What Machine Learning Is Teaching Us About How We Learn

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“By bringing the tools of computation and machine intuition to the table, AI researchers are giving us a more complete picture of how we learn. They are also broadening the study of education to include quantitative, numerical models of the learning process itself. “The thing that AI brings to the table is that it forces us to get into the details of how everything works,” says John Laird, a computer scientist at the University of Michigan. If there was any doubt that good teachers are important, machine learning is helping put it to rest.”

Want a piece of a former Met curator’s collection? It’ll cost less than you think

Otto van Veen (c1556-1629), The Pentecost, oil on copper, stamped with the maker’s mark of Pieter Stas and the Antwerp hand, est $15,000-$25,000 (Image: Christie's)
Seeing what kind of art curators choose to live with is like finding out where chefs go to dinner. They may not make the obvious or fashionable choice, but they usually have a good reason.

Next month, Christies is due to sell works from the eclectic collection of Everett Fahy, the former curator of European paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the former director of the Frick Collection in New York. The 46 paintings, works on paper and objects will lead Christies Old Masters sale on 26 October in New York.

Some of the works, which span the 14th to the 20th centuries, were gifts Fahy received from famous friends. The socialite Brooke Astor gave him a Chinese carved jade disc from the late 19th century (est $1,000-$1,500). The sales top lot is a fragment of an early 14th-century panel painting of Saint Peter attributed to the Circle of Duccio Di Buoninsegna (est $150,000-$250,000). The tempera and gold painting was one of several gifts from Sir John Pope-Hennessy, Fahys mentor and predecessor as chairman of European paintings at the Met.

All told, the collection is expected to make $353,800 to $554,400. Some small sculptures and drawings carry estimates as low as $400. Specialists hope that the modest price points and eclectic mix of objects will appeal to collectors in town for the first New York edition of the European Fine Art Fair (Tefaf) (22-26 October). Fahy has listed a significant portion of the collection with no reserve, so its an opportunity to have wildly low prices achieved for really amazing things, says the specialist Emma Kronman.

Fahy worked as a consultant to the Christies Old Masters department after he left the Met in 2009. He lived with his collection in a Mark Hampton-designed apartment on New Yorks Upper West Side until recently, when ill health caused him to downsize and move closer to his family.

As a consultant, Fahy would often rely on his extensive, immaculately organised archive to find unpublished research on Old Master paintings that had turned up at the auction house. The records he managed to establish over decades of scholarship are staggering, Kronman says. (Fahy has promised the archive to the Fondazione Federico Zeri in Bologna.) He would look at something and say, I believe I saw that picture in 1985, let me go and check the folder. And there it would be with all kinds of information you could never get from a library.


Previews for the Fahy collection will be held at Christies Rockefeller Center showroom from 21 October-25 October.  

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The Currency Of Feelings – What’s It Worth To You?

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“The primacy of feelings in our economy has given rise to a new field of scholarly inquiry. ‘Affect studies’ refers to humanistic and social-scientific investigations of the ways that feelings are generated, experienced, and interpreted. An affect is a particular kind of feeling, one distinct from an emotion. For academics in the field, affects are feelings that reside not in individual people but in social groups, institutions, or physical spaces.”