Category Archives: Hardware

The Singularity (Still) Isn’t Simple!

The ‘Technological Singularity’ debate rolls on with the publication of a special issue of MDPI’s ‘Information’ Journal: “AI AND THE SINGULARITY: A FALLACY OR A GREAT OPPORTUNITY?”

Papers published in the special edition, to date, include:

One of the papers, with an outlook (entirely unsurprisingly) in line with this blog is Vic Grout‘s, “The Singularity isn’t Simple! (However we look at it) A random walk between science fiction and science fact”.  The abstract reads as follows:

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‘THAT Won’t Happen!’

In 1977, Ken Olsen, founder and CEO of DEC, made an oft-misapplied statement, “there is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home”.  A favourite of introductory college computing modules – supposedly highlighting the difficulty in keeping pace with rapid change in computing technology, it appears foolish at a time when personal computers were already under development – including in his own laboratories.  The quote is out of context, of course, and applies to Olsen’s scepticism regarding fully-automated assistive home technology systems (climate control, security, cooking food, etc.).  However, as precisely these technologies gain traction, there may be little doubt that, if he stands unfairly accused of being wrong in one respect, time will inevitably prove him so in another.

So, in short:

  • Yes, he did say that
  • No, that wasn’t quite what he meant
  • He wasn’t (obviously) wrong at the time
  • He is now/will be soon

So what?

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Ethics and Technology: Freedom or Restriction? Individuality or Uniformity?

The ‘Just because we’ll be able to, will we? Should we? Must we?’ discussion revisited in the light of the news that CCTV cameras will be compulsory in English abattoirs soon.  Again, a reminder that technological ethics have more to do with ethics than technology.

But we’ll start with a different topic: one that isn’t as controversial as it used to be …

There was a time when smoking wasn’t just seen as socially acceptable but positively beneficial …

All that healthy smoke filling your lungs, seeping its goodness into your bloodstream was just the boost your body needed.  You’d live years longer if you smoked … and it was SO COOL.

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Technology Isn’t the Enemy: Reprise

Often, ‘simple says it best’!

Technology could help us all … but it won’t.