Wednesday, September 21, 2016

IBM's Watson comes of age

When IBM decided to build a computer system to challenge Gary Kasparov to a chess match they knew it would be a hard challenge. Eventually, IBM's Deep Blue won. Then people thought: "Amazing! What can Deep Blue do now?" It turned out, not much really. Deep Blue could only play chess and some people argued only against Kasparov. IBM learnt from this and when they set themselves a new challenge they wanted to create something that would be useful afterwards. The IBM Jeopardy Challenge created an AI that could use vast amounts of human knowledge and answer difficult and interesting questions. Watson is now being used to help cancer specialists make better diagnoses, it's helped design a dress and it's helped create a movie trailer. In each of these cases it "augments" human intelligence rather than replace it. Watch the YouTube clip below for more.


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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The IT History Society

As computers and IT become more crucial to our society and as the original generation of computer pioneers age the history of computing is becoming more popular. A recent addition to things like the Computer History Museum is the IT History Society whose mission is "to enhance and expand works concerning the history of Information Technology and to demonstrate the value of IT history to the understanding and improvement of our present and future world." Their website is recommended featuring an international database of historical and archival sites, an IT honor roll of people who have made a noteworthy contribution to the industry, records of hardware, software, and companies databases, technology quotes, a cCalendar of upcoming events, and an active blog



from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Amazon, IBM, and other tech giants want to pay you to create bots

VentureBeat reports that some big tech companies like Amazon, IBM, Cisco have set up investment funds to support people creating bots for their platforms and environments. There are hundreds of millions of dollars up for grabs, so if you have a good idea for a bot or intelligent assistant this might be your opportunity.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Where Robot Cars (Robocars) Can Really Take Us

I've been blogging from time to time about driverless cars or autonomous vehicles for some years now. Brad Templeton it seems devotes his entire life to the subject, with an excellent website and blog on the subject of "robocars" - highly recommended if you are interested in this topic. Incidentally, I've put a deposit down on a Tesla 3 and looking forward to trying out it s autopilot on NZ roads. I'm expecting delivery in 2018.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

New BBC documentary about Ada Lovelace

The BBC have just released an excellent new documentary about the Victorian computer pioneer and visionary Ada Lovelace called: Calculating Ada: the Countess of Computing. It's available on YouTube and the BBC's iPlayer.



from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Happy birthday World Wide Web!

The WWW is 25 years old! The first web page at CERN, created by the web's inventor Tim Berners-Lee went online 25 years ago. That means that for many of this blog's younger readers you can't imagine a world without the web. Trust me, it was a very diff erent place. The Telegraph newspaper has published a good history of the development of the web.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Seymour Papert, 88, Dies

The New York Times reports that: "Seymour Papert, a visionary educator and mathematician who well before the advent of the personal computer foresaw children using computers as instruments for learning and enhancing creativity, died on Sunday at his home in Blue Hill, Me. He was 88. His death was announced by the Logo Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization that he co-founded. His wife, the Russia scholar and author Suzanne Massie, said the cause was complications of a series of kidney and bladder infections." Logo was one of the first computer languages I learned and I fondly remember watching that turtle draw it's way across the screen.
Thanks to my colleague, Mark Wilson, for noticing this.

from The Universal Machine http://universal-machine.blogspot.com/

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