BBC News on Instagram’s self-supervised learning system, March 2021
BBC News on an algorithm which can detect Covid from a cough, November 2020
A classic positive use of AI.
Interview on Sky News about the lasting impact of the virus, April 2020
Review of Robert Downey Jr’s YouTube series, “The Age of AI”, December 2019
BBC World Service discussion about China and AI, August 2019
Are China and the US falling into the Thucydides Trap?
BBC News on a hurdle for AI image recognition, July 2019
Why are image recognition systems unable to deal with some fairly simple-looking images?
BBC News item on AI to help writers, May 2019
Microsoft announced Ideas, an AI that will suggest improvements to your written sentences. Is this a good thing?
Interview with on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme, April 2019
In which the very charming Paddy O’Connell asks me a tricky question. (3 minutes 30 seconds.)
Interview with on BBC Ulster, March 2019
A discursive interview with BBC Ulster’s Audrey Carville. With cats.
BBC interview on Asimov’s predictions, January 2019
Back in 1983, science fiction author Isaac Asimov was asked to predict what the world would be like in 2019. How well did he do? Pretty well, actually.
Interview with Future Trends Forum, December 2018
This seven-minute interview was filmed in Madrid, and is in English, despite the caption.
RSA book on the future of work, November 2018
I was invited to contribute a chapter to the RSA’s book on the future of jobs.
Ancient Aliens, The History channel, September 2018
OK, file this one under light entertainment.
FT podcast, December 2017
Interviewed by the estimable John Thornhill, the FT’s Innovation Editor, for the pink’un’s TechTonics podcast.
Stephen Fry, October 2017
Stephen has been a hero of mine for the longest time, so I was delighted to find him referencing The Economic Singularity at a keynote presentation he gave at Bell Labs in October 2017.
BBC News, August 2017
Facebook set two chatbots to negotiating how to divide up a pile of items. They invented a new language pretty much incomprehensible to humans, so Facebook terminated the experiment. This was represented by some newspapers as the beginning of Skynet. I took the opportunity of this BBC interview to try and calm those fears while pointing out that AI will bring risks as well as huge benefits.
BBC World Service, July 2017
Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk conducted a public row about the risk from superintelligence. I recorded a radio essay about it for the BBC World Service’s programme, The World This Week. The essay starts at 18 minutes 30 seconds into the show (here), and an excerpt is here.
BBC News, July 2017
Quoted in article on a new deep learning system analysing food.
Today, Radio 4, May 2017
Zoe Kleinman interviews me on BBC radio’s flagship programme.
(Performing seal sound effect added later.)
The World This Weekend, Radio 4, February 2017
Mark Mardell interviews me and Richard Susskind, author of “The Future of the Professions”. An encouraging sign that The Reverse Luddite Fallacy is losing its grip on the media.
Chichester Observer, February 2017
Sky News, October 2016
At the opening of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) Stephen Hawking repeated comments he made a couple of years before about AI being the best or the worst thing ever to affect humanity. Sky News asked for my tuppence-worth
Two New Statesman articles by Amelia Tate, October 2016
A committee of MPs produced a report urging the government to reform education so that students can stay in work by staying ahead of the machines. I gave some rather forthright suggestions to Amelia for this article.
There’s never a dull moment in the world of AI, and a few days later, Amelia was back in touch in connection with a story about racist robots. You can read that one here.
Jon Grayson, CBS’ Overnight America, July 2016
I did over twenty US radio interviews for the launch of The Economic Singularity. This is one of them.
BBC Radio Sussex, July 2016
Singularity 1 on 1, July 2016
The Big Issue, January 2016
So I am delighted that they commissioned this article about, well … a Big Issue. Click on the logo or the image below to go to the site and read the full article.
Radio 5 Live, January 2016
Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year Resolution was to programme an AI to become his butler. He was aiming at Iron Man’s faithful companion, Jarvis. But surely he knows that Robert Downey Junior based his portrayal of Iron Man on Elon Musk?
BBC History Magazine, November 2015
Seven vignettes from the history of artificial intelligence, for the BBC’s history magazine.
FiveBooks, November 2015
The excellent FiveBooks site asked me to recommend five books to read about artificial intelligence. I think this is the century of two singularities, so I chose two books about the Technological Singularity (one each by Kurzweil and Bostrom) and two about what I call the Economic Singularity, the consequences of technological unemployment (one by Martin Ford and the other by McAfee and Brynjolfsson). The interview (here), by Sophie Roell, is quite long, but a jolly good read (and I’m not biased, of course).
The fifth book is by my favourite science fiction writer, Greg Egan. I don’t know anyone else who deals with the implications of strong AI better than Egan.
The Guardian, November 2015
Guardian journalist Charles Arthur wrote this thought-provoking piece on the possibility of technological unemployment, and whether it will fracture our species.
Interview on BBC Radio London, October 2015
A conversation with Tim Arthur and Harriet Scott of BBC Radio London. In 18 minutes, Tim and I discover a common interest in science fiction movies and Harriet asks whether AI really will have such a big impact in the next decade or so.
Article in BA’s Business Life magazine
A conversation with journalist Charles Arthur produced paragraphs 12 to 15 of this article:
BBC interviews for the launch of “Surviving AI”, September 2015
The BBC kindly timed their excellent Machine Intelligence Week to coincide with the launch of “Surviving AI”, and as a result I spent a lot of the second week of September doing 15 interviews in BBC radio and TV stations.
Here is one of them.
There was also a nice review of “Surviving AI” on the very splendid Monocle Radio on 1st October.
TechCrunch, 6th September 2015
Coverage of a panel discussion at Second Home. There was of course a picture of The Terminator, but it was included in a very post-modernist way.
Kurzweil AI, 4th September 2015
Singularity 1 on 1, 3rd September 2015
The Future of Business, edited by Rohit Talwar, 1st September 2015
I contributed a chapter called “Will AI eat the world?”
Future Cities, edited by Stefano Tresca, 27th July 2015
Stefano asked me to contribute a chapter to this book. The final paragraph addressed working for startups.
No-one should be under any illusion: life in a startup is hard, generally poorly paid, and most of them fail. But when they work, the rewards can be enormous, both in terms of money and in terms of intellectual stimulation and personal growth.
There are two types of people who should definitely be in startups. First, the born entrepreneurs, who will stop at nothing to succeed, have enormous energy and determination, and are usually very bright. They have the ability to envision a future which has no right to exist and then walk through walls to make it happen. These people are very rare indeed.
The second type is the person who has genuinely found a way to offer a product or service that people will pay for, and do it significantly better than is being done today. They may be working for an incompetent boss, or they may have invented a new way of doing things. People in this situation are more common, but not ubiquitous. Everyone else should think twice or three times before taking the leap. Do your due diligence!
Oriel News, July 2015
Keeping the old boys up to date.
The Guardian, 16th April 2015
Everyone is saying that machines should never make the kill decision. I’m not so sure.
PlanetTech, 16th May 2015
Singularity 1 on 1, 14th March 2015