Publication: Fast Thinking

Whoops, There Goes…

But the decline of newsprint trumpeted by everyone from reporters to media barons has another potential victim — the software companies like Quark and Adobe who’ve spent the past 30 years investing billions in desktop publishing, graphic design and publications management applications. … Continue readingWhoops, There Goes…

Back To Nature

Achieving the environmental gains that built in natural processes offer seems like a huge task after our history of high waste, factory-style production, but it can start with the simple question ‘how would nature do this?’ Next time you turn on a light at home (which probably uses about 120 volts of electricity) consider that the Amazon electric eel can produce three times as much power using chemicals that also are found in the human body. … Continue readingBack To Nature

Making it in the Movies

If you’d invested in Titanic (1998) you would have received a little over $9 for every dollar you put in (900 percent ROI). For Crocodile Dundee (1986), USD$13 (1,300 percent ROI). For The Blair Witch Project (1999, the first sleeper hit of the web age), a whopping USD$7,103 (710,300 percent). … Continue readingMaking it in the Movies

Smart But Dumb

So while people will always try to build C-3PO-style machines that look and talk like us, the real advances will come in individual components we design to do one job well. Human intelligence arose from the unconscious co-operation of such systems to sustain the organism. Maybe if we get the constituent ‘smart’ parts right, a true AI system will spontaneously evolve — dare we say it — intelligently… … Continue readingSmart But Dumb

Thanks for the Idea

It used to be cut and dried. We walked into a store and bought a 7-inch single or videocassette if we liked a song or movie. None of us had the means to reproduce it in the sort of numbers that would hurt copyright holders too much. But nowadays, an eleven-year-old on the family PC can copy and distribute anything to billions of otherwise paying customers. … Continue readingThanks for the Idea

Stuck in the Middle

If the above are among your benchmarks, you might end up disappointed according to a recent flood of books warning us away from The Chase. It’s a clich√© that human nature is to always want more (food, power, etc) — according to zoology and behavioural science it was hardwired into us millions of years ago. … Continue readingStuck in the Middle

Rise of the Machines

The device promised by the dotcom age, which we’d use for everything from watching TV, reading books and making phone calls to browsing the web, working and playing games is now a clich√©, both technology vendors and consumers now realising we want different experiences from different tools. … Continue readingRise of the Machines