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You searched for "Bletchley". Your search returned 11 results.

No interpreter required

If only people speaking different languages could communicate without the need of an interpreter. I’m thinking of the Trump-Putin encounters with translators present. Only unscrupulous leaders would bar their translators from disclosing to other trusted officials what was said. But I’m also thinking of Leon Battista Alberti’s justification of his cipher technique, which was to … Continue reading

AI revisited

John Lee and I sat down to talk about AI (artificial intelligence). Both of us were involved in the field in so far as it related to computer-aided design. That experience dates back to the 1980s. In our conversation we touched on how the AI focus has changed since the 1980s. We started by identifying … Continue reading

Big data metaphysics

Anyone with a personal computer knows about the problem with data, not least its tendency to grow at an unnerving rate, take up space, demand upgrades, and clog bandwidth as it gets moved around. Emails and tweets are data, so are picture files, music tracks, and movies. Sometimes we store it, or it flows through our world as … Continue reading

Life-changing technologies

Devices, programs, and apps enable us to do things we couldn’t do otherwise. This is undoubtedly their main value. But they also reveal something about ourselves (i.e. the human species) and the world we live in. Smartphones obviously enable communication over distance and while on the move. They also reveal that we are mobile creatures, … Continue reading

Mood machines

Machines that don’t work invariably put people in a bad mood. But the relationship between machines, mood and failure provides many sources of interest. “Mood machine” is not just an appealing alliteration. Type it into your search engine. There’s something intriguing about a machine that claims to put you in the mood (especially a good … Continue reading

Wired-Up Words

An A–Z of Awkward Ideas for a Wired World (DRAFT in process, Admin) Introduction: Networks and Word Play The public platform of the Word Wide Web (sic) is populated with neologisms, portmanteau terms, the alleged language of the street, and bad puns — not to mention spelling mistakes. Writers for the web now have license to … Continue reading

Neuroscience eclipses AI

… at least in its ambition. The Blue Brain Project is a venture centred at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland in collaboration with IBM to create a synthetic brain in hardware and software. The project name references “Deep Blue,” the IBM chess computer that reputedly “beat” reigning champion Garry Kasparov in 1996. … Continue reading

Phone hacking enigmas

News of the World journalists gaining unauthorised access to people’s answer phone messages has led to a shut down of the operations of one newspaper, allegations of police bribery, several high-level resignations, and a new found bravado by those who used to fear the Murdoch press. The apogee of these developments came at about the … Continue reading

Blog archive (and About)

What this blog site is about I draw on philosophy and cultural theory to help understand current affairs, architecture and developments in digital technology. These are not opinion pages, though my strongly held view that academic reflection really matters as we try to understand contemporary living may seep through. These posts are scheduled to appear … Continue reading

Derrida and WikiLeaks

In his article Archive Fever Derrida suggests that the desire to preserve information is in some way a symptom of an inbuilt and unavoidable desire to destroy it. Drawing on Freud’s concepts of the pleasure principle and the death drive, Derrida argues that an information store (archive) on the one hand involves a desire to … Continue reading

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