Podcasts: starting points for learning about AI

Stuart Russell on After On with Rob Reid A thought provoking interview and excellent introduction that sounds a note of caution about AI and gives good reasons for doing so. Highlights include: some interesting stuff about how people and robots process goals and the huge number of actions and priorities that make up a single ‘simple’ action (around 32 minutes);…

More about that monkey

This is a brilliant illustration from William Oncken, Jr. and Donald L. Wass about avoiding taking responsibility for other people’s problems. Where Is the Monkey? Let us imagine that a manager is walking down the hall and that he notices one of his subordinates, Jones, coming his way. When the two meet, Jones greets the manager with, “Good morning. By…

Five Questions: Victoria Patience

1) Introduce yourself: who are you, what do you do, and why is it important? My name’s Victoria Patience. I’m a freelance Spanish-to-English translator and author’s editor, and am also a mother, reader, cook, runner, lapsed cargo-biker, and on-off vegetable grower. Professionally, I help Spanish-speaking government organizations, nonprofits and researchers communicate effectively with English-speaking audiences. Most of my translation and…

Step out of the picture

If you’re up to your eyeballs, and your team isn’t getting the job done, it’s sometimes necessary to do the work yourself so that it gets done and done right. Sometimes necessary. Always dangerous. You’re taking work back – work that presumably you took time to spec and explain to someone else – but worse than that is taking the…

Marcus Borg on unending conversation

Where does the drama of history get its material? From the “unending conversation”* that is going on at the point in history when we are born. Imagine you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell…

Buckstop (find friends)

You can only carry the can so far. If you started an organisation or business and the buck ultimately stops with you and no-one else, you need to make it a priority to find some friends to share the load. Find people who will make what you’re doing theirs as well as yours, own it and take responsibility for its…

Champion (2)

Noun 2 A person who vigorously supports or defends a person or cause.‘he became the determined champion of a free press’2.1 historical A knight who fought in single combat on behalf of the monarch. VerbVigorously support or defend the cause of. ‘he championed the rights of the working class and the poor’ OED Now this type of champion is worth having.…

Spec-ulation

If you’re asking someone to do something for you, an appropriate spec goes a long way. A good spec saves everyone time and effort* and demonstrates that you value the work and other people’s time and energy. You might include answers to the following questions: Big picture, what needs to happen? Why is it important – what will doing this…