The biological world is computational at its core, argues computer scientist Leslie Valiant. His “ecorithm” approach uses computational concepts to explore fundamental mysteries of evolution and the mind. [Read more at Quanta]
Coding isn’t just for computer whizzes, says Mitch Resnick of MIT Media Lab — it’s for everyone. In a fun, demo-filled talk Resnick outlines the benefits of teaching kids to code, so they can do more than just “read” new technologies — but also create them.
Marvin Minsky, who combined a scientist’s thirst for knowledge with a philosopher’s quest for truth as a pioneering explorer of artificial intelligence, work that helped inspire the creation of the personal computer and the Internet, died on Sunday night in Boston. He was 88.
Well before the advent of the microprocessor and the supercomputer, Professor Minsky, a revered computer science educator at M.I.T., laid the foundation for the field of artificial intelligence by demonstrating the possibilities of imparting common-sense reasoning to computers.
Read more at the New York Times.
Although Wikipedia should be avoided when citing references on papers you write, it still is a great place to get a basic understanding of an area of knowledge. The software engineering section has some valuable information that will at least give you a conceptual framework that lessons can be mapped to in your head as you learn them.
Here’s a product that claims to be the most advanced gesture tracking camera in the world.
What are some key features?
What doesn’t work as well as you’d hope?
How do you think it could be improved?
As human beings, we get used to “the way things are” really fast. But for designers, the way things are is an opportunity … Could things be better? How? In this funny, breezy talk, the man behind the iPod and the Nest thermostat shares some of his tips for noticing — and driving — change.
The world has gone mad for robots with articles talking almost every day about the coming of the robot revolution. But is all the hype, excitement and sometimes fear justified? Is the robot revolution really coming?
The answer is probably that in some areas of our lives we will see more robots soon. But realistically, we are not going to see dozens of robots out and about in our streets or wandering around our offices in the very near future.
This article on The Conversation explores the feasibility of robotics in several fields.
This article from The Atlantic raises numerous questions about technology, privacy and ethics. Do developers have a responsibility towards society to not create systems that allow personal information to be disclosed to government bodies? With the privacy laws in New Zealand, how far away are we from a complete surveillance state?
“Computer scientists and cryptographers occupy some of the ivory tower’s highest floors. Among academics, their work is prestigious and celebrated. To the average observer, much of it is too technical to comprehend. The field’s problems can sometimes seem remote from reality.
But computer science has quite a bit to do with reality. Its practitioners devise the surveillance systems that watch over nearly every space, public or otherwise—and they design the tools that allow for privacy in the digital realm. Computer science is political, by its very nature.”
This article is well worth a look as many of our assessments require discussion of ethical considerations.
The Codeworx Challenge is an annual competition here in New Zealand that rewards innovation and initiative. In groups of up to four people, students were tasked with solving a real world problem this year using a Raspberry Pi and code. The results were outstanding as you can see for yourself on their website.
Industry professionals were also impressed if this article from the New Zealand Herald is any indication.