Thursday, 9 April 2015

Seminar

We've been at a seminar in Mile End all day today. I can't really say why, or announce exactly what we were doing there, but the theme of the event was computational creativity. It was a genuinely fascinating experience to get a sense of what is out there at the moment in terms of, for want of a better phrase, artificial intelligence. Can computers yet make creative decisions? Can they reason? Can they self-evaluate?

...I've certainly heard a lot of words - used very often today - which I might not normally have heard on an average Thursday. "Algorithm" featured prominently (as you might expect) as did "ideation" and "intentionality."

I have had my portrait painted by a computer. I've also had a computer refuse to paint my portrait because a newspaper article in the Guardian had put it in a bad mood!

Highlight of the day was almost certainly having a robot "die" on me. It was midway through asking me a series of questions with its chirpy child-like voice, when it started to droop, gently lay on its back, and promptly stopped functioning! That's the effect I have on all technology. It's a gift, you know.

I've had some fascinating chats with a number of boffins, and only once felt myself glazing over and losing the will to live. I think I must have been going low blood sugar as Nathan tells me it was one of the most fascinating conversations of the day.

I'd genuinely like to be able to write more, but I can't...

Nathan and I are currently heading home on a crowded tube. Nathan is knitting. He attracts a lot of attention on public transport when he knits; particularly when he's also wearing a biker jacket. People stare in a mixture of amusement and awe.

We will eat pizza tonight. Another friend of ours' father has died today, and it feels like we ought to have an evening of contemplation and stillness. Two fathers. One week. Why is the world so blinkin' unkind?

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