Monday, February 13, 2017

Free public lectures

Here are some dates for your diary later this year. The University of Auckland's Department of Computer Science annual public Gibbons Lectures will take place every Thursday evening in May. This year's theme is: "Steps Towards the Singularity, Artificial Intelligence & Its Impact." Featuring four leading AI academics, each free lecture is preceded by drinks and canop├ęs. Information about the topic of each lecture, dates, times and venue can be found here.

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

Universal Machine post to email (CS blog)

IFTTT

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Disable Your Antivirus Software

It seems that the antivirus software you installed to keep your computer safe could actually be making your security worse. Robert O'Callahan has recently written a fascinating blog post explaining why. There's also a follow-up blog post that provides more detail and response to criticisms of his advice to uninstall your antivirus software.

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

Universal Machine post to email (CS blog)

IFTTT

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New computing movie - Hidden Figures

My colleague, Bob Doran, has brought to my attention a new movie about computers called Hidden Figures. IMDB describes it as: "Based on a true story. A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program's first successful space missions." It will be at a cinema near you soon.




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

Universal Machine post to email (CS blog)

IFTTT

Monday, January 23, 2017

Robot revolution will take the boss's job

Happy New Year! The blog is back from its holiday. We're opening with a thoughtful article from The Guardian involving technology and economics. Larry Elliot, the Guardian's economics editor, puts forward the argument that the new AI revolution will not threaten low skilled jobs (many of those have already been lost to manufacturing robots). Hecites As Dhaval Joshi, economist at BCA Research, "it is not going to be the low-paid jobs in the service sector such as cleaning, gardening, carers, bar staff or cooks, whose jobs are most at risk. That's because machines find it hard to replicate the movements of humans in everyday tasks. The hard problems that are easy for AI are those that require the application of complex algorithms and pattern recognition to large quantities of data – such as beating a grandmaster at chess", says Joshi. "Or a job such as calculating a credit score or insurance premium, translating a report from English to Mandarin Chinese, or managing a stock portfolio.
He continues to observe that "the looming threat is obvious. The first army of machines wiped out well-paid jobs in manufacturing; the second army is about to wipe out well-paid jobs in the service sector. In many cases, the people who will be surplus to requirements will have spent many years in school and university building up their skills." This will result in "exceptionally high rewards for those at the top, a hollowing out of the middle class, and the expansion of low-paid insecure jobs at the bottom."



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

Universal Machine post to email (CS blog)

IFTTT

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Royal Airforce admits to shooting down Santa

Since 1955 the North American Aerospace Defence Command NORAD has been tracking Santa as he, his sled and reindeer, deliver presents to all the good children in the world on the night of Christmas Eve.

Britain however, is not a member of NORAD and does not track Santa. So back in 2012...

BBC Breaking News: RAF Says "Sorry, We Shot Down Santa" 06:15 25/12/12

A Senior RAF spokesperson has just made this announcement: Air Commodore Jack Ripper said, "It is with deep regret that I must inform the nation that at 02:15 hours we confirmed that the RAF had shot down Father Christmas as he crossed the Scottish border."
   he continued  "Two Tornado F3s of No. 111 Squadron were scrambled from RAF Leuchars in Fife Scotland to intercept the unidentified intruder but were too slow. Satellite data indicated the intruder had originated from somewhere in the  Arctic Polar Sea, actually from near the North Pole. It was concluded that it was likely an intercontinental ballistic missile launched from a nuclear submarine. The intruder was subsequently shot down by a surface to air missile. We can confirm there are no survivors, though Blitzen is unaccounted for."
   A Ministry of Defense spokesperson has confirmed the incident and added that, "The Army will ensure that every child in the UK receives a toy this Christmas. Though for logistical reasons children will have to visit regional distribution centres to collect their toy." So far the Prime Minister has been unavailable for comment.

Happy Holidays!

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

Universal Machine post to email (CS blog)

IFTTT

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Santa upgrades Rudolph

With the growing world population and therefore more good children to deliver presents to, in just the one night, Santa has made a hard choice. His reindeer: Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Olive were not getting any younger. So Santa has gone 21st century, put his beloved reindeer out to pasture, and replaced them with robots from Boston Dynamics. Happy holidays!



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

Universal Machine post to email (CS blog)

IFTTT

Friday, November 25, 2016

Apollo software engineer Margaret Hamilton receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

 
 
Amid all the publicity given to the more "famous" people recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom was Margaret Hamilton. She invented the term "software engineer" starting her career as a computer programmer at MIT in the 1960s. In August 1961, NASA issued a contract to MIT to design the Apollo spacecraft's guidance and navigational system. Hamilton presided over the in-flight software group. You can read more about her work on NASA's website.

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

Universal Machine post to email (CS blog)

IFTTT