Hello, I'm Ron. Thanks for dropping by.

This website is where I share the things I care about, with some emphasis on Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.

One of the breakthroughs in Machine Learning happened in early 2012. Using ten million images from YouTube videos, researchers at Google built and trained a Deep Learning model to recognise abstract objects, including human faces and bodies, and cats. This nine-layer neural network achieved 15.8% accuracy in recognising objects from ImageNet, a far cry from the near human level accuracy that Deep Learning systems can achieve today.

Being an educator, I am fascinated by the notion of intelligence and learning. I am also a cat owner and I am intrigued by animal behaviour.

All animals (including insects) are intelligent. Perhaps some are more intelligent than others. Animals have superior senses and an acute awareness of their environment, and are quick to learn the rules of survival. Every animal instinctively behaves in ways that are unique to its own kind. Put a kitten in a litter box and it does not take long for the kitten to realise this is where it should pee and poo. Thus animal intelligence (and arguably human intelligence too) appears to be genetic.

Sometimes we equate intelligence in animals to their ability to be trained. Are dogs particularly intelligent because it can learn to do tricks and obey human instructions? Horses are also amazingly obedient creatures. But most other animals will not do anything for us without any reward of food! Cats are highly intelligent but notoriously stubborn and independent. Other than twitching their ears or turning their heads, my three cats do not respond to their names like dogs do, but will run to me when I open the fridge door. Since they were kittens, I have often been surprised by their learning ability and sometimes human-like emotions. This is Monty, the most expressive of my cats: