How a Bad Think-Thing Destroyed the World
A short story by Vic Grout
Download as a PDF: https://vicgrout.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/eric-1.pdf
On the planet ‘Arth’ (which, if it helps, you can think of as being like Earth but without the ‘E’), things were going pretty smoothly. Arth society was organised roughly into three groups of people: doers, thinkers, and leaders. There was no great difference in status or esteem among the three groups but there were a good many more doers than thinkers and a lot more of both than leaders.
So, yes, most people were doers: they did things. They found raw materials and turned them into what people needed; they made clothes, built shelter, grew food; they moved it all to where it had to go; they repaired and cleaned. They cared and treated mind and body; kept people safe; raised families; looked after the young, the old and the ill; they taught new generations. There were also doers that entertained; made nice things to look at, told stories, played music or sport. All of these doers together made Arth a comfortable and happy place to live.
Special Issue Information: Advanced Machine Learning and Data Mining: A New Frontier in Artificial Intelligence Research (Big Data and Cognitive Computing Journal)
Call for Papers
Without data, there is no machine learning (ML), so there is no doubt that big data and ML are inextricably linked. However, much research to date has tended to treat them as separate areas of development. As we are confronted with today’s difficult problems and the wealth of held data continues to grow, it is vital that new, innovative ways of examining, testing, and using big data to produce useful information are both researched/developed and integrated. Whether this be for the social good (health diagnostics, for example) or corporate gain (competitive advantage), given the exponentially increase in both the volume of data and the velocity by which it is generated, the need for the expansion of direct cooperation of mining big data with ML is long overdue. For this Special Issue, as the individual fields of advanced machine learning and advanced data mining are well established, the focus will be specifically on their intersection: the point―or points―at which one aids, needs, or enhances the other.
This new frontier is almost boundless, but will eventually become the norm. Automatically learning and improving from experience without being explicitly programmed gives great opportunities. The quality of the data being used, its speed of acquisition, and the effectiveness of processing are all of vital importance―if Microsoft’s AI chatbot Tay taught us anything at all, it is certainly this.
An open request for help/consultation here. Please get in contact if you can …
Two researchers at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Jess Muirhead and Prof. Vic Grout, have been commissioned by Alcohol Change UK to undertake a study of the effectiveness of online ‘age-gating’ mechanism’s in preventing under 18-year olds from purchasing alcohol via the Internet. We have limited time to complete this research and produce our report so we are looking to conduct interviews with relevant actors (finance, producers, suppliers, distributers, retailers, web-designers, local authorities, customers, etc.) as quickly as possible. Thus, we’re hoping we can arrange an opportunity to speak with people at their earliest convenience. We can talk on the phone, face-to-face (travel costs permitting), using any online software or any other format that suits anyone.
We’d like to stress unequivocally that anonymity will we be guaranteed throughout. We will not record these discussions and no individual attribution will appear in our final report. Although we might takes the roughest of notes during the interview, these will be only to remind us of points to follow up on to guide us in our ongoing research. This is essentially a fact-finding exercise; certainly not any sort of ‘undercover operation’. There will be no ‘blaming or shaming’: we simply want to get a clearer idea of what processes are in place; what works and what doesn’t. We’re also naturally very interested indeed in others’ thoughts on how future processes could be improved.
So we’d be extremely grateful to anyone who could spare half an hour or so to help us with this research. If you can, and considering the element of urgency in this, could you please get back to us quickly by any of the following means:
Thank you in advance and we look forward to talking to you.
Jess Muirhead & Vic Grout, Department of Computing, Wrexham Glyndŵr University
Yes, indeed, there’s a new edition of the novel!
Updated slightly to reflect changing world events (although, sadly, all the initial predictions are pretty much coming true now). And with a swish new cover! Just search for ‘Vic Grout Conscious’ on Amazon in your region (and choose the one with the cool blue cover) or use the direct links below.