”. ” Across The Lines”, ” Behind The Wall”, ” Baby Can I Hold You”, ” Mountains O’ Things “, ” She’s Got Her Ticket”, ” Why?”,… and few more. All these songs remain favourites so many years after one had first heard them. ” Behind The Wall ” deserves a special mention here as it has no instruments accompanying Tracy Chapman’s magical voice. She carries the song on the strength of her voice alone! Truly awesome is an expression that scarcely can scratch the surface of what I mean when I use it!

She later produced many gems like ” Give Me One Reason”,” Bang Bang Bang”,” Another Sun”, ” Let It Rain”…good news is that the list is continuing to grow and also the number of awards she has been getting!

Must leave few lines from her song ” Mountains O’ Things” for everyone to relate,…

The life I’ve always wanted
I guess I’ll never have
I’ll be working for somebody else
Until I’m in my grave
I’ll be dreaming of a live of ease
And mountains Oh mountains o’ things

To have a big expensive car
Drag my furs on the ground
And have a maid that I can tell
To bring me anything
Everyone will look at me with envy and with greed
I’ll revel in their attention
And mountains Oh mountains o’ things

Sweet lazy life
Champagne and caviar
I hope you’ll come and find me
Cause you know who we are
Those who deserve the best in life
And know what money’s worth
And those whose sole misfortune
Was having mountains o’ nothing at birth

Oh they tell me
There’s still time to save my soul
They tell me
Renounce all
Renounce all those material things you gained by
Exploiting other human beings

Consume more than you need
This is the dream
Make you pauper
Or make you queen
I won’t die lonely
I’ll have it all prearranged
A grave that’s deep and wide enough
For me and all my mountains o’
things

Mostly I feel lonely
Good good people are
Good people are only
My stepping stones
It’s gonna take all my mountains o’ things
To surround me
Keep all my enemies away
Keep my sadness and loneliness at bay

I’ll be dreaming, dreaming… Dreaming…

Note: The image used here is only for representational purposes.

Quantum biology and spirituality… is there a connection?

Entanglement!

I think of spirituality in terms of this ‘difference of experience of existence’ than normal that I feel when I am able to go through with my morning routine, have some me time before starting the day. I have felt a more than noticeable difference in my everyday dealings in my work life during the periods when I am able to have a proper morning routine and when I am not! ‘Try is to realise!’ ‘Meaningful morning routine is a stepping stone to realising your full potential’ I can proclaim as much without hesitation!

In spirituality we come across terms like oneness, interconnectedness, telepathy, precognition, omnipresence etc… Now sample these with Concepts of ‘non locality’ and ‘entanglement’ in quantum mechanics. Entanglement is a phenomenon where two or more particles become intertwined in such a way that their quantum states are dependent on each other, even if they are separated by large distances. Now do you start to see probable sync with the concepts of spiritual realm? There may already be identifiable and observable link between these concepts of quantum mechanics and biological world that has a lot of people charged up like the particles they study and this term called as ‘Quantum biology’ is very much in existence. Few quote the example of photosynthesis as being an example of entanglement in biology where energy is transferred from light-absorbing molecules called chromophores to reaction centers where it is used to drive chemical reactions. Quantum entanglement could help optimize the transfer of energy by allowing chromophores to sample multiple pathways simultaneously and choose the most efficient route.

There is this super interesting video on the mighty old You Tube university that actually shows an experiment related to migration in birds that seems to have arguable link to the phenomenon of entanglement! Here is the link

Captivating, to say the least!

Explore and explore to expand the horizons of what we know! We may come up with a totally different meaning to the bill paying job and mundane life! Just kidding, but I am serious otherwise! Isn’t it intriguing to give some occupation to the good old bean called as brain, to think about!

Note: The image used in the article is for representational purpose only.

AI: Use it to convert your sketches into breathtaking images!

Candy drawn by my little 6 year old daughter
AI converted image from the sketch of a candy!
Dress design sketched by my six year old, she wanted to gift her little cousin sister!
This is the AI app screenshot, it generated four realistic visualisations out of the sketch!

And they were calling AI image generators creativity killers! I firmly understand now that creativity is in the way we use AI, it is just another tool for creative use!

I have tried recreating the set up painted in works of great masters to satisfy the curiosity as to what the space which was depicted by the artist would have looked like using AI! It is in essence reversal of the process- obtaining the feel of the space depicted in these great works! Not putting up examples herewith as there may be copyright issues, but you get the idea I suppose!

So, be curious, bring out the child in you and allow it to play! Be Creative!

It is easier to eliminate the wrong options, Instead of searching for the right one!

The Problem Solver! Problem solving should be hailed as the new superpower as it is applicable to every aspect of life!

I don’t know how many of you from the generation Z have come across multiple choice questions,… but our generation, just 1.5 generations before you, have faced multiple choice questions in competitive exams, board exams etc! One phenomenon regarding multiple choice questions is, if you go and look for the right answer, it takes time, instead it is easier to eliminate the wrong answers and end up with the right one!

Now let’s expand our horizons… in life, aesthetics, design,art almost in every walk of life, it is very simple to realise intuitively what isn’t right for you! And the more you practice elimination( not attaching importance to) the more you elevate your chances of finding the right solution!

I have to quote a real life example here, I was faced with a multiple choice examination as the final competitive exam for my selection into design education. Three hours was the allotted time! For two hours out of these I struggled with finding the right answer out of the four multiple choice options against each of these close to 200 questions( little foggy about this number!) When there was only 45 minutes of the allotted time was remaining, I was struck by lightening( virtual) inside my head, and I did feel as if something had transformed when I solved my first question using this elimination method! It was as if I had been auto reset to think in this new way and realise to my utter bewilderment that it was almost intuitive solution to finding the right answers! As they say.. rest is history and the man solved almost all the questions in the little window of time that was remaining and walked out feeling like the ruler of planet earth, over STD( Subscribers Trunk Dial I suppose, these were the public call booths available before the mobile age!) I called home and proclaimed to the parents that their son had cracked the exam and let the celebrations begin! and order the red carpet….

Try it to realise it! Let me add further, in my afterlife(after above described triumph) as a design professional, I have applied this trick close to 0.9million times, when faced with a question of selecting what is the right design/ aesthetic or any other type of a solution, you know by now what this ruler of earth(just kidding, no ego) would have tried!

An afterthought… Don’t you think ‘Problem Solving’ should be hailed as the superpower of this new superhero that we can come up with.. ‘The Problem Solver!’

Random Browsing your way to creativity!

Randomness has very curious link with creativity!

Random browsing is the term I started to use some months back to describe this unintentional browsing of YouTube that throws up surprises that you never expected! Serendipity shows up many a times(pun intended!), when you stumble upon something that you were thinking about at some other times(usually in past!) and get shocked out of your skin to suddenly realise the link!

So, let me try and explain through a sample scenario or situation! As hinted previously in my other blogs before, I am in a constant exploration mode to find the best morning routine that can suit my urge to feel creative and I search for morning routines, guided meditations, interviews with creative individuals, Composing-mixing- mastering of music etc… this can be called agenda-Search for want of a better word! This certainly is not random browsing! There are some other times when I am allowing the algorithm to take over and just browse without any intention or motivation! This is when I come across the most unexpected bits of information that suddenly gets me excited to start the pursuit of gathering more details of that particular idea or topic! I usually note such ideas in my daily notes on Roam Research with #RandomBrowsing tag and also embed the video onto the Roam page. People who use Roam Research will know very well that such hash tagging of one topic will then allow me to click on it and the app/ software automatically lines up everything that I had tagged under #RandomBrowsing… Now you must be starting to see where I am headed! Now I have this whole collection of bits from YouTube or other sources that had sparked my interest. This collection is the treasure trove for further creative explorations, learnings and can get combined to create a neural path of sorts that can lead to a creative, engaging and life changing idea! From my experience I would say, “ Try this today to change your life and thinking!”

Without hurting your assumption( each one of us has this notion) that you know it all already and don’t need a blog writing maniac to try and teach you things… I must submit my humble suggestion for consideration that when you random browse say for instance an interview with Brian Eno… you shouldn’t only look for the main topic that is under discussion, instead, be on the lookout for this secondary layer in what is being discussed when Eno may say,” The other day I spoke with Architect Rem Koolhas whom I asked why he resists going to computers in his early stages of design and he said it is because of this premature sheen, you add textures and people and it starts looking good…” This secondary reference to a conversation, a person or an idea should be the germ of a creative possibility that you pick up! Immediately note it down in your ‘to be explored further’ list! Now you must have realised so much would remain unexplored if we were to watch videos for the apparent information they are dealing with, but if you are on the lookout for these hidden gems, suddenly you have expanded your field of exploration at least by a multiplication factor of a million! Suddenly your world view of YouTube as a harmful addiction is changed to it becoming a potent source of creative ideas hiding away under the hood of each and every video available on YouTube!

if you are on the lookout for these hidden gems, suddenly you have expanded your field of exploration at least by a multiplication factor of a million!

I have come across many interesting books due to this ‘looking under the hood while random browsing a YouTube video’ Anyways, it is liberating to reverse a conventional fixed notion that YouTube binge watching is bad, into it is not bad if I discover creatively what can help me grow as an individual! Another example being my six year old daughter picking up nuances of language through the videos that she watches! So, blocking something totally out vs putting a creative filter on it and allowing a trickle to feed your creativity is the choice we have to allow ourselves to make!

Am I the best imperfect version of myself?

Beautiful ‘Present’…..

If you are spending your days with this constant nagging notion of dissatisfaction, fear, stress, anger….you are the perfect( pun intended in using the word perfect!) candidate to explore this possibility that with conscious, seemingly spontaneous actions, you can fine tune and craft yourself into this piece of art that your inner core longs to become!

“Be the best that you can become” We have heard these profound words and variations of it from great individuals whom we love and respect! We measure our lives based on the assumed imaginary perfect lives that those great people are living or had lived! That’s why we get extremely disappointed or go into a state of disbelief when we hear any news about any human imperfections displayed by these individuals in their private or public life! We do not realise that there is a category of being “ less perfect and more human” and still we can exist, thrive and survive! Let us avoid auto-translating “ Survival of the fittest” as “ Survival of the most perfect!”

In Japanese tradition, there is this profound philosophy of aesthetics called ‘Wabi Sabi’ which talks about beauty of imperfection and the impermanence of all things! If we derive a pop catch phrase ‘ Nothing lasts forever’ from ‘Wabi Sabi’, at that very instant, our lives have changed. When we realise that “ This exact same moment that I am living right now, will never come again (in the exact same form and with the same nuances) in millions of years from now” we have known the most profound truth of life and from this point onwards and shouldn’t we start enjoying and valuing the simplest and the smallest and the most unique unit of life that is available to us, which is ‘ this exact moment that I am living and experiencing!”

Let us permit ourselves to go back to our childhood love of painting, sketching, scribbling, dropping some paint on floor, pasting some on the noses of loved ones…why not? Just imagine….Will I be able to do these when I am on my deathbed looking all intelligent and wrapped in corporate suit? Who wants such a death anyways!

This is a series aimed at going back to our roots, more intuitive, creative selves and finding peace with the ‘ Wabi Sabi’ versions of ourselves!

Will come back with more on this subject when I spontaneously feel inclined to write about it! This is really profound and needs a lot of scrapping of the top surface!

Note: Images used here are for representation purposes only.

Morning routine: Add magic to your life!

The bench and the tree! Where magic happens! Find what works for you!

I understand, the first spontaneous reaction to such titles remains as cliche’ as such articles typically are,” Here comes another one, self help guru, snobbish know all type…..” No, I am not writing this as a person who has tried it all and mixed and mastered this wonderful formulae of life etc… No, I am only utilising this blogging platform to note what I spontaneously felt like expressing while I am actually on my morning walk! So whoever is remaining with this blog having impatiently skimmed through my first few lines, here I unveil a treasure trove for you!

When was the last time you started your morning with a barefoot walk on a grass lawn allowing your body to experience the naked reality of nature being all around you waiting for a glimpse of the real you to make contact with?

When was the last time when you discovered that the garden on the podium or ground floor of your residential complex had this Night flowering jasmine plant/ tree that spreads a beautiful blanket of its tiny white flowers in the morning with reddish orange stems with the most subtle, soft, intriguing fragrance that your most expensive bottle of deodorant or spray can never replicate with all its nuances! For an added touch, there was this Plumeria nearby which also had sent down few flowers of its own for a different but beautiful fragrance nevertheless for you to start your day with! With nature, you always have choices!

When would you notice that there was this nice wrought iron bench by the poolside of your residential complex that had this magical powers ( usually in mornings) that sitting on it brings out the creative artist in you suppressed under layers of showing up as a decorated corporate executive willingly stuck in this charade of ‘9 to 5’ everyday( it is never 5 in most of these jobs, using this just to describe a boring, mundane bill paying job). Sit on this bench and you will come up with the best content for the blog that you were putting off, You may get clarity as to what you should paint next on the canvas that you have up on easel for last six months and your life partner is ridiculing you for pretending to be an artist!

Have a go at it, let life breathe through this magical persona of your real,Beautiful and creative self! A meaningful morning routine crafted around your preferred interpretation of it, will un-layer you day by day, moment by moment and reveal the real un adulterated you!

let life breathe through this magical persona of your real,Beautiful and creative self!