The Great Schism: Strong v Narrow AI

The perfect robot?

One way to explain the current state of AI is to see it as two (or more) opposing views of the world. Strong AI is the goal of creating consciousness in a machine, as measured in the Turing Test: if you can’t …

Wooldridge, The Road to Conscious Machines

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927): the robot and its creator

I find histories of artificial intelligence very revealing. Computing as an academic discipline is relatively recent, but AI in particular has always been a cross-over subject, something that has been studied by academics for over 75 …

The Researcher to Reader Conference

One of the peer review workshop activities

Yes, it’s workshop time! This was my first Researcher to Reader conference, and I found the event very enjoyable (even if I had to participate in a workshop). The real theme that emerged from the conference were not …

How to write an encyclopedia entry

Pyrrho (Munich, Glypothek)

The basic principles of an encyclopedia article haven’t changed over time – but the same errors continue to be made. One of the most fundamental principles, which is the same as writing a dictionary entry for a concept, is very simple:

Always …

Serendipity as a rule for life

The spectacular foyer of Waterstones Bookshop, Cambridge. Each book on the wall has a handwritten recommendation.

Many years ago, at the start of my career in publishing, an old hand told me what, in his opinion, was the only marketing principle that mattered in trade …

Are institutional repositories designed to be searchable?

I’ve been looking at the impressive Cambridge University Institutional Repository, called Apollo. The repository has an impressive range of content, with over 155,000 items in the collection. Clearly the repository is widely used.

But the more closely I looked, the more I started scratching …

How arts publications fail to follow the rules for referencing science articles

Exhibition catalogue list of citations
List of references in an exhibition catalogue

It is a commonplace that arts and science scholarly writing is different. It’s only when looking regularly at arts and science writing that you begin to see just how different. Some of the differences appear to have little …

Metadata and toothbrushes

I prefer the title above. The official title of this event (“I never metadata I didn’t like”) is perhaps more revealing than the organisers imagined. We only like metadata. Imagine putting together a one-day conference about metadata. You are unlikely to get much of a …

Where are we with Open Research?

How research flows into the open data lake

We should be in the open data lake, but instead we are all too often stuck in stagnant water. Such was the message from the excellent CISPC Conference on Open Research (Art House, Islington, November 2019).

Academic …

Reviewing new software tools

I recently read about a new research report, Mind the Gap, by a team with lead author John Maxwell, about some initiatives in open-source software. It made me ponder how to appraise and to evaluate new software tools.

This year’s SSP Annual Event included …

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