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The Conversation, on Machine Learning and Failure

The Conversation, on Machine Learning and Failure

Artificial intelligence must not be allowed to replace the imperfection of human empathy Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, SOAS, University of London At the heart of the development of AI appears to be a search for perfection. And it could be just as dangerous to humanity as the one that came from philosophical and pseudoscientific ideas of the 19th and early 20th centuries and led to the horrors of colonialism, world war and the Holocaust. Instead of a human ruling “master race”, we

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The Conversation, on Robot Evolution

We’re teaching robots to evolve autonomously – so they can adapt to life alone on distant planets  In the future, robots we’ve programmed may evolve and multiply on distant planets. SquareMotion/Shutterstock Emma Hart, Edinburgh Napier University It’s been suggested that an advance party of robots will be needed if humans are ever to settle on other planets. Sent ahead to create conditions favourable for humankind, these robots will need to be tough, adaptable and recyclable if they’re to survive within

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The Conversation, on Fearing Robots

Robots were dreamt up 100 years ago – why haven’t our fears about them changed since? Pavel Chagochkin/Shutterstock.com Michael Szollosy, University of Sheffield This is a story you will have heard before. A genius but completely mad scientist – with the backing of a ruthlessly greedy corporation – creates a sentient robot. The scientist’s intentions for the robot are noble: to help us work, to save us from mundane tasks, to serve its human masters. But the scientist is over-confident,

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The Conversation, on Managing Screen Time

Five ways to manage your screen time in a lockdown, according to tech experts shutterstock John McAlaney, Bournemouth University; Deniz Cemiloglu, Bournemouth University, and Raian Ali, Hamad Bin Khalifa University The average daily time spent online by adults increased by nearly an hour during the UK’s spring lockdown when compared to the previous year, according to communications regulator Ofcom. With numerous countries back under severe pandemic restrictions, many of us once again find ourselves questioning whether our heavy reliance on

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The Conversation, on Digital Hoarders

Digital hoarders: we’ve identified four types – which are you? rawf8/Shutterstock Nick Neave, Northumbria University, Newcastle How many emails are in your inbox? If the answer is thousands, or if you often struggle to find a file on your computer among its cluttered hard drive, then you might be classed as a digital hoarder. In the physical world, hoarding disorder has been recognised as a distinct psychiatric condition among people who accumulate excessive amounts of objects to the point that

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New Year? New Infrastructure – 2021

Adieu 2020! The year 2021 is only a few weeks away now and many organisations large and small are still looking to consider further digital transformation plans for next year. Old technology will still affect your performance as a business with or without Covid-19 How can you consistently and reliably transform across a distributed workforce though? Planning. Not a sexy answer, but incredibly effective. If you want to, for example, take advantage of Dell’s Financial Services offering to allow you

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The Conversation, on personality profiling using VR

How we discovered that VR can profile your personality Mark Nazh/Shutterstock Stephen Fairclough, Liverpool John Moores University Virtual reality (VR) has the power to take us out of our surroundings and transport us to far-off lands. From a quick round of golf, to fighting monsters or going for a skydive, all of this can be achieved from the comfort of your home. But it’s not just gamers who love VR and see its potential. VR is used a lot in

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The Conversation, on the Simulation Hypothesis

Curious Kids: could our entire reality be part of a simulation created by some other beings? Unsplash, CC BY-SA Sam Baron, Australian Catholic University Is it possible the whole observable universe is just a thing kept in a container, in a room where there are some other extraterrestrial beings much bigger than us? Kanishk, Year 9 Hi Kanishk! I’m going to interpret your question in a slightly different way. Let’s assume these extraterrestrial beings have a computer on which our

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The Conversation, on password breakers

A computer can guess more than 100,000,000,000 passwords per second. Still think yours is secure? Paul Haskell-Dowland, Author provided Paul Haskell-Dowland, Edith Cowan University and Brianna O’Shea, Edith Cowan University Passwords have been used for thousands of years as a means of identifying ourselves to others and in more recent times, to computers. It’s a simple concept – a shared piece of information, kept secret between individuals and used to “prove” identity. Passwords in an IT context emerged in the

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The Conversation, on Apple and its new privacy-centric approach to data collection

Apple is starting a war over privacy with iOS 14 – publishers are naive if they think it will back down Ten four, let’s go to war! DANIEL CONSTANTE Ana Isabel Domingos Canhoto, Brunel University London iPhone users are about to receive access to Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 14. It will come with the usual array of shiny new features, but the real game-changer will be missing – at least until January. For the first time, iOS 14 is

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