Setu Says "Thank You!"
Anurag Sharma
Thank you! We are grateful!

Recently, I got a new experience which indirectly relates to Setu. Google home hub is a new gift which I got for my desk. It has a lot of features. Best part of communicating with this device is that it handles voice commands reasonably well except for a few non-English words. It fumbles a lot when I mention Setu. Whatever way I say Setu, Google hears either 'Say to', 'See to', or 'C2'. This is an example of issues with voice communication between humans and machines. Setu is bilingual. Many of our authors can be called polyglots. As humans, we are capable of being multilingual. Unlike us, it's hard for machines to learn new languages, or even new words. It's even more difficult to deal with homonyms, or homographs. This will be another challenge where a machine can hear only 'Say to', 'See to' or 'C2' when you actually say 'Setu. I am sure some engineers and scientists are already working on such issues. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are changing the world around us very fast. Artificial intelligence has made everything from talking to your car to commanding your light bulb to dim possible. Of course, these smart machines are very courteous in their communication with humans. They don't get upset at all. Using polite words is a part of the design. Frankly, the words are hollow, because there are no emotions in the background. There are absolutely no emotions in anything any machine ever does.

Machines can learn but they can't be creative. Devices designed in a lab in Boston, or mass produced in a factory in Shanghai cannot understand emotions. All forms of art, music, and literature are fueled by emotions. Creativity revolves around emotions. Emotions connect us to each other as human beings. Emotions form the dividing line between machines and us. We are humans because we can think, and we can be thankful.

This month we celebrated Thanksgiving across America. I express my gratitude on behalf of entire Setu team. We are grateful to all our patrons, readers, contributors, and editors, for supporting this volunteer effort. We want to thank you all for your support. With over 2,100 articles by 600 authors, we have already crossed magic number of 500,000 unique clicks. We have also published two books (Aesthetic Negotiations by Sunil Sharma, and Paco's Atlas by John Thieme) which are available on Amazon. I encourage you to get your own copies and write reviews on literary journals, websites, and on Amazon, if you like our effort.

Book: Paco's Atlas and Other Poems

Author: John Thieme
Genere: Poetry
Publisher: Setu Publications, Pittsburgh
ISBN: 9781947403000
Pages: 54, paperback, Kindle
Price: Free for Kindle Unlimited members;
$7.50 for paperback edition;

Setu Award is an annual tradition and our humble effort to appreciate work of literature and honor contemporary authors. The awards have two categories this year, individual, and institution.  I would like to thank those who sent the nominations before deadline. My special thanks to Robert Maddox-Harle and Sunil Sharma for being part of the jury. My heartfelt congratulations to all the winners of the Setu Awards 2018.

With best wishes,
Anurag Sharma
Setu, Pittsburgh

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