Oxford University Press is excited to be welcoming Professor Steve Furber as the new Editor-in-Chief of The Computer Journal. In an interview between Justin Richards of BCS, The Chartered Institute of IT and Steve, we get to know more about the SpiNNaker project, ethical issues around Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the future of the IT industry.
Can a robot be conscious? I will try to discuss this without getting bogged down in the rather thorny issue of what consciousness –– really is. Instead, let me first address whether robot consciousness is an important topic to think about. At first sight, it may seem unimportant. Robots will affect us only through their outward behavior, which may be more or less along the lines of what we tend to think of as coming along with consciousness, but given this behavior, its consequences to us are not affected by whether or not it really is accompanied by consciousness.
There is a widely held conception that progress in science and technology is our salvation, and the more of it, the better. This is the default assumption not only among the general public, but also in the research community including university administration and research funding agencies, all the way up to government ministries. I believe the assumption to be wrong, and very dangerous.
A galaxy is a gigantic system possessing billions of stars, vast amounts of gas, dust and dark matter held together by gravitational attraction. Typical size of galaxies can be anywhere from a few tens-of-thousands to a few hundreds-of-thousands of light-years.
In a British Council report Martin Rose argues that the way STEM subjects are taught reinforces the development of a mind-set receptive to violent extremism. Well taught social sciences, on the other hand, are a potentially powerful intellectual defence against it. Whilst his primary focus was MENA (Middle East and North Africa) he draws implications for education in the West.
While myriad forces are changing the face of contemporary healthcare, one could argue that nothing will change the way medicine is practiced, more than current advances in technology. Indeed, technology is changing the entire world at a remarkable rate – with mobile phones, music players, emails, databases, laptop computers, and tablets transforming the way we work, play, and relax.
Is the human brain just a rag-bag of different tricks and stratagems, slowly accumulated over evolutionary time? For many years, I thought the answer to this question was most probably ‘yes’. The most tantalizing (but least developed) aspect of the emerging framework concerns the origins of conscious experience itself.
As the analysis reaches deeper behind the recent Paris attacks, it has become clear that terrorism today is a widening series of global alliances often assisted and connected via cyber social media, and electronic propaganda.
Holograms are an ironic technology. They encompass a suite of techniques capable of astonishingly realistic imagery (in the right circumstances), but they’re associated with contrasting visions: on the one hand, ambitious technological dreams and, on the other, mundane and scarcely noticed hologram products.
The hologram is a spectacular invention of the modern era: an innocuous artefact that can miraculously generate three-dimensional imagery. Yet this modern experience has deep roots. Holograms are part of a long lineage: the ability to generate visual “shock and awe” has, in fact, been an important feature of new optical technologies over the past century and a half.
Everyone knows that the increasing threat of cyber attacks will place immense pressure on the operational capacities for various intelligence and defense agencies. Speak with anyone in military operations (from several countries), and their lists of security concerns are remarkably similar: Russia, ISIS, and cyber (in no particular order).
In today’s society, technology is fundamentally embedded in the everyday learning environments of children. The development of educative interactive apps is constantly increasing, and this is undoubtedly true for apps designed to facilitate musical development. So much so that computer-based technology has become an integral part of children’s musical lives
Recently Google Inc. was ordered to remove nine search results after the Information Commissioner’s office (ICO) ruled that they linked to information about a person that was no longer relevant. Almost ten years ago, that individual had committed a minor criminal offence and he recently put on a request to Google that related search results be removed, in compliance with the decision of the European Court of Justice in Google Spain.
An unacceptably large proportion of mentally ill individuals do not receive any care. Reasons vary but include the dearth of providers, the cost of treatment and stigma. Telemental health, which uses digital technology for the remote delivery of mental health services, may help toward finding a solution.
The alignment of both the Sun and the Earth with another planet in the Solar System is a rare event, which we are seldom able to observe in a lifetime. The Sun-Venus-Earth alignment for example only takes place once every 105.5 or 121.5 years. Similarly, the next Sun-Earth-Mars alignment will only occur in 2084. But on 5 January 2014, we were lucky enough to witness one such rare event: the alignment of the Sun, Earth, and Jupiter. Much to our surprise, we saw a new physical effect never observed before.
I spent four days last month with my colleague and friend, Doug Boyd, as he and I (mainly he) gave oral history workshops in Milwaukee and Madison. While the idea to bring Boyd to Wisconsin for these trainings began with Ann Hanlon, Digital Humanities Lab head at UW-Milwaukee, I jumped at the chance to find groups to sponsor his time in Madison.