Technology

Thinking about machines that “Think” - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Jan 19, 2017

The biggest futurist thing for me this last year has been the progress and hype around artificial intelligence. Three quotes encapsulate the current state of artificial intelligence, and aspects of its future over the short term. Stephen Hawking made a Dickensian AI gambit with his quote:  Artificial Intelligence is “either the … Read More

Filing research papers and web browsing: Zotero, Zotfile and Vivaldi - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Jan 18, 2017

Three free tools for filing research papers and browsing the web. If you’re in research—be it scientific work, writing a book, or similar—you’ll be spending a lot of time gathering material on-line and filing it. There are a lot of tools out there, and everyone has their favourites. Let me introduce three I use … Read More

The “Great Acceleration” is cause for great concern. - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 18, 2017

By Prof Ralph E H Sims, Massey University, Palmerston North The future for secure and peaceful human life on our planet is under threat. A wide range of socio-economic indicators that illustrate global growth parameters from 1750 to 2010 confirm the rapid acceleration that has become particularly evident over the past six decades as world population … Read More

Why we should give some serious thought to a Science and Innovation Council - Stick

Peter Kerr Jan 10, 2017

It’s that time of year when we fly  kites, give voice to possibilities. So, given we have a new Science and Innovation minister, namely Paul Goldsmith, how about exploring whether now is a good time to put seriously explore forming a Science and Innovation Council. New Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith should look at the advantages of forming a … Read More

Critical thinking, not censorship, is the solution to fake news - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Jan 09, 2017

All this talk about fake news brings to my mind a picture of people in glass houses frantically throwing stones. The fact is that many of those complaining about fake news, especially those dominating our mainstream media, are guilty of promoting fake news – and have done it for years. I can’t help thinking what really upsets them, is that … Read More

Weird Science: A Pommy prank nearly named a $340m research vessel RRS Boaty McBoatface - Guest Work

Guest Work Dec 31, 2016

If we learned one thing in 2016, it’s that you can never trust the public to make a sound decision, and that’s exactly what happened when the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) held a vote to choose the name of its brand new $340m research ship. The winner, by a very wide margin, was Royal Research Ship … Read More