A jet aircraft for the mind

Of the many stories about Steve Jobs at Apple, one that resonates with the authors is his early ‘80s description of computers as a ‘bicycle for the mind’. Jobs had seen a chart showing that many animals were much faster and more efficient moving
Continue Reading Far from an Edge Case: The employee impacts of the Hardware Renaissance

Integration and Integrity

It would take a particular type of pessimist to embark on a new project expecting it to fail completely – but a truly foolish level of optimism not to even consider the possibility of problems, and make sensible provision for how to handle them.

The complexity of
Continue Reading Damaged goods and good damages: What the hardware renaissance means for tech disputes

If I could tell you how you could make your AI system do nearly ten times as much work on the same hardware, would that be worth something to you, eh…?

Transformers – more than meets the eye

So how can we make our AI ten times more efficient? Well,
Continue Reading Definitely not a zero sum game: Sparsity and next generation AI

Thread count

Before we get to the death scene, let’s step back in time…

History tends to focus on the addition of new sources of power, such as water wheels and steam engines, as the transformative aspect of the Industrial Revolution. Arguably, separating the production of goods into distinct tasks,
Continue Reading Serial killers: The massively parallel processors driving the AI and crypto revolutions (fava beans and a nice chianti not required)

“Yeah, but have you seen the Amiga version?”

This part-question, part-taunt characterised many discussions of the latest game releases in the playground as I was growing up. In the UK, home computers rather than videogame consoles dominated. The kids with 8-bit systems like the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC 464 and
Continue Reading Variety is the spice of life: The hardware renaissance and what it means for your business

There is something immensely satisfying about identifying a real bargain in a charity shop or thrift store. In among the 17 copies of last year’s must-read summer-holiday novel, and the three cups with saucers that don’t match, you might stumble across a hidden gem. My best-ever find was a set
Continue Reading Data hoarding: Would a Marie Kondo approach to data storage bring you joy?

A properly trained special-purpose AI can be a wonderful thing. AI systems have already displayed super-human performance in many fields, from diagnosing specific medical conditions, to spotting fraudulent transactions, or identifying infringing content amongst the fire-hose of social media.

These systems tend to rely upon some form of neural-network based
Continue Reading Shall we play a game? Reinforcement learning and the AI training data challenge

67% … 84% … 93% … 99.2% … and then stuck interminably at 99.9%. C’mon! Download you unspeakable nuisance! I need to see the next episode.

We might think we still see the dread message “Buffering…” far too frequently, but in reality in any major metropolitan area we are already
Continue Reading Please wait: This article is buffering … Why massive bandwidth might not be the most important aspect of 5G and next generation Internet services

Sitting at 36,000 feet over the Atlantic writing this article, I’m unusually aware of the traditional use of the phrase “black box”: an aircraft’s flight data recorder, there to let investigators understand what went awry should the worst happen. It seems odd that a device whose purpose is to provide
Continue Reading Isn’t the whole point of a black box to tell you exactly what happened? AI’s explainability conundrum