Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Artificial intelligence will be net UK jobs creator

A recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers has argued that AI would create slightly more jobs (7.2m) than it displaced (7m) by boosting economic growth in the UK. The firm estimated about 20% of jobs would be automated over the next 20 years and no sector would be unaffected. This counters a lot of doomsayers who have predicted that AI will potentially decimate employment. In some sectors these pessimists are not wrong: PWC predicts that transportation and storage will lose 38% of its jobs to AI. However, PWC are predicting that these job losses will be more than countered by gains in health and social work, education, professional and IT work, and other service sectors. You can read PWC's full report here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Mega AI conference in Stockholm, Sweden

A massive gathering of AI academics and professionals is taking place in Stockholm, Sweden. The 27th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the 23rd European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, the premier international gathering of researchers in AI! IJCAI-ECAI-18 is part of the Federated AI Meeting (FAIM) that takes place at Stockholmsmässan in Stockholm July 9-19. The other conferences running alongside include AAMAS, ICML, ICCBR and SoCS. The World Computer Chess Championships will also take place in parallel.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

They promised us...

The Guardian newspaper has been running a series of articles under the banner "They promised us..." The articles explore why we don't have flying cars, ray guns, hoverboards, teleportation (like in Star Trek), jetpacks and several other things SciFi has promised to deliver. So if you're disappointed in our lack of progress read these articles to find out why.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

So, modern programmers, you think that you have it tough

Garry Tee, who has long been associated with University of Auckland Mathematics and Computer Science Department is going to fully retire this August, aged 86. Garry topped the NZ scholarship exams in 1948 and graduated from the University of Auckland with a First class Masters degree in Mathematics. Among his many adventures, he worked for English Electric at Whetstone, Leicestershire in the UK from 1958 to 1964 as a Mathematician/programmer using the DEUCE computers. These were direct descendants of Turing’s 1946 designs for the ACE.

To start with, Garry programmed the DEUCE in binary machine language as a sequence of 32-bit words. Working programs were published as research reports and, luckily, Garry has preserved some of these. Below is an extract from one of his programs. The instruction code words were expressed as 4 decimal fields, with the card punch operators converting them mentally to binary, in passing. Turing predicted in 1945 that programming would be done by Mathematicians. That was certainly a skill needed for the DEUCE!