Can robots be moral beings?

In short, we can make robots which display altruistic behaviour but they aren’t moral agents because we create them, says Joanna Bryson from Bath University. And what’s more we should not pretend that they are.  Speaking at a London Futurists session today she said the key difference between robots and children is that, although we […]

Thoughts on The Watch

There are a couple of things that have occurred to me about Apple’s latest new product line. The first is that fashion and rapid technology upgrade cycles don’t really mix. Thinking about the evolution of the iPhone (a product whose significance has been compared to the Apple Watch) each new iteration was thinner, more powerful, and […]

Phases of Photography

I had an interesting day on Monday wandering round the Photography Show in the NEC in Birmingham. The thing that struck me was the scale of the change sweeping through. Firstly, there were only two places where analogue photography was in evidence: on a standing selling “rare and unusual” film stock, and on the disabled […]

Apple’s $10,000 watch

Apple is known for expensive technology. But for the extra money we have always received higher quality, better usability, superlative design. But with the announcement of a $10,000 solid gold watch today, I wonder if they have made a tactical mistake. There is no way to argue that the watch itself (functionality, form, impact) is […]

Ignoring the Elephant

Over the weekend I wrote a post called The Elephant in the Room where I talked about the tendency of journalists to ignore the issue of climate change when reporting energy stories. As if to prove the point Terry Macalister, the energy editor in this morning’s paper managed to write about Lord Browne’s plans to build a […]

The climate change narrative 

Winning the “carbon war” will be more about narratives than policy initiatives. That seemed to be the message of Jeremy Leggett, former Green Peace activist, and academic, current chairman of The Carbon Trust and founder of Solar Century, as he spoke to a meeting of the London Futurists. And key to these narratives are what he […]

The Elephant in the Room

It is great to see Alan Rusbridger driving a major push on Climate Change at The Guardian. Generally the coverage of the issue itself is good on The Guardian. But they suffer from a common problem. When journalists cover energy related subjects – say the trials and tribulations of the North Sea oil industry or […]

The Soulful Organisation

I’ve just been to an inspiring presentation at the RSA given by former management consultant Frederic Laloux who was talking about his book called Reinventing Organizations. He argues that many people intuitively believe that current management practices just aren’t working and that they are right and a big shift in how organisations work is about […]

More Resilient Cities

    What does it take to make cities resilient? In a thoughtful talk to the RSA Dr Judith Rodin, current president of the philanthropic Rockerfeller Foundation, summarised some of the findings of the foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities project. In a nutshell she argues that cities can’t plan effectively based on past events – which is what […]

The Government’s paradoxical approach to the climate

This week saw two significant climate change events. Firstly climate scientists from NASA and NOAA officially confirmed that 2014 was the hottest year on record. Most scientists now believe that the world is on track for warming of 4C or 5C by the end of the century – and nobody knows what sort of a […]