Tag Archives: computer science

Marvin Minsky, Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence, Dies at 88

Marvin Minsky in a lab at M.I.T. in 1968.
Marvin Minsky in a lab at M.I.T. in 1968.

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.

Don’t Fear The Internet Video Series

dfti-960Don’t Fear The Internet is a video series designed to introduce you to the basics of the internet and website programming.

Video #1 is at the bottom of the page – they are listed in order of release date rather than the order you should probably view them.

This video series was created by designer/typographer Jessica Hische and her web developer husband Russ Maschmeyer who are both well respected in their fields of expertise.

Highly recommended for quality of content and correctness of coding practices 🙂

 

How Do Robots ‘See’ the World?

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 5.39.40 PMThe 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.

Computer Science Field Guide

sys-uc-logoThe Computer Science Field Guide is an online interactive resource for high school students learning about computer science, developed at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and funded by Google.

We’ll be using this as a first point of reference as it was developed here in New Zealand specifically for the purpose of Digital Technology classes like ours.

The Moral Failure of Computer Scientists

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?

Edward Joseph Snowden is a computer professional, former CIA employee, and former government contractor who copied classified information from the United States National Security Agency (NSA) and United Kingdom Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) for public disclosure in 2013. The information revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and Five Eyes with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments. On June 21, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed charges against Snowden of two counts of violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property.
Edward Joseph Snowden: wanted by the U.S. Department of Justice for violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property.

“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

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 9.46.28 PMThe 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.