How we do avoid creating a superhuman artificial intelligence (AI) that does not end up harming humanity? This is a question of great consequence to AI researchers and thinkers who believe that future AIs will have capabilities and will act in a way completely different and unfathomable to humans, just as our actions may seem [...]
Entries Tagged as 'tech'
October 6th, 2013 · No Comments
October 5th, 2013 · 1 Comment
A major reason why Apple has sold so many iPhones in the US is due to the unusual way phones are subsidised by carriers over there. Very few people buy an iPhone for the full, off-contract $649+ price — instead, they get it for ‘only’ $99 or $199, with the rest of the phone’s cost [...]
December 29th, 2011 · 2 Comments
This month’s issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine has an augmented reality feature in which you use a smartphone to ‘bring the cover to life’. It’s far from the first magazine to do it, and it’s hard to miss adverts on the tube or at bus stops that have some variation of ’scan this advert to [...]
November 8th, 2011 · 5 Comments
A few months ago, I finally had what I’d been dreaming of for years – digital delivery of every single magazine and newspaper I read. No more stacks of New Yorkers and Economists lingering on tables waiting to be given away (or more likely, recycled); no more hunting for all the bits of subscription forms [...]
February 14th, 2011 · 1 Comment
One of the most annoying things in life is asking for permission: permission to build an extension, permission to volunteer at a school, permission to start a business. It’s always irritating to imagine some distant bureaucrat with little interest or understanding of your life in control of your fate.
Almost every sphere of life and work [...]
February 8th, 2011 · 1 Comment
Last year, I listened to a programme on Radio 4 called A History of the World in 100 Objects. It took 25 hours, or 1500 minutes.
In the show, the BBC and the British Museum attempted to describe the entire span of human history through 100 objects – from a 2 million year-old Olduvai stone cutting [...]
October 12th, 2010 · 6 Comments
If book publishers want to see the next decade in any reasonable health, then it’s absolutely imperative that they rethink their pricing strategies and business models right now. Hopefully this example will illustrate why:
I’m a big fan of Iain Banks’ novels; I always buy them in hardback as soon as they come out. It doesn’t [...]
August 10th, 2010 · 3 Comments
Like a gamer to Starcraft 2, I can’t help but be attracted to articles about the death of books, and even better, the death of long-form reading. There’s something about the desperate handwringing that pushes almost every intellectual button I have, from impassioned but futile appeals to the past, to lurid depictions of how new [...]
July 4th, 2010 · 8 Comments
The iPhone 4 may be the last major advance in mobile phones we’ll ever see. There’ll still be plenty of incremental and useful improvements, but it’s hard to see what kind of attention-grabbing features are left:
The Retina screen, at 326 pixels per inch, approaches the limits of human vision; it’s the end of the line [...]
June 10th, 2010 · 5 Comments
Reading on the iPad is fantastic. I don’t care what other people have said, I just know that after using it for a fortnight, I can tell that it’s changed the way I’ll read forever.
I used to spend several hours a day in front of my iMac at home, using a combination of Google Reader [...]