The wrong way to do driverless cars

I’m a great supporter of driverless cars. I think they have the potential to dramatically change the world, making much better use of resources, revolutionising mobility for all and radically improving our towns and cities. Paradoxically, however, I am not so keen on Phillip Hammond’s announcement that the UK aims to be the first country […]

AI-powered robots and the future

This is a post over which I have been pondering for quite a while. While the debate rages on daily about whether AI (specifically AGI) is humanity’s great saviour or the biggest existential threat we all face, several stories which have emerged over the past few weeks seem to me to cast some light on […]

The role of language

I was struck this week by the sharp contrast in language styles adopted by two of the world’s great tech leaders – Tim Cook and Elon Musk. Tim Cook’s keynote at the WWDC  was full of the kind of language we have long associated with Apple – full of “incredible”, “great”, “changing the world” – […]

Thinking Digitally in Tyneside

This year was something of a turning point for Thinking Digital as the Tyneside-based event, regarded as a kind of home-grown TED since its launch in 2008, this year branched out into satellite events in London and Manchester. The original event was slimmed down from two days to one and there were worries that the […]

Bots are a transitional technology

Yesterday Facebook announced, as predicted, the launch of a range of tools to facilitate the development of “bots” on its Messenger platform. The argument being made far and wide is that bots are a replacement for apps which have become so numerous that their usefulness to users is plunging and most developers are no longer making […]