Thanks to Jeff Fohl for the excellent logo design!
On October 18-19 of 2014, we held our fourth NuPIC Hackathon in San Jose at Pinger, Inc. It was a 36-hour event, starting at 10AM on Saturday, and ending with hack demos at 4PM Sunday afternoon. We started with a Kickoff presentation to go over hackathon protocol, then jumped right into hacking. There were some interesting themes this time. A lot more people tried using cortical.io’s word fingerprinting service for natural language processing hacks. We also had a lot of interest in EEG analysis with NuPIC, which seems to be a hot topic within the community. And we even had another robotics demo!
I think I say this after every NuPIC hackathon we host, but this hackathon was the best one yet! We had well over 50 participants, 16 demos, and a ton of fun and community bonding. It was really nice to see some new faces at this hackathon. I love meeting the people of our community!
Once again, we had attendees from all over the world: Amsterdam, China, Austria, Ireland, not to mention from all over the United States. I was really impressed how with each hackathon our community gets a better understanding of NuPIC and how it can be used to tackle many different kinds of problems. Even though we had a high percentage of new hackers this time, I could really see the light bulbs turning on as I talked to people about their hackathon ideas.
I’ve separated this blog post into sections:
Another big thanks to Pinger, who let us use their offices to host the event once again.
Felix Andrews talks about HTM implemented in Clojure.
Marion Le Borgne and Artem Avdacev watching hackathon demos.
Scott Purdy sharing his knowledge with Daniel McDonald and Mark Whelan.
More people than ever, and a more diverse community than ever. We had pro hackers, students, software professionals, a neurologist, and even some new to programming in general.
"Had an awesome time!! Thanks again to Matt and Scott for helping me so much with getting started with nupic."
"Thanks Matt and the whole Numenta crew for a wonderful weekend. It was a good chance to prototype how NuPIC can be used for wearables."
"Thank you Matt for making this an unforgettable event. I am already looking forward to the next Hack-a-thon!"
"Thanks For hosting the workshop and hackathon Nupic team . Had a great time!"
"I really had a good time. I learned so much and loved seeing the incredible variety of hacks."
"This was inspiring!"
"A fantastic event. It underscores Numenta’s approach of being totally open with their work and supportive of the community. It feels like we are at the cusp of a revolution, where a few more good ideas will really make this thing fly."
We only gave a few presentations from Numenta and friends for hackathon participants to attend in order to give more time for attendees to work on their projects. You can watch all the recordings we took at the hackathon in this playlist.
Where hackers are welcomed to the hackathon, protocol is reviewed, and ideas are brainstormed.
We had a neurologist attending the hackathon, who was kind enough to sit in front of a camera for us and let us pick his brain about EEGs.
Francisco talks about language, intelligence, and cortical.io's new REST API version 2.0 and all its capabilities.
This talk is from the Numenta Workshop that preceeded the hackathon, but Chetan gave the same talk at the hackathon. Since the recording at the workshop was a better quality than the hackathon presentation, I've included the first one.
Jeff Hawkins takes questions about HTM theory from hackathon attendees and explains the answers in front of a whiteboard.
Games, physics, robotics, geology, natural language, geospatial analysis… demos at this hackathon spanned a large breadth of topics. We were really impressed with the types of things hackers attempted to perform with NuPIC. When we have hackathons, it’s a chance for people interested in NuPIC and HTM to push the boundaries of HTM technology and really see what it might be capable of. I always come away inspired and excited about the future of NuPIC and HTM, and this hackathon was no exception at all.
Not all hacks are success stories, but each one is a learning experience. We’ll never know what can be achieved with cortically-inspired machine intelligence unless we try to solve hard problems.
An attempt to balance an inverted pendulum using predicted data.
I created a Minecraft mod that exports player X,Y,Z coordinates into NuPIC using the CoordinateEncoder to get anomaly indications for a live player.
According to recent news, the Bay Area is overdue another "Big One". I'll be evaluating encoding schemes for data that comprises the last 10+ years of magnitude 2.5 or greater earthquake activity for the 1000 km radius centered on the Pinger headquarters in San Jose, CA. I'm hoping to identify earthquake swarms leading up to larger events in the same region.
A demonstration of sensorimotor inference in simple robotics.
In this hack, we will attempt to generate semantic fingerprints from WordNet semantic relationships and train the HTM to recognize sequences of meaning from training texts. The trained HTM will be used to generate English sentences by using the predicted sequence of SDRs from the HTM to select words from the training set to fill in blanks in the sentences generated according to a limited English grammar.
Demo of HTM implemented in Clojure, with a web-based visualization.
Tracking geolocations of cargo ships in the port of Rotterdam.
A Racket-based implementation of the current temporal memory algorithm. Amazingly, this was Rian's first real program. It's very impressive that he chose to implement HTM in a Lisp!
I am training NuPIC on a dataset of 500 jingles and generating new jingles based on input vectors of a few notes.
Using cortical.io to analyze Yelp's academic dataset. This might not have been the most successful hack at the hackathon, but it was one of the most entertaining.
Nicolas used his hack to work on a Kaggle competition, and the rules of the competition prevent us from displaying his video or source code until the competition is over.
I'm extracting my track-by-track music listening history from Last.fm and then seeing if NUPIC can predict what artist I'm going to listen to next given a sequence of my previous listens.
Chandan tried using NuPIC to solve a Kaggle Bike Sharing competition, where one week of demand data is missing from each month.
Feed a network of htms with articles about different topics. Get the network to extract and learn interesting facts from the input. Then query the network's knowledge.
Apple Watch app for telling if there is an anomaly detected in your heartbeat. You can view the rhythm strip and share the information with your doctor.
EEG data is classified by NuPIC based upon the thoughts of the subject. EEG data was collected by an OpenBCI board.
As the NuPIC community grows, I continue to be awed and inspired by its passion and perseverance. A sincere thank you to all who have participated on our mailing lists, our code repositories, and our hackathons. You folks are the reason we’ve gone open source, and the reason we continue to thrive. I see a bright future for us, and I truly believe we will lead the path forward to truly intelligent machines built on neocortical principles.
It’s not an easy road, but you are the pioneers helping us pave it for the masses that will follow. I had a wonderful time interacting with all of you, and I look forward to even more ground-breaking work at the next hackathon in Spring 2015.
Open Source Community Flag-Bearer
You might not have heard about it, but the NuPIC mailing lists had to be migrated to a private server recently, so we had a short outage. Once the lists had been moved, I wanted to reengage our community members after a couple day of limited messages, so I asked everyone to introduce themselves, and we’re getting some really fascinating responses. The NuPIC community is quite diverse and passionate! You might enjoy reading through some of the responses on each of our lists (look for the topics entitled “We’re back in business, introduce yourself!”.
Here are some interesting excerpts:
Currently, I am working with a student in collaboration with an expert MD on using NuPIC for analyzing medical vital signs for diagnosis of medical conditions and early warnings on abnormal incidents. We are at the first stages of this work. I will let you know if we get some promising results.
- Spyros Vassilaras, PhD
Thx Numenta for creating this awesome community.
- Alex GuangTou
For a while long ago i seriously thought i would be an opera singer, but despite great bass notes i couldn’t hit a high G, so that career ended abruptly. And as of yesterday i appear to be a cancer survivor, so yay!
- Matthew Lohbihler
NUPIC should be renamed to EPIC:-)
- Chirag Mirani
I am new to opensource but it is surprising how cool and encouraging the NuPIC community is and it has set a very high standard for opensource communities in my mind. Thanks NuPIC.
- Anubhav Chaturvedi
I’m really excited about what Numenta is doing and will be doing a small presentation about the CLA and NuPIC in my college soon!
- Kevin Martin Jose
I regard following the progress of Numenta as the most interesting news available. I wish to someday implement a version of Nupic in a consumer product.
- Dave Petrillo
I discovered Jeff from his Triangulation interview back in April and have been hooked ever since.
- Ryan Belcher
I’d say the only thing I don’t really understand about HTM is why there is not even more widespread interest for it from the AI community.
- Angela Bovo
I was one of the season-of-nupicers this year which was pretty interesting. I made an experimental visualisation library for NuPIC. Which i hope to properly release soon.
- Ruaridh O’Donnell
I have developed a good intuition for the characteristics of our brain and central nervous system as models for IT simulations and the CLA, HTM, SDR concepts together are very brilliant and worth their weight in gold. As it turns, I also apply some data science to some of the data in our systems and I believe that GROK may one day be a good solution for some future applications. For now, this is a hobby I follow with enthusiasm.
- Joe Perez
Then I stumbled on one of Jeff’s keynotes online and it blew my mind. Now I’m working to understand/develop/apply HTM, and build the future with you all…
- Felix Andrews
By day I lead the Cloud Foundry team at HP, but ever since I saw Jeff speak at OSCON last year, I’ve been digging neocortical simulations. I’m particularly interested in the realm of procedurally generated content in games and other media, and I hope to do a session about Machines the Tell Stories at SXSW Interactive next year.
- Jeff Kramer
And lastly, you gotta read this wonderful interaction between a high school student and an elderly Chinese PhD:
Hi, Anthony Liu:
☺, I am this too old, and you are so young !
I had lived at bay area for some years, that is an area creating stories, always.
I love this stuff! NuPIC bringing people together from all walks of life FOR SCIENCE!!!! Big thanks to the NuPIC community for being such good people.
Open Source Community Flag-Bearer
We have developed and open-sourced a project called the NuPIC Geospatial Tracking Application, which demonstrates how NuPIC can be used to provide anomaly indications for geospatial data. Specifically, it can accept GPS track information in GPX format and output indications of anomalous activity for each point along the tracks. This could be useful for a number of interesting applications:
You can see a simple tutorial of how to import GPS information from standard GPX files in this video:
Numenta has also authored a white paper entitled Geospatial Tracking: Learning the Patterns in Movement and Detecting Anomalies, which provides details about our motivation, potential use-cases, and underlying technologies.
At the heart of this new capability is the
GeospatialCoordinateEncoder, which converts geospatial coordinate information into a format that is compatible with NuPIC, exposing the characteristics of location information that allows the cortical underpinnings of NuPIC to understand it. In a way, this is analogous to providing a “new sense” of location awareness that we humans currently don’t have. For details about how the Geospatial Coordinate Encoder works to encode this data for NuPIC, see the following video by Numenta engineer Chetan Surpur:
We hope this demonstration of NuPIC’s geospatial tracking capabilities inspires others to create more interesting implementations in the fields listed above. The NuPIC Geospatial Tracking Application is really just a showcase, and a simple implementation to demonstrate NuPIC’s efficacy in this field.
Open Source Community Flag-Bearer