My name is Kris Buote (pronounced: crispy yacht).

Scroll down for some sporadically added images and blurbs of recent things I've been up to!

Self Study

February - July 2018

During this period of self-study, I let my intellectual curiosity run completely rampant and free. No regiments, no predetermined structure, no reason, just the pure unadulterated joy of learning. It was beautiful.

During this time, I flowed freely from one intellectual obsession to the next. This technique allowed me to learn and experiment a lot without ever getting bored; it was an incredibly effective form of learning.

At the core of my education was computer science (AI & crypto), depth psychology, and philosophy. There were frequent forays into evolutionary biology, economics, game theory, quantum physics, history, literature, linguistics, and whatever else turned my intellectual crank.

One can learn anything in this information climate. Indeed, the autodidact is impeded by information abundance, not scarcity. Meta-learning may be the most important skill of all as we rapidly enter the intelligence revolution. The half-life of modern skills are dwindling, one must stay on his toes!

Travel SE Asia

February - June 2018

Too many great moments, experiences, and foods to possibly capture in a brief paragraph. Some of the highlights:

  • Motorbiking across Vietnam
  • living on an island in Thailand
  • Visiting Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  • Surfing in Sri Lanka

(Photos by Keegan Lunge)

Research, Machine Learning / Biomedical Engineering

September - December 2017

I had the wonderful opportunity to research with the great people in the BLINC Lab.

My research focus was learning how the brain works, how machines learn, and how the two can interact to create a symbiotic relationship between man and machine. In particular, I researched what is required to retain a sense of agency in human-machine interactions -- the feeling that you are in control. Maintaining a sense of agency is a crucial step towards developing bionic limbs that are as natural and intuitive to control as their biological counterparts.

I was fortunate to gain a deeper understanding of reinforcement learning (AI) from my lab-mates and from Dr. Richard Sutton's graduate course.

More generally, I am highly interested in thinking about a future with intelligent machines and considering how we can manifest the best possible future for everyone involved, including the machines.

We live in the weirdest time ever, don't we?


Autumn 2017

I spent 3 unbelievable weeks in Peru travelling the "gringo trail" from Lima to Cusco. Glimpsing ancient knowledge on my 5-day trek to Machu Picchu was one of the coolest experiences of my life.

I was awestruck by the native people who hold the last strings to their past through an intimate relationship with the plant life and their language, Quechua.


Kris' Ostensibly Omniscient Maze Breaking Agent

July 2017

I created a simple robot that senses obstacles, backs up, and makes a random turn to avoid the object. Here's a short video of it escaping a board game maze.

It uses an Arduino Uno, Adafruit Motorshield v2, rechargeable AA's, small DC motors, and a close range distance sensor. Feel free to use my code and chassis design files!


CBC Radio's Radio Active

Summer 2017

I spent my summer as a Media Fellow with CBC Radio, funded by Alberta Innovates. After interviewing some of the brightest minds at the University of Alberta, I created a radio series focused on the interaction of medicine, machines, and man. Topics such as genetic editing, organ transplants, cancer nano-therapies, prosthetic limbs, and AI were explored. Check out the Discussions page to see some of the full length interviews!

World's Challenge Challenge

June 2017

Roh, myself, and Ty competed in the international World's Challenge Challenge after winning our University's competition.

The WCC is an innovative idea competition with the goal of developing a solution to one or more of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.

Our idea was to implement vertical farming into densely populated urban centers in warm climates -- Delhi, for example. Click here to learn more about the sustainability-focused student group we co-founded.

Jan - Apr 2017

A magnetic surface climbing robot developed for a mechanical engineering capstone project at the University of Alberta. The robot deploys an accelerometer on the surface to record activity, mainly for industrial application.

The robot was designed and prototyped by Alex Lu, Ethan Brown, Padan MacRae, Danica Sun, Dev Vajaria, and myself, Kris Buote.

Our robot won an honourable mention for best design; I won an an honourable mention for best speaker.

Click here for a video!

Urban Farming Organization

Fall 2016

Seven mechanical engineers who had very little combined experience of caring for plants cofounded the Urban Farming Organization in Fall 2016.

Our mission is to research, build, and invent sustainable agricultural technologies for the future.

We learned a lot! I was the design lead of our first farm, shown above. The student group has been succeeded by younger minds.

My 3D Printer

Summer 2016

My Prusa i3 that I built in the summer of 2016. I've printed tons of models for myself, friends, and strangers!

Shown below is custom designed crib board I made for Father's Day. Download my crib board design here.