Monday, April 30, 2018

Robotics research in New Zealand - free public lecture

Professor Bruce MacDonald, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Auckland will give a free public lecture on May 3rd 2018 at 6:30pm, Venue: 260.092 (Owen G Glenn Building 3), Level 0, University of Auckland.

Bruce says: "We are constantly being told that robotic technology is soon going to dramatically change our lives. Indeed, it is true that robots, AI, machine-learning and automation have become much more affordable and capable in recent years. With less fanfare, at the same time, farms, factories, homes and offices have felt a strong need to automate some tasks that are currently done manually. As well as machinery, this may involve measurement and monitoring, helping humans make decisions or taking over some parts of decision-making. This presentation will describe international trends and some of the ongoing work and future directions for robotics research in New Zealand."

Drinks and nibbles will be served from 6pm at 260.088 Level 0 Foyer, Owen G Glenn Building. Lecture commences at 6.30pm.
Find out more information about the Gibbons Lecture Series.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Data as labour

I was interviewed for the National Programme on Radio New Zealand recently. "The relationship between internet users and internet companies is not one-sided. We provide the companies with data they need to create better programmes. And as artificial intelligence use increases so too does the amount of data they need. And that can only be provided by internet users like you and me. A new economics paper has suggested that because of this, we should be paid for what we give away. 

You can listen to the interview here.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Free public lectures in Auckland

The annual free public Gibbons lecture series will take place again this May. This year's theme is robotics. News concerning robots, the tasks that they are able to perform and how they are expected to interact with humans, is widespread. Our Gibbons Lectures' speakers tackle this topic on 3, 10, 17 and 24 May. Join us for refreshments before each lecture from 6pm at: The University of Auckland 260.088, Level 0 Foyer, Owen G Glenn Building. 

3 May – Robotics research in New Zealand
Bruce MacDonald
Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Faculty of Engineering

The University of Auckland

10 May – Robotics in industry
Mike Shatford
Managing Director
Design Energy Limited


17 May – Will robotic vision ever fully replace human vision?
Patrice Delmas
Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science
Faculty of Science

The University of Auckland

24 May – Can we be friends with robots?
Elizabeth Broadbent
Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Medicine
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

The University of Auckland

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Turn it off and on, that will fix it.

Someone recently asked me "when did turning computers off and on again to fix problems start?" A colleague, Bob Doran, considered this and replied: "My guess is that it was not done during the valve computer era because turning off then on would almost guarantee a valve would die. With large computers, too, I am sure that turning the machine off would be avoided because the “cold start” was a long process. Reboot the computer, definitely. The reason that it works is that the problem is likely memory corruption and off/on clears all writable memory. So that means its from the 70s with PCs and DRAM memories. Mind you, I think that the technique was also applied to other devices."