Ariadne

Climate change – determination over despair

Robert Hickson Sep 19, 2019

  There is much to be despondent about looking ahead to the consequences of a changing climate. But adopting Jonathan Franzen’s defeatism isn’t the best response. Reducing adverse impacts of climate change isn’t as simple as regulating automotive emissions, banning a pesticide of refrigerant, or changing to LED lights. But nor is it as … Read More

Biology’s next revolution

Robert Hickson Sep 09, 2019

  A quarter of a century ago, when I thought my future was in science, automation and the idea of “big data” had just arrived for genetics. Automated sequencing, mathematical models, algorithms. Similar innovations spread to others areas of biology through things like better sensors, imaging systems, smarter radio tags for wildlife, data-loggers, and the like. Wet labs … Read More

Beyond the moon(shot)

Robert Hickson Jul 17, 2019

  There is a lot now being talked and written about the success of Apollo 11, and the Apollo space programme, half a century ago. The BBC podcast 13 minutes to the moon is fantastic. It tells well the story leading up to and during the 13 minutes that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to … Read More

Robot dog meet robot stick

Robert Hickson Jul 03, 2019

  Four years ago I wrote about getting too carried away with evolutionary metaphors for robots. But I can’t deny that we’re are seeing an increasing diversity of robotic forms and capabilities. The technological sophistication of high-end robotics, and the speed with which they are improving, is impressive. Check out SpotMini’s moves.   … Read More

Game of Futures

Robert Hickson May 27, 2019

No one needs telling that the Future is Coming. But there are different perspectives and attitudes toward it. Some see the future as “dark and full of terrors” – The machines are taking over; Democracy is dying; We are doomed! Others see nothing but light – Technological utopianism; Singularities; Becoming an interplanetary species; Or a delight for … Read More