2016 May

R&D Turns Into Art – Take a Deep Look at How These Styles Were Created

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An artist learns of his obsolescence.

Art.  Wow, what a concept.  What used to be considered a purely human endeavor can now be done as well, if not better, by computers.  And I’m not talking about some abstract performance piece where a person interacts with a computer loosely involved in some atmospheric modulation.  I’m talking about real, aesthetic, actual picture on canvas, artwork.

With the ongoing development of machine learning through artificial neural networks (ANNs) and deep learning, computers are beginning to become more creative.  It seems that ditching Von Neumann and, once again, copying nature may propel computers to a more human place.  We now have computers that are faster than ever and possibly more human than ever.



While perceptrons (aka algorithms) and ANNs are nothing new, with today’s processing power, we are now able to explore vast networks that can truly learn on their own.  Believe it or not, you’re already using them in your day to day life.  We can find ANNs in places like the Post Office for optical character recognition, in your smartphone for speech to text, in Facebook’s facial recognition algorithm, Google translate, or Google’s image searching algorithm.

How can computers learn?  Don’t they just do what the programmer tells them to do?  Well, ostensibly, yes.  However, we can build software to create a virtual brain and say “Hey computer, make a network with 1000 neurons, with 16 inputs and one output.  Here is our dataset, here is what we expect to see, now figure it out.”  And they will, using a process called backpropagation.  Through repeated training, the network will compare its errors with expected results and slowly coverage to a solution.  By utilizing this process, we can train a computer to read handwriting.  Give it millions of hand-written letters and it will learn to classify them as separate entities.  After the network has sorted itself out, you can say “this is an ‘A,’ this is a ‘B'” etc.


Even more terrifying than the original. 😉

What does any of this have to do with creativity?  After you have a trained network, rather than feeding it a dataset it expects (numbers, letters, faces, etc.), what would happen if you fed it noise or something entirely different instead?  In this figure, we see what happens when a network trained to recognize dogs and birds might see when it “dreams” of Mr. Trump.  That is, the network tries to find these images in the provided picture and transforms it into things it can recognize.  The often cited resemblance to LSD or psilocybin-induced hallucinations is indicative of the functional resemblance to the visual cortex. (Click his image for the full video.)

We now have algorithms that can detect features, recognize objects and shapes, and can manipulate images.  Rather than training these things on discrete objects and concrete forms, what if we could teach them to understand something deeper or more abstract like stylization, mood, or personality?  Someone tried it and came up with a program called “deep style,” named after it’s algorithmic roots in deep learning.

This figure shows the capability of a network which was given a target image to transform to a particular artist’s style.  Figure A shows the original image, B through F show the output, and the inlays show the training image.  The resemblance to the style, feeling, and mood of the training image is uncanny.


Seen on the fridge in a Google datacenter.

I decided to take this to the extreme and feed in multiple styles using one image to celebrate sight and highlight the many things we may take for granted.  Sure, we need to see to drive to work and find our lunch in the fridge, but it’s easy to forget that the enjoyment of a baseball game, reading a comic book, or how a weekend camping relies on sight.  I started with the plain frame in the right bottom corner of the canvas pictured above then I trained the network on Superman, newspaper, a map, The Simpsons, a view of nightlife, a cheetah, and water, etc.  Take a closer look, what the other trained images do you recognize?

If computers can do math faster than us, beat us in Chess and Go, recognize faces, create artwork, and run 24/7 without getting tired, is there anything left that we are better at? Where do we go from here? Perhaps that’s not a meaningful question, and we should instead ask ourselves how we can harness their power and ‘talents’ to enrich the lives of those around us.

I, for one, welcome our new computational neural networking overlords. For a larger version of the canvas click here!

– Erik Sikich – Cherry Optical, Inc Research & Development


Cutting Edge Sun Lens Technology

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Cherry Optical, Inc combines capability, experience and state-of-the-art technology to deliver the best possible results.

With 8 years of experience in digital surfacing and 5 years of experience with the latest milling technology lens edgers, we are capable of producing optimal optics in nearly all Sunwear frames. Our on-site AR coating facility allows us to finish our Sunwear with a custom mirror coating or Xperio UV. We stand behind all of our products with the industry’s only Truly Unlimited Warranty. Questions? We’ll help you get started. Call us today! (800) 469-4211.

Click here to read the rest of the article on our technology, optics, speed, quality control techniques as well as our on-site AR coating facility. 


What’s New Questionnaire (WNQ) – May Answer Key

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Congratulations to:
Marsha Wiesner – Peninsula Vision Care
Diane Wautlet – Tower Clock Eye Center
Sara Orr – Lifetime Eyecare Center

The network we share is a great place to inform others and grow our own knowledge base. If you happen to hear a question at your office that you think would benefit other practices, please contact us with your suggestions using the link below. Thank you for being a part of our team.

Contact Us Here 

View the Answer Key

Already following our Facebook page? Make sure to find us on LinkedIn too!

What’s New Questionnaire (WNQ) – May

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What's New Questionnaire May 2016Please take the time to answer a few short questions on our May WNQ which focuses on Shamir Lenses and ABO Prep.

Once complete, please fax back to (920) 569-2309 as it MUST BE RETURNED BEFORE NOON on WEDNESDAY, May 18th. Click here for May’s WNQ!

All perfect scores will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card. We will announce three lucky winners on Wednesday!

Thank you for your time and good luck!

This Questionnaire is intended for current Cherry Optical, Inc customers.

Are you following us on LinkedIn and Facebook? You should be! “Like” our pages today!

The Feeling We Create At Cherry Optical, Inc

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If you’ve been reading our other posts, you know by now that Cherry Optical, Inc is family owned. However, I want to re-emphasize how this relates to the caring the atmosphere in our workplace is; it’s my favorite part of our small business. Everyone is family – loving, ridiculing, supportive family. They thought they were pretty clever when they made my “new desk” when we no-sweats.jpgwere under construction (see “photographic evidence”). Honestly, though, no matter what is happening in my personal life, I can count on coming to work and knowing that I’ll always have a group of people who support me.  Our workplace offers great people, free soda (for my caffeine needs), there’s always food and of course, Adam’s dog, Pause.  Cherry-9379It’s also especially nice to have Sirius XM radio streaming throughout the day because they offer such variety of music to satisfy everyone’s taste.  Cherry Optical, Inc knows how to make their employees feel at home… Except for the no sweatpants rule. Ha! I can’t complain, since we’re not open to the public, we have the privilege to wear our street clothes.

Over the last four years, I can’t believe of all the progress this company has made.  First, the anti-reflective coating center and adding a night shift for faster turn time for our customers, then an expansion and new machinery, the list goes on.  I’m grateful to work for a company that strives for growth. I feel comfortable sharing my opinions, asking questions and suggesting improvements. I feel honored to be a part of this family owned business which has come so far in the last few years, only to keep finding ways to fulfill our customers’ needs and expectations of an optical laboratory.  In my opinion, Adam has succeeded in creating a work environment that welcomes ideas and fun while operating an efficient production line.

To read more about the environment we create at Cherry Optical, Inc check out the following employee interviews:

Never Finish Learning & Always Do What You Love – Kerry: Finish Optician

Beneath the Surface – Get to Know Jon Our Digital Surfacing Manager

Creating Memories and Sharing in the Holiday Spirit

INTERVIEW: Adam Cherry


Behind the Scenes Pt. 1 – Getting the Shot

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Corey's Sneak Peek

Corey’s Sneak Peek

At Cherry Optical, Inc capability, experience, and state-of-the-art technology combine to deliver the best possible results.  For instance, by having perfect shapes, bevel placements, and angled bevels we can produce lenses that will remain in frames when stressed and we’ve eliminated the “clear-ring” issue around the outside of polarized lenses. But, how do our craftsman and machinery do that? We’re excited to announce, we’re going to show you.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll put together a couple of short videos that offer a deeper look into each of the major areas of production. In fact, we spent most the day yesterday filming with  Baer Performance Marketing. They started off with a few wider shots and then subjected a GoPro to the insides of our machinery. Jake was only nervous about his camera for a minute; then when we got the shot, it was all fun and games. Peering into the innards of these complex machines could have been dangerous, but our experienced personnel spent plenty of time educating everyone about their inner workings. By focusing on the hands-on skills of our craftsman and top-notch technology we’ll have the ability to show you a true close up of what happens to a lens behind the scenes during production.

Please stay tuned for more updates and let us know if you have any suggestions! Contact Us or let us know what you’d like to see more of on our Facebook page.

Ps. Jake and Corey, thank you for all of the hard work you’ve invested so far!


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Scored, Tallied and Ready to Announce – “Joe Knows” March Madness Bracket Winners

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Thank you to all who participated in the “Joe Knows” March Madness Basketball Challenge! We appreciate your patience both waiting for the rankings and the lunches! We had a lot of brackets to score this year.

This year Joe finished out the season with 134 points. Joe’s total points were much better than last year, but the competition was tough. Our first and second place winners crushed his score!

Congratulations to you both. You know more than Joe!!

1st Place with 278 points: Dr. Stradel of Kimberly Eye Clinic

Dr. Stradel earned a free lunch for the office as well as a $100 gift card.

2nd Place with 258 points: Kristi Niemi of Family Vision Center – Cedarburg

Kristi earned a free lunch for the office as well as a $50 gift card.

The following places had a least one entry who beat Joe and will be receiving one free lunch for the office to be scheduled with your Sales Rep. Read More