What we've listened to:
Artificial Intelligence was the subject of last weeks Virgin podcast. Mark D'Inverno and John Wolstencroft are interviewed on the future of AI and the question as to whether AI will ever be creative. Their take on this is that all innovation by humans eventually becomes craft. Humans will always innovate and and computers will become increasingly more complex and 'intelligent' as they perform on new crafts.
This is an encouraging thought that we will always maintain the creative edge over our tools however when asked on the idea of a robotic revolution with autonomous AI taking control by force their outlook was less cheerful. They cite the progression robotics in military and draw attention to an ongoing project in Australia. An overpopulation of Crown of Thorn starfish are destroying the Great Barrier Reef and the solution is to use submarine robots with googles deep thinking AI technology to seek out and kill Crown of Thorn starfish. The robots are able to recognise the starfish so well that they are able to distinguish between the real thing and the models they were trained on. Once reconised the robot injects the starfish with a lethal dose of saline solution. Video of the robots detection system below and more on the project here.
The rapid advancement in AI and the innovation it brings is fascinating although you cant help feel a bit uneasy that we are now allowing robots to make decisions over whether to destroy life.
What we found on the internet:
Car wash in Madrid that displays the process of washing a car! May seem like a joke but architect Lina Toro has designed the car wash to reveal the innovative processes used by the company allowing their customers to follow their car through the wash with waiting areas and viewing windows. The whole thing is distinctively dipped in blue paint.
What we've read:
There could be some respite in house price increases in London with an overhaul of tax and regulations for Buy-to-Let properties including an increase in 3% on stamp duty on the purchase of second homes. This is expected to lead to a reduction of Buy-to-Let and the selling off of some assets with the likely result that house prices being reduced. More on this from the property week article here.
What we've watched:
On this Ted talk Thomas Heatherwick talks about some of his projects in a very close way which contrasts with the ‘star architect’ image that you get of him from the media. Basic simple but effective concepts are the base of most of his work, like the UK Pavilion for the Shanghai Expo. This impressive pavilion creates a powerful image that captures visitors.
What's inspired us:
Magnets and marbles. Must have taken so long to set up - prepare to lose 4 minutes!