Imagine this: It’s morning and you are starting your daily routine—go to work, bring kids to school, etc. You are quite late. You lift the door handle of the car; able to recognize your fingerprints, the car unlocks. You speak, “To Helen’s school please, then Martin’s school, then to work.” The car doesn’t respond. It’s rush hour and you need to bring the kids to school on time and then rush to work.
Your car’s machine-learning algorithm predicts you are likely to get a fine or worse, despite your intentions to drive consciously when kids are on board and stay under the speed limit. Almost like the “pre-crime” police units of the Tom Cruise sci-fi hit “Minority Report,” the algorithm uses police report data on parents who speed during rush hour when late for school or work. It neglects your law-abiding attitude. Fortunately, the personal digital assistant in your watch, sensing your car has been disabled, is already contacting the schools and your workplace with your estimated times of arrival and an excuse for your tardiness.
As Moore’s Law runs out of steam, and fabrication of Boolean circuits on silicon appears to be reaching its limits, some computer scientists and physicists are looking beyond the limits of current computing to “reversible computing.” That is, instead of one-way circuits that produce a deterministic output from given inputs, reversible computing works both ways: Inputs can be obtained from outputs by running the circuits in reverse. Generally speaking, computation runs in one direction, producing outputs from inputs, without the ability to run backwards and compute inputs from outputs. Continue reading
The Oxford Dictionaries proclaimed “post-truth” as its 2016 word of the year. It defines post-truth as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” According to the editors, use of the term “post-truth” had increased by around 2,000 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, largely in relation to Brexit—the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union—and the United States presidential election. Continue reading
The internal combustion engine (ICE) has reigned supreme for over 100 years, but prognosticators are predicting its demise over the next few decades – or NOT, depending on your data analytics. Like all technologies, sooner or later a disruptive replacement comes along and renders the status quo extinct. Will electric vehicle (EV) technology be the disruption that kills the ICE? I think so, but the future of EV transportation is not guaranteed.