Thursday, July 18, 2013

Neko's Brain Trust

On Monday, Neko and I were successfully funded on Kickstarter! It's tremendously exciting and I can't thank my supporters enough. I just put in a big motor order and look forward to a minor rebuild. As for software, there are two things I'm now teaching Neko: how to select a digital color given a set of words, and how to select pigments to represent that digital color. My new vocabulary for the day is distributional semantics. This is a practice based on the idea that words with similar distributions have similar definitions; "You shall know a word by the company it keeps." I'm building a text crawler that will look for my six core words— Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple— and find words that are highly collocated with each. I'm picking out old public domain books to walk through, and would love suggestions on books that have high frequency of these words. While I'm waiting for the new motors to arrive, I'll put all the most-associated words into my database. Some of the Kickstarter funds will be allocated to a Mechanical Turk bid, though I'm not sure quite what to ask yet.
The second task is matching the pigments to the colors on-screen. For this I've ordered a color sensor which Neko can use to compare what's on the palette to the target color. I've picked a set of mixing pigments— Cadmium Red Medium, Cadmium Yellow Lemon, and Phthalo Blue— to be Neko's go-to adjusters.

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