Wednesday, June 21, 2017

On the radio again... twice

I've appeared on Radio New Zealand's National programme twice in the last couple of weeks, both times on the Mediawatch show. There has been a strong interest in Artificial Intelligence in the media recently which is very welcome as it is having a growing impact on society. 
The first radio piece is titled Robots rebooting reporting?
The second interview was about the TV One show What Next, if you don't want to listen to the entire radio show then you can hear me around 15:20 into the show.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Algorithmic bias in word embeddings

As computer science becomes increasingly embedded in all aspects of our modern world people are starting to recognise that computer scientists need training in ethics. This post is titled "algorithmic bias in word embeddings." Do you even know what that means? If not I recommend that you read this article from Wired by Emma Pierson. An example from the world is that a recent study has found that Facebook rejects female engineers' code more often than males.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

What skills do self-taught programmers commonly lack?

My colleague, Mark Wilson, brought this interesting discussion on Quora to my attention. In answer to the question: "What skills do self-taught programmers commonly lack?" There are some really interesting answers. 

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

British Airways IT system crash lands

You probably saw a few days ago in the news that all of British Airways fleet of planes was grounded worldwide because of a "glitch" in their IT system. It's rumoured that this will cost the company over $100 million in compensation to passengers and their share price has already lost $170 million in value. What's troubling is that they still don't know what caused the catastrophic outage. Industry insiders, however, are saying the likely cause is outdated infrastructure, for example: "We were leading the communications curve back 20 years ago, and the problem is that that now means that much of our infrastructure is hanging off a 25-year-old backbone. Some data centres are reaching the end of their life. And how do you refurbish that when you can't turn it off?" Read more about this here.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding

An interesting article in Wired puts forward the notion that coding rather than being a glamorous profession for intellectuals is actually the new "blue collar' job, equivalent to a skilled car factory job in the 1970s. It's worth a read.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Free public lecture - The Ethics of AI



This week's final public Gibbons lecture, organised by the Dept. of Computer Science at The University of Auckland will take place this Thursday evening. The lecture titled The Ethics of AI will be given by Associate Professor Watson, Department of Computer Science, University of Auckland. Information about the lecture, the venue and times can be found here. If you cannot attend in person the lecture will be live streamed and will be available online afterwards from the link above.


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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Free public lecture - Deep learning - what's missing?

This week's free public Gibbons lectures, organised by the Dept. of Computer Science at The University of Auckland will take place this Thursday evening. The lecture titled Deep learning - what's missing? will be given by Associate Professor Marcus Frean, School of Engineering and Computer Science, Victoria University of Wellington. Information about the lecture, the venue and times can be found here. If you cannot attend in person the lecture will be live streamed and will be available online afterwards.



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Monday, May 8, 2017

Two more AI interviews

I've been busy and have been interviewed two times in the last few days on AI and ethics for different radio stations. The first was for 95bFM, which you can listen to here. The second was for Radio Live, which you can listen to here.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Free public lecture - AI: from Aristotle to deep learning machines

The first of this year's free public Gibbons lectures, organised by the Dept. of Computer Science at The University of Auckland will take place this Thursday evening. The first lecture titled AI: from Aristotle to deep learning machines will be given by Professor Nikola Kasabov, Director of the KEDRI Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology. Information about the lecture, the venue and times can be found here. If you cannot attend in person the lecture will be live streamed and will be available online afterwards.



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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Future of AI - radio interview

I gave a radio interview yesterday for Radio New Zealand's National Programme on the Future of AI, which particularly focused on the ethical implications of AI. You can listen to the interview here.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Just because you can...

New technology often has unexpected uses. When the laser was invented nobody had any what possible use it could be and now they are ubiquitous, from light shows to DVD players and surveying. Similarly, the 3D printer is discovering new uses. Here's a daft one; printing a photo of your face onto the top of your coffee (thanks Bob).


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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The jobs are gone and they aren't coming back

An interesting article published recently in The Guardian titled: The robot debate is over: the jobs are gone and they aren't coming back puts forward a clear argument that in the next 20 years many many jobs will be lost to automation. They're not just talking about manufacturing jobs and driving they also mean professional jobs like accountancy and the law. Society needs to address this issue with increasing urgency.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Let me entertain you...

Let me entertain you – that's how to get a science message across. This is a claim made by an interesting article in The Conversation, and it's one that I agree with. I personally think it's much more important in a lecture to leave students interested and excited by a subject than to have just ensured they got the facts. If they think a subject is fun or interesting those with an interest will seek out the knowledge themselves. Read the whole article here and watch the entertaining science video below.


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