The dog, checking if I have any treats before running off to explore the quarry. With the easing of lock-down restrictions, I am once again able to take the dog for a walk in a nearby nature reserve, a place called Wingate Quarry. The quarry itself is a rare ecosystem--a magnesian limestone grassland--and is home … Continue reading My Post-Industrial Paradise
You may have read stories in National Geographic or the Guardian about the "cocaine hippos" imported into Columbia in the 1980s by the drug lord-cum-psycopath Pablo Escobar. Perhaps you've heard how several of the hippos escaped from Escobar's private zoo into the local rivers, where they quickly made a happy home. And though this might … Continue reading Cocaine Hippos and Tigers in Kilts
Last week, as a fun task for some of my music students, I decided to have the kids compose their own Christmas song. "Brilliant!" I thought, "They'll love it and they'll get practice writing and harmonizing melodies. I'm a genius!" Then I realized I'd have to come up with lyrics. After all, if I gave … Continue reading A New Christmas Song for the Age of Social Media
Thomas Friedman's "Curiosity Quotient" inequality, courtesy Noles1984 CC BY-SA 3.0 This past week, I had the rare opportunity to interview Millicent Robinson, Professor of Aritificial Curiosity at the County Durham College of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fine Art and one of the designers of GEBx project. What follows is an excerpt from that interview: CTR: … Continue reading From Artificial Intelligence to Artificial Curiosity: an Interview with Prof. Millicent Robinson
Today I've got a short story written by a very special guest author. This particular author requires a bit of an introduction, which I will leave to Prof. Karlton Friedarx, Head of Aesthetonomics at the County Durham College of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fine Arts. Prof. Friedarx is also director of the GEBen project at … Continue reading Hell is Other People’s Pets
Paintings of Aurochs on a cave wall near Lascaux, France. Photo courtesy of Prof saxx If you are worried about AI taking over the world, you can relax. If the most recent piece of work from GEBen is a reliable indicator of how AI is developing, it will be a long time before we live … Continue reading “A is for Aurochs”. And “Absurd”. An AI-Generated Primer about Cows.
Photo: Jonny Hughes/Flickr Creative Commons As some of you may recall, I've been working my way through the research diaries of Grad Bernart. Bernart is, of course, most famous for his breakthroughs in communicating with trees. While his early discoveries about tree behaviour were quite shocking, it seems the grad eventually reconciled both his conscience … Continue reading The Love Poetry of Trees
In a stunning victory for the new field of aesthetonomics, scientists have found evidence that fundamental aspects of physics are affected by human notions of beauty. Researchers at the County Durham College of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fine Arts used quantum entanglement to link radiocative isotopes to people who like wildflowers. Scientists kept a close … Continue reading Scientists Discover the Aesthetic Laws of the Universe
Image by Martin Thoma CC BY-SA 1.0 Researchers at my favourite institute of higher learning, County Durham College of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fine Arts, have discovered that their resident artificial intelligence, GEBen, is keeping pets. Okay, “pets” is my word for it, not theirs. But you can decide for yourself if I’m right. Programmers … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence Discovered Keeping Artificial Pets
I have, of late, been reading the poetry of Kathleen Jamie. I've already reviewed one of her collections, The Treehouse, but today I'm more interested in the fact that some of Ms. Jamie's work includes Scottish words and phrases. Now, now, don't get all snarky with me. I can almost hear a collective shrugging of the … Continue reading Breaking Google Translate. Again. With the help of Scotland and Star Wars.