How I came about to collecting these insights

I was about to jump on a plane to Oslo three times and each time I had to cancel. First, it was my own doing, I stayed a few days longer waiting for my second Covid vaccine shot. Then, just 36 hours before my second flight, Israel, where I reside, closed its borders for travel, there was no going in or out. Finally, when the Israeli restriction lifted, Norway denied entry for non residents.

So I haven’t physically met my partners before we decided to start a company together and I haven’t met them since. We all shared a passion…


A review of methods I’ve used to train a machine to draw. What worked, what didn’t work, and future directions.

— modified 12/08/2020 —

Summary

In this set of experiments, I used 4000 flat art illustrations from various artists. Most images contained a person doing something. To train, I used a Pytorch pix-2-pix implementation and a few other libraries.

Training objectives were:

  1. To improve the machine’s ability to color images without color smearing.
  2. To train the machine to add and complete lines. That’s one method to take simple doodles and turn them into more elaborate drawings.
  3. To train the machine to fix proportions of input drawings. For most of us, keeping the proportions right is probably the thing we struggle with…

Why Antler Norway is especially appealing for founding a consumer-facing software startup

My connection to Kahoot!

This January I’m going to Oslo to join a VC backed accelerator - Antler, with the intention of founding a company. I’m from Israel, a country roughly the same size as Norway, that has more than twenty tech unicorns. Yet I’m going to an accelerator in Norway. A few people have asked me “why”, to which I answer that Antler has a unique program that’s not open in Israel (yet) and the managing team in Oslo seems to have created an atmosphere that fosters innovation. …


AI moves from pattern detection to “patterned” creation and most designers are optimistic about this change.

Left side is a horse running in a meadow. Right side is the same picture, but the horse is now a zebra.
Left side is a horse running in a meadow. Right side is the same picture, but the horse is now a zebra.
“Horse to Zebra”, Jun-Yan Zhu implementation of cycleGAN by UC Berkeley researchers 2017

AI opening new creative options

Ask an Uber driver what he thinks about self-driving cars and you’ll probably get a mix of denial, dismissal, and dread. That should not surprise, as the profession is projected to become obsolete when self-driving cars finally hit the road.

By contrast, when designers are asked about the impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have on the design community they are rather optimistic. In a survey I conducted in design groups on Reddit and Facebook, 52% of respondents think that advances in AI will open new creative options for designers and that in-large designers will benefit from this technology shift.

Only…


I set out to check if Machine Learning can become a standard tool in a designer’s tool-set. Can it be used not just for eccentric art but also for commercial use-cases such as illustrations for websites, landing pages, application flows, and blogs?

In the first test that I ran, I showed that a machine can automatically color illustrations. It stayed inside the line and recognized skin, clothes, and hair and used appropriate colors for each one. …


Designers already use machine learning on a daily basis without paying much attention to it, since machine learning is embedded into common features. For example, smart lasso cropping in Photoshop uses edge detection ML, and autofocus on a camera uses object detection ML. But can designers use ML not just in a hidden manner but rather with intention? And beyond using it for mundane tasks, can they actually use it to enhance creativity? This is a question that I started exploring.

How I got started. The interest in new technology has always been part of what I do. The interest…


Search engines and recommendation engines display results ranked by relevance, in a list or a thumbnail layout. That’s useful in many cases but sometimes it’s more useful to also explore the relation between results. Consider the human mind. When we try to remember something we hop between bits of memories, one memory leads to another, and using associative thinking we eventually find what we are looking for.

Here’s a joke about associative thinking. Two couples meet for dinner and while the women leave for the living room the men stay at dinning table and talk. “Hey” says one “I ate…


Originally published in MediaPost

With the threat of ad blocking looming ominously over both publishers and ad-tech companies, it would be an easy way out to pin the blame on Flash or rich media — the very tools whose ad revenues have long allowed publishers to thrive.

Although this easy scapegoat exists, the ad-tech industry seems to understand that the real key to maintain the advertising monetization model is improving the user experience — doing something along the lines of the new L.E.A.N. approach by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

But the truth is, there’s a silent technical factor still ruining…

Avi Latner

At the midpoint of technology, design and strategy, I build innovative products. Linkedin.com/in/avilatner; Building https://sloyd.studio

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