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Sunday, 22 January 2012

22nd Day

I feel like my brain is imploding. Like I have tried to fit far too much into one day.

Cooked breakfast this morning. M-shed, walk on the waterfront and watching Man Utd and Arsenal with Gra for most of the day. Back home some soup for tea with Maria then some hardcore work. Well semi-hardcore, lots of typing and organising things. My to do list still has lots of things left on it.

Still an amazing day with a good friend, so that's good! Also managed to find time to do some current science reading.

This is one of my favourite things I found today http://boxie.media.mit.edu/ how amazing! I love the fact that the little guy was able to run about collecting stories from different people. My favourite part of the whole thing is how simple it seems. Sometimes the best things are the simple things.

I also came across this story today http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21328484.700-grouse-have-signature-drumming-styles.html for a video look here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVfiIp3QGs4 be warned its very low frequency. It makes me wonder though, what else have we overlooked?

Two things are occupying my thoughts lately. Well two more things over everything else. The first one is space, will I ever go there? I doubt it! Although now I really want to I look at images of space and wonder what it would be like to stand on the Moon and look down on the Earth, or to try climbing to the summit of olympus Mons on Mars.

 This is explainable though as I am teaching space at the moment. It's very cool - tomorrow we are looking at impact craters with a great practical involving sand and balls. Not in that way but in the science way! Tuesday we will be looking at the origins of the Moon. I love the Moon but I do believe it messes up my sleep patterns http://webcenters.netscape.compuserve.com/homerealestate/package.jsp?name=fte/moonaffectsleep/moonaffectsleep although maybe I just eat more cheese around a full Moon? And last week we looked at the life cycle of a star. It really pulls students in when you are genuinely excited about a topic, and I get excited about new knowledge and I found lots of new things out for those lessons.

The second one is robots, well artificial intelligence mainly. I remember a while ago watching a Danny Wallace documentary where he wanted a robot butler http://dannywallace.com/work/television/. As a result he researched artificial intelligence in his customary chipper way. One of the academics he interviewed spoke about how maybe true artificial intelligence might be beyond our abilities because it may require a higher intellect than what we have currently evolved to have. Or something similar.

I would normally be disinclined to believe that idea, surely our intelligence and ingenuity would be able to come up with something. However considering we have only just started looking at whether animals make none vocal sounds, surely our thinking is fairly stunted in some aspects.

However some form of AI would be very interesting. I watch the adverts for the iPhone 4 and the Siri program http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNsrl86inpo it is fairly spooky how that works. I upgrade my phone next weekend, maybe I can get hold of that? However I don't think that counts yet, I think it is just really clever programming.

The counter argument of course is that where would that lead?

Would it be good or bad? Would a true AI decide that we aren't good enough and end up in a pitched battle between humans and computers? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4Jo8QoOTQ4

So maybe artificial intelligence is beyond our reach? I still doubt it though, I think we will get there. Though when we do I think it will be a scary day.

Though then I used to be scared of the thought of going into outer space!

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