Category Archives: Technology
March 11, 2017Posted by on
This week on Facebook: It is very difficult to draw any conclusions from my incursion into the world of robotics and AI other than (perhaps) it being an inevitable step in human evolution. Inevitable in the sense that — regardless of the political motivations — there is a global scramble for economic growth and global economic hegemony. There are many scenarios that can be speculated on regarding any outcome to this scramble and naturally I would look for an analogy in the history of humankind, at the moment being drawn to the European revolutions of 1846, something I touched on in The Patriot. The inevitable outcome of any trade war in this scramble for global dominance in economic growth being military war. Read more of this post
March 4, 2017Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I have been led to Robotics and Artificial Intelligence [AI], something that I briefly touched on in 2012 when I posted Is it bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a bid! Robotics and AI are more than an adjunct to last month’s Facebook posts about global growth in which Malthus and Bartlett figured predominantly. I posited that they were considered a Cassandra, predicting disasters that never materialised and we seem to live in a world where being labelled a Cassandra is now rather passé. Perhaps its because predictions of a bleak future for the human race abound but are ignored in the political drive for economic growth that has become the overriding factor subsuming all other considerations. This urge for economic growth may well be a driving force in the ever increasing use of robotics and AI, something that radically alters the theories propounded by Malthus and Bartlett. Read more of this post
October 29, 2016Posted by on
This week on Facebook: I have written elsewhere about brain training and memory, informing readers that the average short term memory, as propounded by George Miller, can hold 7 ± 2 (5 to 9) chunks or bits of information, whereas I now believe that mine is 0 ± 1. This is something my wife has always believed and insists on giving me written lists. Having read the works of Edward De Bono on useful techniques to enhance memory retention, whatever techniques I learned I have now forgotten as my wife always gives me a list. Read more of this post
October 1, 2016Posted by on
This week on Facebook: A conversation with a friend drew my attention to Hinkley Point and the cost. In researching the cost of what is termed Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor the estimated construction costs alone are running at £18 billion and rising. Finding an estimated overall project cost on Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor — from conception to decommissioning — is very difficult as those financially involved in the project are quite coy about pricing. Read more of this post
March 19, 2016Posted by on
This week on Facebook a week of posts on the subject of pi (π) can surely only be of interest to a geek but don’t worry, there won’t be another week from me like this one until 2022. This week, beginning on Monday March 14, is known as world Pi (π) Day, which this year is 3.1416 (for those that use a non UK English notation).
Though as Michael Caine is wrongly attributed as saying, ‘Now there’s not many people know that’. I doubt that come tomorrow, the world would have been shaken by the riotous behaviour of those celebrating the advent of the day. Nevertheless, Monday’s annual event did result in the following π pertinent postings. (Incidentally — if the value of π is infinite: How can it be a constant?)
For those who, unlike me (apart from those befuddled moments brought on by old age) who are not geeky, there is always PI (π) Media. I’m sure that you’re wondering why the name PI (π) Media was chosen. Never short of an opinion about anything, I would hazard a guess that like the never ending π it’s intended to be a never ending source of online information. It may be of course that once a year it gets free publicity from us millions trawling the net annually in our never ending search for enlightenment regarding the never ending π. Read more of this post
January 3, 2015Posted by on
Whilst researching material for this critique I came across a web site, written by an Angry Autie who had posted an amusing piece with the title: The Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical. Read more of this post
January 30, 2013Posted by on
Robbie the robot was probably the most iconic character and star in ‘The Forbidden Planet‘. The film, loosely based on The Tempest had Anne Francis playing a delightful Miranda, achieving cult status as Altaira. However, in 1956 it was the notion that Robbie the robot could instantly manufacture anything to order, clothes, machine parts, food and much more, which caught my imagination. Some fifty years later science fiction becomes reality. Read more of this post
August 13, 2012Posted by on
Is it bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a bid! introduces algorithmic artificial intelligence (AI) with examples that include some fictional AI robot scenarios and some recent real life occurrences. In researching material for the post, two things stand out. The first is the fictional human to AI-robot interactions, scenarios where humans interact with artificially created intelligence endowed with human attributes. The second is the ‘real life’ AI-robot to AI-robot stock market occurrences, where multiple artificial intelligences autonomously manipulate stock values, endowed with the single human attribute of seeking financial gain.
August 9, 2012Posted by on
Computer algorithms impact on every aspect of our lives. We live in a computer-algorithmic-age, and age of artificial intelligence (AI). Artificial intelligence (AI) in fiction and real life has now surpassed that of Isaac Asimov’s robots and the three laws of robotics. Namely that a robot:
May not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
Must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
Must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws. Read more of this post
February 20, 2011Posted by on
A long time ago Alan Coren published what I thought was a very funny article parodying the use of computer technology by a national newspaper. The piece Coren wrote for Punch was about the use of a newspaper database supposedly used at The Guardian newspaper, or The Grauniad as it was known. How ‘The Guardian’ became called ‘The Grauniad’ is the stuff of urban legend.
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