Ever wanted to learn about category theory? Did you know it can offer insights into language models of today’s AI rage? Now you can with my latest podcast guest, the wonderful Tai-Danae Bradley over at the Cartesian Cafe. We talk about the basic constructions and definitions of category theory, providing lots of definitions as well as analogies inspired by computer science. We then delve into the Yoneda Lemma, a fundamental result in category theory, and apply it to give insights into language models by clarifying the notions of syntax, word probabilities, and semantics.
I recently interviewed Marcus Du Sautoy for Talks at Google, who is the Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University. It was tremendous fun talking as mathematicians about AI and creativity: an eclectic mix of Hardy’s apology, automated theorem proving, counterpoints between mental shortcuts and the self-imposed struggles of games, and more. You can find more about these topics in Marcus’s books The Creativity Code and Thinking Better as well as his forthcoming book Around the World in 80 Games. Finally, during the Q&A, we also briefly discuss Eric Weinstein and his Geometric Unity theory, a topic which Marcus and I are both intimately familiar with.
Two bits of news. First, I just released my latest podcast episode with the amazing John Urschel:
John Urschel received his bachelors and masters in mathematics from Penn State and then went on to become a professional football player for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014. During his second season, Urschel began his graduate studies in mathematics at MIT alongside his professional football career. Urschel eventually decided to retire from pro football to pursue his real passion, the study of mathematics, and he completed his doctorate in 2021. Urschel is currently a scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study where he is actively engaged in research on graph theory, numerical analysis, and machine learning. In addition, Urschel is the author of Mind and Matter, a New York Times bestseller about his life as an athlete and mathematician, and has been named as one of Forbes 30 under 30 for being an outstanding young scientist.
Second, I’ve renamed my podcast to The Cartesian Café. After some thoughts and discussions with friends, the previous name Deep Jam didn’t convey what the subject matter of the podcast was about. I hope the new name speaks for itself.