danconnolly.co.uk

Hell’s Club

September 6, 2015

This is an obscene standard of editing. Just sublime. Watch till the end of the credits.

Time Travel Paradoxes

January 30, 2015

Terminator Genisys (Paradox edition)

December 19, 2014

In case there was any confusion.

Watson

June 23, 2010

Quite incredible and/or ridculous – as something of a follow-up to Deep Blue, IBM have been working on a computer that can play Jeopardy:

For the last three years, I.B.M. scientists have been developing what they expect will be the world’s most advanced “question answering” machine, able to understand a question posed in everyday human elocution — “natural language,” as computer scientists call it — and respond with a precise, factual answer…Nobody ever tackled “Jeopardy!” because experts assumed that even for the latest artificial intelligence, the game was simply too hard: the clues are too puzzling and allusive, and the breadth of trivia is too wide. With Watson, I.B.M. claims it has cracked the problem — and aims to prove as much on national TV.

It’s a really interesting article and is another (scary) indication of how fast technology is moving. When I was a kid if I wanted to find something out I sat down with our Encyclopedia Britannica collection (apparently purchased from a door-to-door salesman as my Dad was having a bath, renovation work my Dad was doing meant there wasn’t actually a wall in the bathroom at the time making doorstep conversations from the tub upstairs that bit easier). Now we have the internet, Google, Wikipedia, it’s all out there you just have to search for it. Soon we will have knowledge (but more importantly answer) engines that can understand us and give us the answer.

At first, a Watson system could cost several million dollars, because it needs to run on at least one $1 million I.B.M. server. But Kelly predicts that within 10 years an artificial brain like Watson could run on a much cheaper server, affordable by any small firm, and a few years after that, on a laptop.

Within my lifetime I will be able to stand in my house and ask Computer/Mother/Pierce Brosnan a question and it will give me an answer. Or become self-aware and nuke the world. I’d still probably rather have a lightsaber.

(via Kottke)

HAL-5

November 28, 2009

hal-5

Powered Exoskeleton sir? HAL stands for Hybrid Assisted Limb and is designed to help the disabled and elderly (the suit allows you to lift 5 times the weight you’d usually be able to) and also as an aid for disaster rescue. All cool so far but it’s with the military applications that things start to get scary.

I remember reading something about crash safety that said that the human body isn’t designed to hit something faster than we can run so a mechanical suit that can increase strength, speed and endurance is definitely starting to ring alarm bells. People are gonna get fucked up! What happens when things get to the point where you could get disabled in combat but just carry on?

Don’t get me wrong, power armour is awesome, but can you think of one fiction in which power armour occurs and the world(/galaxy/universe) is not just a bit fucked up? Perpetual War? Post Apocalyptic Wasteland? Staight-to-video sequels?

Also just for reference: The wireless network in James Cameron’s offices being called Skynet = cool. Naming your robotic exoskeleton company Cyberdyne = bad.

Terminator: Salvation

March 6, 2009

Aforementioned Terminator trailer: