Tag Archives: Science fiction

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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‘CONSCIOUS: The Movie’!

Don’t get excited: it’s only a publicity video!

Here’s a short ‘trailer’ interview for the novel.  About ten minutes: the first part discusses the book itself; the second, some wider issues.

Huge thanks to the Glyndwr student magazine, Egwyl, editors, Emma, Kara and Jade (with assistance from Tom) for putting this together.

See The Book for details of how to get it.


(Ghosts of) Christmases Past, Present and Future

There’s no CS-based Christmas story this year (boooooo!) because most of the year has been spent finishing, publishing and promoting the (CS-based) novel (hooooray? – maybe not!).  So instead, here are some links to previous years’ offerings and an entirely unsubtle suggestion for a Christmas present!

xmas2016

In 2014, we first encountered the Travelling Santa Problem, in which Father Christmas was introduced, by his ‘decision elf’, Boz, to the magic (non-deterministic) reindeer, Rudolph.  Together they figured out the best way to deliver presents to all the children in the world.

Then the following year, 2015, Father Christmas was given a whole load more (in fact, an infinite number of) planets to deliver to and he needed the help of Rudolf’s ‘countable’ Russian cousin, Nureyev, in Santa in the Continuum.

If you haven’t read them before, or you fancy a bit of light relief, give them a (re)read!

On the other hand, if you’re looking for the perfect Christmas present for that certain someone who likes their science fiction with a bit of substance (and a touch of ethics, social awareness, environmentalism, politics and spirituality too), then perhaps the book itself is what you need?  (Which is, itself, set over the Christmas and New Year period, by the way!)

There are various places to get it from, depending on personal principles and requirements.  It can be ordered:

But whatever you choose to read or not read, MERRY CHRISTMAS!